Beaches a better bet than moribund city centre

Gosford Waterfont

Forum –

I am all for an optimistic outlook, but isn’t Paula Martin flogging a dead horse, with her goal of making Gosford “the most attractive destination for events, tourism experiences and festivals outside of (sic) Sydney” (“Business lobby talks up Gosford ‘refresh’”, CCN 317).

It’s not exactly clear what Central Coast has to offer with respect to these ventures, in competition with other regional cities, and to describe Gosford as the “vibrant city at its centre” requires a measure of self-deception that even the most enthusiastic booster might find hard to sustain.

The fact is that, as a regional centre, Gosford is just about moribund, and the idea that its waterfront is a prime attraction could only be held by somebody who hasn’t looked very closely at it lately.

It is true, as she says, that “we have planned our city many times”, but nothing has ever come of these plans, and the likelihood that anything ever will come of them is vanishingly small.

I can recall at least three grandiose schemes for rebuilding Gosford (and that doesn’t even count the Government Architect’s development plan), but the best we’ve been able to come up with so far is a pie stall in an obscure spot on the waterfront.

Whatever new buildings are going up, in the usual haphazard way, are residential towers, displacing failed businesses, and we can expect that trend to strengthen.

I am not sure that all these new residents would welcome music festivals on their doorstep: perhaps, this kind of entertainment is best conducted in remote locations where they create a minimum of disturbance.

I am still looking for my first “tourism experience” in Gosford and should appreciate Ms Martin pointing one out to me.

The tourist attraction of the Central Coast always has been and always will be the beaches.

Why isn’t the business lobby focussing its attention where it might conceivably do some good?

Email, Nov 8
Bruce Hyland, Woy Woy

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