It is astonishing that people you would expect to think in better than one-issue terms, apparently, imagine that demerging Gosford and Wyong is the most important problem we have (“Rates notices strengthen demerger calls”, PP 022).
Do they really believe that all our difficulties will disappear if we just go back to the old local government borders?
Do they really imagine that two municipalities will be, in some inexplicable way, better equipped than one to lead us out of the mess we are in?
Do they think that a fairy godmother will wave a magic wand and take us back to the exact position we were in before the merger?
Have they thought past the simple-minded slogans to whatever will be required to separate Central Coast into two separate jurisdictions again?
The debt will be just as big as ever, the measures to deal with it will be the same, but we shall have, as well, interminable squabbles over what proportion of the debt belongs to whom.
This is apart from the fact that lenders have contracted with Central Coast and could just call in the debt for immediate payment in full, if Central Coast ceased to exist.
How would ratepayers feel about having to stump up hundreds of millions tomorrow, via some kind of special levy, if that were to happen?
Let us also remember that, if there were to be a demerger, both municipalities would have to come under an Administrator while the electoral proceedings were being sorted out: one Administrator is bad enough, but paying for two would be adding insult to injury.
How would proponents of a demerger divide up the Central Coast staff between the two new councils?
Would the present CEO go to Gosford or Wyong: as a Gosford resident, I’d be happy to see him in Wyong, but could either council afford him?
What will happen to council equipment: will its value be divided up pro rata and, if so, based on what – number of residents, number of ratepayers, total area, total land value or lucky dip?
The level of parochialism being displayed in the “discussion” is thoroughly disheartening.
Much is made of Central Coast’s being a discrete region, but there is little sign of this spirit in the mind-numbing argumentation going on.
It is very difficult to reassemble eggs once they’ve been broken: why don’t we concentrate on making an omelette that we can all enjoy?
Email, Aug 15
Bruce Hyland, Woy Woy