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Council To Oppose Offshore Gas Exploration

Wrap of meeting Wyong last night.

Council To Oppose Offshore Gas Exploration

Site for RPAC still not set in stone

An urgent report will be delivered to Central Coast Council, on possible sites for the Regional Performing Arts Centre.

Last year, council administrator Ian Reynolds decided the Leagues Club Field on the Waterfront was the best spot for the $32 million venue.

But following Monday night's meeting in Wyong, acting CEO Brian Glendenning will look at other potential sites including those owned by Council and on Crown Land.

Earlier in the day, Robertson MP Lucy Wicks updated Federal Parliament on the results of her meeting with Council staff last Friday, saying the pre-design process for the building had begun and the Leagues Club Field was the preferred location. 


Save the Whales: Bi-partisan opposition to Seismic testing

Council has unanimously voted to meet with Federal Energy Minister Josh Frydenburg, over their misgivings over the Seismic testing for Oil and Gas off the Central Coast.

As it stands, Asset Energy will use airguns to explore for the energy reserves between March 15th and May 30th, ten nautical miles off our Coastline.

The local government ultimately shared the concerns of organisers of the Whale Dreamers Festival, two of whom spoke at the meeting.

"The ethos of this event is providing a rare opportunity for visitors to learn and directly experience the impact of whales by supporting the environment," said Nikki Freeburn.

"It would be extremely incongruous for an Oil rig to be sitting 23 kilometres directly offshore, endangering the very environment we are hoping to present."

Council also plans to liaise with Newcastle and Port Stephens Councils, who will also be discussing - and voting on their positions - on Seismic testing at meetings this week.


Vote on dredging deferred

Council has deferred a decision on whether to buy a dredge, as a permanent solution to keeping the Entrance and Ettalong channels open.

Owners of the Entrance boatshed and Central Coast Ferries Lane Whitfield and George Conway spoke on the urgent need for such a solution.

"If nothing is done to quell the sand migration, we will be unable to launch our boats for the first time in 96 years," said Ms Whitfield.

While Mr Conway said vessels were constantly running aground in Brisbane Water, and ferry operators were frightened to report it out of fear of being prosecuted by the Maritime Safety Authority.

During debate, Director Mike Dowling said the dredge could cost up to $15 million.

While the Councillors moving the motion tried to get it voted on last night, ultimately the local government supported Mayor Smith's suggestion to receive a briefing from staff before making a decision.


Amendment to align Gosford and Wyong tree management policies adopted

Wyong Landowners will now need an application before they can remove a tree or vegetation on their property.

Central Coast Council adopted a reworded chapter of the Wyong development control plan, to make it consistent with Gosford's.

Wamberal Property Valuer Paul Links spoke on the need for the change.

"I valued a property at San Remo a couple of years ago, and was called back to the property about 12 months later. At the first inspection I made notes about some beautiful mature cork trees, and as I walked to the back boundary I could see the stumps of these trees."

"I said to the kid there, 'Why did you takes the trees out?', he said 'Because they were diseased.". I asked 'Who told you they were diseased?'...'The developer.'"


Councillors to visit Japanese sister city in May

Council tonight resolved to send a delegation to Edogawa City in Japan in May on a cultural exchange visit as part of our Sister City relationship and to re-sign the agreement.

Reaffirming the agreement with Edogawa City will see Council continue its 30 year mutually beneficial friendship and cultural exchange.

Mayor Jane Smith said the agreement is more than connecting the Central Coast to Japan, it is about mutual understanding and trust fostered through broad exchanges in education, culture, industry and economy.

“We recently accepted a donation to build a Japanese Tea House in the Japanese Commemorative Gardens at the Gosford Regional Gallery which will help strengthen our ties and knowledge of Japan within the community,” Mayor Smith said.

“Re-signing the agreement will not only complement the additions to the Gardens, it will also enhance our friendship and cultural exchange.”

Council has allocated up to $25,000 to send the Mayor, Deputy Mayor Holstein, Councillor Mehrtens, and two staff to Japan for five days for the delegation visit.


Council updated on Operational Plan progress

Council tonight received its quarterly report detailing Council’s performance against the 2017-18 Operational Plan. 

At the end of Q2 (31 December 2017) Council’s overall progress has tracked well, with 67 projects on target and 7 behind. Six projects have already been completed.

The Q2 year to date operating surplus (excluding capital income) is favourable to the budget by $42.3 million, consisting of an actual surplus of $133.8 million compared to a budgeted surplus of $91.5 million.


Council’s development approvals streets ahead of Regional Plan targets

Council’s quarterly report into the activities of the Development Assessment and Environment and Certification Units reveal 6,181 additional dwellings have received approval since the commencement of the Central Coast Regional Plan, more than 2031 ahead of the target of 4150.

894 development applications were determined in the final quarter of 2017 alone including 155 additional lots and 599 dwellings including secondary dwellings, detached dwellings, dual-occupancies, multi dwelling housing and units within residential flat buildings.