Central Coast to join five other regions to form megacity

Elizabeth MildwaterElizabeth Mildwater CEO of the Greater Cities Commission.

It’s official – the Central Coast is to be combined with five other cities to form a ‘megacity’, a move which has been applauded by both sides of the political spectrum and the business community in the region.

The recent passing of the Greater Cities Commission Bill 2022 in State Parliament will see the Greater Cities Commission bringing together the Lower Hunter and Greater Newcastle, Central Coast, Greater Sydney and Illawarra-Shoalhaven to create a globally competitive city region, with City Commissioners to be appointed from each of the regions involved.

The Bill received support from all Coast MPs with an amendment which ensures the Coast’s Commissioner will reside in the region and be reviewed in five years’ time.

Parliamentary Secretary for the Central Coast, Adam Crouch, described the Bill as “an excellent piece of legislation” which will establish a framework for the region’s priorities.

Parliamentary Secretary for the Central Coast, Adam Crouch

“Having a Central Coast local as the Commissioner to implement the priorities of our region is absolutely appropriate,” Crouch said.

He said major priorities for the region included locating a university campus in the Gosford city centre, expanding the health services in Gosford to support the Central Coast’s growing population to generate more local jobs and facilitating faster transport connections between regional centres.

While welcoming a recent allocation of $1B in the Federal budget to increase the speed of rail between Wyong and Tuggerah, Crouch said more needed to be done.

A fourth priority would be increasing the amount of serviced industrial land on the Central Coast to support expanded industries such as food technology and advanced manufacturing without local government “roadblocks”, he said.

“That brings me to the fifth priority, which is streamlining the planning process to remove barriers, such as uncertainty and wait times, for businesses that want to locate on the Central Coast,” Crouch said.

He said a sixth priority for the region was establishing a high-speed internet network in the region.

Shadow Minister for the Central Coast, David Harris CCN337

Shadow Minister for the Central Coast, David Harris, said he hoped the appointment of a dedicated commissioner would result in better coordination for the region.

“There are people wanting to invest but are held back by infrastructure delivery, particularly access to sewerage,” he said.

“There needs to be a concerted effort to match infrastructure requirements with growth so that more local jobs can be delivered.”

While supporting the Bill with amendments, Member for Gosford, Liesl Tesch, said the establishment of the Greater Cities Commission was a band aid solution to a much larger problem of continued poor planning on the Central Coast.

Liesl Tesch State MP for Gosford

“We need to see actual investment in properly planned infrastructure with future-proofing for our community,” she said.

She said the Government had demonstrated a lack of foresight in removing the position of Minister for the Central Coast and Labor continues to believe that this position is vital in ensuring our voices are heard in Macquarie Street.

“It is great to talk about taking our region forward, yet there needs to be substantial investment in delivering appropriate infrastructure seamlessly for a population that is set to rise from 360,000 to 415,000 by 2036,” she said.

“I hope that with this new strategy we will finally see infrastructure improve as population increases.”

Chief Executive Elizabeth Mildwater of the Commission said they would focus on bringing stakeholders together, “Each of the six cities will build on its own signature strengths and character. We’ll keep what’s working well today in each city and supercharge this with the combined power that comes with being part of the larger world-class city region,” Ms Mildwater said.

Central Coast Council CEO, David Farmer, said the inclusion of the Central Coast in the plan highlighted the strategic importance of the region.

Central Coast Council CEO, David Farmer

“Bringing the Central Coast into strategic planning alongside Newcastle, Wollongong and Sydney has the prospects of seeing more opportunities open up for funding big game changing infrastructure to benefit the whole region,” Farmer said.

Council Administrator, Rik Hart, said the Greater Sydney Commission recognised that it was important for Council to have a seat at the table in planning and delivering on the strategic vision for the region.

The move has also been welcomed by Business NSW Central Coast, which says it is a positive step forward for the Central Coast and the state.

“Business NSW has been heavily advocating for an aligned strategy that connects Sydney’s major cities and we were pleased to see that the Greater Cities Commission will be tasked with bringing this strategy to life,” Regional Director, Paula Martin, said.

“Business NSW sees the megacity strategy as an opportunity to fully shape the region including the Gosford CBD for future employment growth particularly in areas where we are seeing high demand for jobs in health, professional services, technology and data driven sectors underpinned by the newly launched medical precinct and much anticipated education precinct.”

Sarah Winter has been appointed Executive Director Central Coast.

Sarah Winter has been appointed Executive Director Central Coast with a City Commissioner yet to be appointed in consultation with Central Coast Council.

Minister for Cities, Rob Stokes, said by bringing Newcastle, the Central Coast and Wollongong together with Sydney regions in strategic planning, the cities would be more prosperous, safer, cleaner, smarter and more fun to live in or visit.

“Like San Francisco’s Bay Area, the Netherlands’ Randstad and China’s Pearl River Delta, a region of interconnected cities can be more productive, resilient and innovative than cities standing alone,” he said.

“With three international airports, three deep water ports and six of the world’s top 200 universities, we have an enviable base to build our future.

“Thinking laterally will deliver better jobs, housing, education, health and lifestyle opportunities for a population which is expected to hit eight million in the next two decades.”

