CCBR Business Review

15 CENTRAL COAST COUNCIL Interim Administrator, Dick Persson AM has said that Council’s financial situation could be worse than the $89 million deficit projec- tred following a rigorous budget review. He has indicated that, apart from getting expenditure under control, the only way to cover the deficit will be to borrow funds and sell off property. While these moves will solve the short- term crisis the only long term means of get- ting Council’s financials onto a sustainable footing has to be expanding the rate base. This was something that the last CEO of Gosford Council, Paul Anderson, was com- mitted to after seeing where that council was heading shortly after he took up the job. Expanding the rate base involves approv- ing development application and expand- ing the economy. For over 20 years both Gosford and Wyong councils have done all they can to frustrate all forms of development, from new factories in zoned industrial areas to residential developments in new subdivi- sions and high rise apartment buildings. The Lederer Group and St Hilliers’ multi- million dollar developments in Gosford CBD, Borg Manufacturing $20 million facto- ry at Somersby Industrial Area, a 1,500 block residential sub-division at East Wadalba (see Page 18) that has been delayed first by Wyong Council and now Central Coast Council for the past eight years are just the tip of the iceberg. CCBR understands that there are hun- dreds of DA’s being held up unnecessarily by staff in the new Council. Numerous other employment generat- ing projects are being held up with excuses that are entirely spurious. Service The economic cost of stopping development Central Coast Greater Sydney NSW GRP (2019) $14.3M POPULATION 342,000 5.23 M 7.99 M POPULATION GROWTH RATE 10 Year Average 0.9% 1.9% 1.4% MEDIAN AGE (2017) 41.8 36.1 37.5 EDUCATION Bachelor’s degree of higher (2016) 14% 32.7% 23.4% UNEMPLOYMENT RATE (March 2019) 5.4% 4.5% 4.3% YOUTH UNEMPLOYMENT RATE 14.6% 10.4% 13.6% AVERAGE WEEKLY HOUSEHOLD INCOME (2016) $1,595 $2,118 $1,889 LOCAL RESIDENTS JOURNEY TO WORK BY PUBLIC TRANSPORT 2.7% 25.3% 16.0% Additionally, incompetence, or a direct attitude to stop projects at the behest of some councillors using the environment as an excuse, on the part of Council’s Planning Department are proving to be obvious. The economic cost of stopping these developments, always on spurious grounds, is having a catastrophic effect on the regional economy. In late November the Business Council of Australia came out in support of business investment saying “business investment equals jobs”. CCBR is aware that local real estate agents are being inundated with enquiries from Sydney businesses looking to locate on the Central Coast, particularly now with the opening of the NorhConnex. Unemployment The Central Coast has the highest unem- ployment and youth unemployment rates in NSW (see Table). It also has he lowest Household Income in NSW Education As well, and even more disturbing, the region also has the lowest numbers of residents with a university education in NSW. The University of Newcastle is committed to a new Campus in the Gosford CBD. This is being supported by the Gosford Erina Business Chamber. The Federal Government has backed this Campus with Student Places thanks to the Member for Robertson Lucy Wicks. Meanwhile the NSW Government con- tinues to prevaricate on providing a contri- bution of $18 million plus the site for the Campus near Gosford Railway Station. In a region with a population almost the size of Canberra the majority of students who wish to attend university are forced to leave the region with most going to universities sin Sydney. Our current economy Source: Central Coast Economic Development Strategy N E W S Get results! For further information phone 4367 0733 or email ADVERTISE YOUR PROPERTY IN CCBR CENTRAL COAST BUSINESS REVIEW DECEMBER 2020