Regional Development Australia Central Coast (RDACC) is calling for immediate action from all levels of government to progress the long-promised Warnervale urban centre precinct.
Urgent progress is needed on several large-scale catalyst projects to create essential employment opportunities and support the projected population explosion for this section of the Coast, RDACC says.
With Warnervale and its surrounding suburbs anticipated to be home to about 57,000 people by 2041, the precinct will need to support close to three times its current population within less than two decades.
RDACC Chair Lawrie McKinna said lengthy delays to the proposed Warnervale Town Centre had come at a significant cost to the local economy and regional employment market.
“Warnervale has been earmarked as the Coast’s next major urban centre for over 20 years, with much talk about the hundreds of jobs that will be created as a result of a major town centre development and substantial infrastructure upgrades,” he said.
“Despite the ever-growing population boom in this area, to date not a single job has been created due to the endless red tape and indecision stalling these critical projects.
“This lack of action is a massively missed opportunity for our local economy and keeps people needing to travel away from the Coast to work due to a lack of local employment options.”
RDACC Deputy Chair Anna Cruckshank said the amount of available land in and around Warnervale made it a prime location to become the next major centre for the Central Coast.
“Our existing urban centres have very limited available residential land surrounding them, which is prohibitive to large population influxes in the coming years,” she said.
“With the comparative abundance of residential land available in the Warnervale area, and many residential housing developments already underway, it’s the prime location to contribute to addressing our growing housing shortage and become the next major centre for the Central Coast.
“However, with such a huge influx of people moving to Warnervale and its surrounding suburbs, we need to provide the jobs and infrastructure to support a sustainable and productive future for such a high-growth area.”
RDACC CEO John Mouland said it was time to work together to enable Warnervale to reach its full potential and remain competitive with neighbouring regions.
“All levels of government need to be working together now to kick-start catalyst projects such as the town centre development and Mountain Rd intersection upgrade to finally enable Warnervale to reach its full potential,” he said.
“Just north of Warnervale, development is happening everywhere across Lake Macquarie and we are being left behind.
“There’s been enough talk and now it’s time for action: we need to unleash the potential in the Warnervale area and support its current and future population growth by creating local jobs for its ever-growing local residents.”
Earlier this year, Central Coast Council released its draft Greater Warnervale Structure Plan for community consultation.
A final Plan is anticipated to come back to Council for approval by the end of 2023.