The NSW Government and its Central Coast Council Administrator, Rik Hart, have no justification for wanting to reduce the number of elected representatives on Central Coast Council, according to the Chair of the Central Coast Local Government Committee.
“Rik Hart has now declared that the referendum to reduce the number of Councillors from 15 to 9 should go ahead at the same time as the next Central Coast local government election,” said LGC Chair, Vicki Scott.
“And he has suggested that, if the outcome of the referendum results in a reduction to nine Counsellors, three of those should be appointed rather than elected, despite the fact that that could go against the Local Government Act,” she said.
“That means that the Central Coast community would effectively lose nine elected representatives. “We would end up with six elected representatives and three unelected (appointed) Councillors.
“The breakdown of residents per elected representatives is 24,000 residents per each of 15 elected representatives, 39,000 per each of nine elected representatives and 58 000 per each of six elected representatives.
“There are councils which only have around 24,000 residents in total.
“As the rest of NSW heads to the polls for a local government election on December 4, it is extraordinary and undemocratic to suggest that the people of the Central Coast should forsake nine elected representatives when we do finally have an elected Council again.
“We have been given no timeframe for the Commissioner of the Central Coast Council Public Inquiry to complete her report and make recommendations to the NSW Local Government Minister.
“We have no guarantee that when the report finally lands on the Minister’s desk the Government will act on any of the recommendations.
“Meanwhile, the Administrator and his predecessor have delegated authority for major decisions, like the future of the Gosford waterfront and the future of our $4B water assets.
“They have sold our assets and put up our rates because they were ‘forced’ to take out commercial loans when the NSW Liberal-National Government refused to assist the Child of Frankenstein Council it had created.”
The Central Coast community is tired of being neglected by this State Government.
“We want our democracy returned and the size of our amalgamated Council means we will need every one of our 15 elected Councillors to make sure the best interests of the community are served.”
Source: Media release, Dec 1, 2021 Vicki Scott, Local Government Committee