Airport spending will be more than $500,000 per year

Warnervale Airport

Central Coast Council’s draft three-year operational plan shows the Warnervale Airport will have more than $500,000 spent on it per year for the next three years.

Once a masterplan for the airport is finalised, the $500,000-plus annual expenditure will be on its implementation.

Council plans to begin “stakeholder engagement” for the masterplan by June 30, 2023 and will begin the development approval process by the following year and start building by June 30, 2025.

Exactly what the development at Warnervale will look like will be revealed in the masterplan which is currently in the pipeline.

Meanwhile a statistically representative community survey sample commissioned by Council showed that the airport was one of the least used facilities on the coast along with childcare centres.

A total of 744 people were asked questions about whether they wanted services cut or to accept the current rate variation for another seven years to assist Council’s financial situation.

“After being exposed in more detail of Council’s financial situation and action taken to address the situation, residents still generally believe that there should be the same or more investment across the 47 service areas,” stated a report to Council on the survey results. “Service areas with higher levels of ‘less’ investment include: on-street parking, Central Coast Airport, community grants and sponsorship, cultural venues, Central Coast Stadium and community events.

Roads, public rubbish bins and public toilets were top of the list of things that were most used.

Respondents were most satisfied with lifesavers, libraries, leisure centres and waste services and least satisfied with council’s performance on roads, the airport, estuaries, coastal lagoons, creeks and wetlands and coastal management.

Whilst under Administration, Central Coast Council has reversed decisions made by the elected Councillors prior to their suspension in October 2020.

Interim Administrator Dick Persson resolved at one of his last meetings in the role to knock off a proposed Conservation Agreement between Council and the NSW Biodiversity Conservation Trust (BCT) that would have permanently protected the Porters Creek Wetland which shares a boundary with the Warnervale airstrip.

Since swapping his interim general manager’s post for the Administrator’s role, Rik Hart has moved to reverse resolutions made by the Councillors to stop spending rate payers’ money on developing a general aviation hub at Warnervale.

Council is also planning to “Develop a Faster Rail position paper” by June 30, 2023 and to advocate for the planning and delivery of faster rail services.

The exhibition of the draft three-year operational plan closes on January 21.

Residents can view it here:

Merilyn Vale

5 Comments on "Airport spending will be more than $500,000 per year"

  1. It is looking like “The administrator” \will keep doing the surveys (this is the 2nd go at it) until the get the responses they want not what the citizens of the central coast want first act after the survey is to do plan to update the least popular and least used item OUT of Touch much Sigh

  2. Peter Howard | January 21, 2022 at 9:34 am |

    This is absurd.
    Irresponsible financial management like this needs to be challenged by central coast residents in court.
    The potholes in our roads are already dangerous – and getting worse – yet this clown is spending significant sums of money on an airport used by a TINY proportion of residents.
    It offers no return on investment and ignores the VAST majority of the public’s wishes.
    We need to challenge this corruption!

  3. John Hunter | January 21, 2022 at 5:12 pm |

    This is very blatant corruption. Hardly any residents use or benefit from the airstrip. At a time when we are asked to keep paying increased rates, Mr Hart thinks he can waste our money on this white elephant. We need a rate payers revolt against this administration, and an immediate return to an elected and responsible council. Mr Hart should be sacked immediately for his bias and disrespect for residents/ratepayers, and asked to return his enormous pay check.

    Could the editor please investigate the airport business plan and publish the details of current usage and income/expenditure?

  4. As it was stated by a person at a meeting in 1973 when the Warnervale air strip was first put to residents at a Progress association meeting, “if this proposal is agreed too of one take off & landing an hour, for this airstrip,it will eventually turn into another Bankstown Airport”, well that person got it right nearly fifty years later,
    I would like to know the amount of ratepayers money have been spent on this useless airport over the last thirty years, for a selected few, or should I say the political connected group of business persons.

  5. Why do the ratepayers of the Central Coast need to own an underutilised Airport and sports stadium? The Central Coast Mariners wanted to buy the stadium a few years ago perhaps it would be less of a drain on ratepayers if it were sold? The maintenance costs of both facilities must run into the millions. But perhaps the CEO and administrator have other plans? We would like to see them and explain why the council should keep them. Since they ignored the survey and only 2 options were offered squeeze more money out of the ratepayers or downgrade council services.

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