The Commission will develop a six cities strategic plan for discussion in mid-2022, before the finalisation of a new Region Plan by the end of 2023.

Terry Collins

22 Comments on "Central Coast to join five other regions to form megacity"

  1. This is a gross negligent act that has not been agreed to by the citizens off the central coast. This nothing a council and government corporations fraudulently spending tax payers money that they have embezzled from tax payers with out their permission. Nothing more then ten another criminal act

  2. David Dixon | April 7, 2022 at 7:47 pm |

    Who think up this crap? Have the people of the Central Coast been consulted…and I mean genuinely consulted ..

    About this stupid action.
    Many people moved to the Central Coast for a more relaxed and less stressful lifestyle and the last thing they seek is to be part of a so-called mega city. If this was a bi-partisan decision then I will not be voting for any of the current representatives.

  3. this feels like a scam by the liberal government to take away power from the already weakened local council(due to the amalgamation, which was caused by wyong being a labor region) as the labor party refuses to jump into bed with land developers to benefit the small group of rich land developers, unlike the corrupt liberals who have done just that in both sydney proper and the greater sydney area

  4. Population to hit 8 million in the next 20 yrs? Our Motorway is a carpark now?…..

  5. Terry Kesby | April 8, 2022 at 6:50 am |

    Who pays. State government I hope. More people at the top and less providing the services. Remember we don’t have any money for desk jockeys.

  6. John Mcbryde thaijohn@live.com | April 8, 2022 at 8:19 am |


  7. Where did this come from? It sounds like a globalisation push to remove an individuals identity with an area. Could this be the start of a push to try and change our culture from an individualistic to a collectivist culture. As this will make society easier to monitor and control!

    • Mate, I’m pretty sure that your local council lost all of it’s money in crappy off shore investments.

  8. How does Central Coast and Shoalhaven get to be linked together ??? ( Sounds like there is the basis of a ‘ plan ‘ happening here ??? – but given the record of the Current corrupt NSW state Govt the cynicism of the previous comments here are all well considered !

  9. Bob Doyle | April 8, 2022 at 5:54 pm |

    Okay, but without a focus on liveable spaces, cultural facilities, agricultural pursuits, i.e. food production, as well as an absolute commitment to preserving green spaces and water quality for wildlife we could be shooting ourselves in the proverbial foot. How does one develop a sense of belonging to a mega city? That will be a major challenge too.

  10. This proposal lacks vision for the ‘people’ of the central coast. We continue to hear about economics while we have significant housing shortages, above average rates if domestic violence, mental distress, suicide rates of young people above the national average and high rates of homelessness. Funding for community based organisations will dwindle away as the big players work with neoliberal government. Two tier societies continue.

  11. Peter Bailey | April 8, 2022 at 9:24 pm |

    Another layer of administration won’t fix the root of the problem.

  12. Megan L Lawther | April 9, 2022 at 12:45 am |

    Ridiculous the Central Coast should of remained as is. THE RADUIS of the new mega city seems not reasonable nor necessary. it should not take me 2 hours to drive across A city! police, for example the district’s stay the same or all be combined into 1? E.g gosford wyong newcastle syd? Alot of bothered people with housing wanting central coast specific region but now that’s a very broad term!! What the??!

  13. Peggy Mansfield | April 9, 2022 at 8:08 am |

    This is the worst idea ever! We and many others like us have moved up to the Central Coast to get away from the rat race of the city! There has been no consultation with us regarding this. We are the rate payers and we elect in good faith our local politicians to represent our needs and wishes to the powers that be but we have heard nothing of these ghastly ideas until now! We can’t allow this mega city to happen!

  14. Murray Bergin | April 9, 2022 at 8:15 am |

    Just what we don’t need. More government. More public servants. More red tape. More reasons to take more time and more money to do anything.

  15. Murray Bergin | April 9, 2022 at 8:16 am |

    Who was asked and who voted for this?

  16. Welcome to your new smart city. Resilient city. No thanks

  17. Wow. This is what is completely wrong with the Central Coast. A small, very vocal minority that runs down any chance of any development. Take the Gosford CBD for example. Every proposal of merit gets knocked on the head by blow ins who retired here and don’t want any change.
    Self centred and completely out of touch with the majourity. Time they took a back seat for once.

  18. You are absolutely disgraceful!!!! Where was the referendum for this to be done since you’re using tax payers money???? You disgusting money hungry xxx !!!!

  19. Is a mega city just another name for Smart City and all that goes along with that? How can we trust politicians and or councils when huge changes are made like this without consultation or explanation to its citizenry. Too much power in the hands of the few.

  20. We moved here to get out of Sydney, now you want to bring it to the central coast, shame shame leave it as a region,
    Maybe you should be taking notice of these comments as we do pay you wages and want results instead of wasting tax payer money on things that people here don’t want, again decisions made without tax payers consent,
    Just like the money that was siphoned out the councils that we trusted,
    Lower our rates and use this billion dollars to fix there theft, seeing that you have not got the guts to reclaim it from these ex councilor theaves.

  21. This is called corralling the people to form a collective that the government of the day can control, like sector 7 G from the Simpsons. Who are these CEO’s that we’ve never heard of, nor want to? You people don’t get it we don’t like, trust nor want you in our lives, so nick off.

Comments are closed.