Community enraged by delayed Council election

Vicki Scott

The announcement that the next Central Coast Council election will not be held until September, 2024 has enraged a broad cross-section of the community, says Labor’s Central Coast Local Government Committee.

Committee Chair, Vicki Scott, said the region faces another two years under administration “for no obvious reason other than to progress the current NSW Government’s agenda”.

“The residents and ratepayers of the Central Coast have no democratic representation at a time when the Government is speeding ahead with profound changes to the character of this region such as turning us into one of Six Cities,” Scott said.

“The merger of the former Gosford and Wyong Councils, after more than five years, is a train wreck.”

Scott said residents and ratepayers are paying more for their land and water rates to service commercial loans, have had services cut and will be watching the infrastructure backlog grow for the next decade.

“The councillors have been sacked but the professional arm of Central Coast Council appears to be fumbling along and nothing that the community was promised if we amalgamated has come to fruition,” she said.

“Where are our improved roads? Where is the revitalized Gosford City? Where is the promised infrastructure funding?” she asked.

“Nothing has been gained and we have lost our democracy until September 2024.”

Scott said residents and ratepayers will not forget about the failed Council merger when they vote in the State elections next March.

“There is no reason to delay holding a Council election other than political expediency,” she said.

“This decision must be reconsidered.

“Meanwhile the community will continue to call for a demerger and a properly constituted inquiry into the merger debacle.

“We want our local government democracy returned and we deserve a better explanation of why that can’t be done before September 2024.”

Copacabana Residents Association is also agitating for a review of the decision and will push for the Council elections to be held in tandem with the State elections next March.

Terry Collins

7 Comments on "Community enraged by delayed Council election"

  1. Don’t put the blame on the merger, blame incompetence in those elected to manage the council. The sooner we have an election the sooner we go back to what we had pre the sacking.
    Look forward for the solution not back.

  2. Jim Perkins | June 9, 2022 at 1:56 pm | Reply

    John, are you for real? The amalgamated council was bound to fail. It was grossly underfunded, only $20 mil for amalgamation was provided by the state. Peanuts for a $700 mil organisation illustrates just how underfunded it was.
    Any corporate amalgamation allocates a serious budget to restructure, in addition they bring in expert merger people. None of this happened. Merger savings happen only happen after several years of investment. Yet, our council has no savings on the horizon! Instead we have increased costs! This is really bad management from state government and their paid state government public servants.
    To expect new councillors to navigate a complex corporate merger without any help is disingenuous.
    FACT: It was the State Government Administrator who raised our rates and the water rates and sold assets and reduced services. An elected body would never have allowed that.
    The CC Council was cut loose by a disinterested and/or incompetent State Government!
    Now we are all paying huge tax(rates) increases for some very obvious State Government incompetence and disinterest.
    This state government was and is largely responsible for this mess and they need to come up here and own it and pay for this incompetence.

  3. The Minister should explain how the Central Coast .. among the largest mergers in NSW .. received a mere $10m whilst Hornsby received $90m .. tiny by comparison and didn’t merge

  4. Bush tucker boy | June 10, 2022 at 11:31 am | Reply

    Great, and its not Guringai Country

  5. Geoff Robertson | June 10, 2022 at 5:41 pm | Reply

    Jim Perkins, just imagine what mess we would be in today if the councillors were to have continued in office. Bankruptcy is not pretty, but the State Government you obviously despise stepped in and stopped the rot and the administrators have got us back on track. Why in hell would we want to chance the possibility of another mob of dills taking over before the recovery is well established.
    And I, for one, am not outraged.

  6. Why anyone would want to go back and embrace the very reason we all ended up in this $500 million mess we must repay through increased rates totally escapes my logic.
    The council is a multi million dollar enterprise and, at all levels, should be run by a competent financial administrator, as we have now, until the debt has been repaid.

    Once that is done, fine, lets have council elections, but only where prospective candidates have the necessary qualifications and proven ability to successfully manage an enterprise such as Central Coast Council and no.. the ability to hug Koalas, focus on minority groups and chase cashed up developers away from the Central Coast is not the prime criteria anymore.
    That is what got us here in the first place and no amount of the “same” is going to produce a different result.

    The problem is the DEBT the ratepayers have been left to repay. It has everything to do with elected councilors not acting in the best interests of ratepayers and nothing to do with “democracy” or council mergers or the state government incompetence
    The only way you can fix debt is to repay it, and given the events that have caused the debt in the first instance the last thing the burdened ratepayers need is another lot of financially incompetent elected councilors.

  7. this had nothing to do with the council amalgamation, it had to do with utter incompetence by the councillors themselves, not one of them should be allowed to stand again, if they were unaware of the spending that led to the problems, they should never have been in council to start with, if they knew, they should be charged, either way they should never be allowed to stand for local government again, a bunch of trained puppies could probably have faired better, and blaming the state government is a cop-out as well, they are not there to control council, what the hell was council doing, in any case, buying land that could never be used, never be rezoned, headless chooks the lot of them..

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