Brickbats and bouquets for Operational Plan

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The recently released Central Coast Council four year Operational Plan has some excellent initiatives but also some glaringly short sighted misjudgments and poor use of our scarce funds, and we, the long suffering ratepayers, seem to have no recourse to change or amend it with an Administrator only in charge.

As reported in the Coast Community Chronicle (p12-13, June 30) following are some examples of the favoured projects over cuts to the areas that make a big difference in the lives of the ordinary citizen.

There is nearly a half a million dollar reallocation, yes, reallocation, meaning that they have taken the money from elsewhere to fund this project.

What warrants this?

Well, it’s to relocate the Central Coast Aero Club at the Warnervale Airport site.

This sacrosanct club has less than 200 members.

This money would fund a lot of the projects outlined below that were cut.

Central Coast Council has cut, deferred or reduced renewal programs for boat ramps, jetties and swimming enclosures, which went from $75,000 to zero, and the shared pathways portfolio had more than $135 000 cut from its already meagre budget.

How many people, both residents and visitors, use these facilities around the Central Coast?

There’s probably thousands of people per day, certainly a lot more than 200, I would assert.

Of course, there’s no mention of planning for our shared pathway joining Mannering Park to Lake Munmorah for another four years, even though we were of the understanding that there is over $3.5M in development contributions for it.

By then we will have been pursuing this important missing piece of infrastructure for nearly 40 years, now that’s a glacial pace in anyone’s language.

Central Coast Council has also declined to adopt the Greener Places Strategy which would help lower the extreme temperatures experienced in our multiple heat islands around the Central Coast.

Given that some places in the northern hemisphere are experiencing temperatures 30 degrees above their average in a relentless heatwave that has at least another two weeks to run, it would seem to make common sense that you would try to cool our built environment, whatever way you can, immediately.

Newcastle City Council is going down that path and the results will speak for themselves in the very near future.

It is time for a change of attitude and direction for our Council leaders right now.

Email, July 11
Kelvin Wynn, President, Mannering Park Progress Association

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