Community needs to stay informed to understand what they are voting for

A Constitutional Referendum will be held on September 4 to determine the future number of Central Coast councillors.

The referendum will ask Coast voters to determine the question: Do you favour a reduction in the number of Central Coast councillors from 15 to nine?

If this is passed, the result will see the five current wards be reduced to three, with three councillors per ward.

To have your say in the referendum, you need to be correctly enrolled, and people aged over 18 have until 6pm on Monday, July 26, to enrol online at

Currently, the Central Coast Local Government Area is divided into five wards, The Entrance, Wyong, Budgewoi, Gosford West and Gosford East.

If the referendum is carried, a proposed ward boundary plan will be placed on public exhibition for community feedback so the new ward boundaries can be determined.

Council watcher, Lachlan Smith from The Entrance, said that in the lead up to the referendum, it is important that the community stay informed to understand the situation, as all Coast residents aged 18 and over are required to vote.

“I was talking to a friend about my interest in Council and she said that she wasn’t enrolled with the Australian Electoral Commission, and she didn’t know that we have to vote in September.

“A lot of people on the Coast, not just young people, need to stay in the loop with council happenings to understand the situation.

“It’s a major information situation here on the Central Coast,” Smith said.

In a 2016 report by the AEC, the 18–24-year-old demographic had the worst numbers on voter enrolment with nearly half of all 18 years old not enrolled to vote.

As voting in this referendum is compulsory for all people over the age of 18, Smith says the best way to understand the situation at Council is to break down the information as much as possible.

“There is a lot of jargon used in Council, even I, who is very invested in council, sometimes need to clarify what is being said.

“We definitely need someone in Council breaking down all of the information as voter representation is very important,” Smith said.

Harry Mulholland