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Coast residents want the region to be considered as a standalone region. Coast residents want the region to be considered as a standalone region. Featured
10 July 2021 Posted by 

CALL BY ANGRY FEDERAL MEMBER

We should be a standalone region with Gosford as as the capital city
DALLAS SHERRINGHAM
THE tide of anger over the Central Coast being included in the Greater Sydney Covid-19 lockdown has gained further traction with the Federal Member for Robertson Lucy Wicks joining the argument.
It all comes down to the fact that Coast residents want the region to be considered as a standalone region rather than being lumped in with Sydney or Newcastle.
 
Ms Wicks has always a staunch believer in the Central Coast standing alone rather than spuriously being added on to various State Government instrumentalities including the Covid-19 restrictions as an afterthought.
 
“It’s time,” Ms Wicks said. “The Central Coast needs to be declared a stand-alone region with Gosford as its capital city, not as part of the Greater Sydney, Newcastle or Hunter regions,” Ms Wicks said. 
 
Ms Wicks, who has been lobbying the NSW Government for the region change for more than 12 months, said the extended COVID-19 lockdown had highlighted the need for the Central Coast region to be excluded from the Greater Sydney catchment definition. 
 
“Central Coast businesses are suffering under this extended lockdown and while I applaud the NSW Government for prioritising lives and keeping people safe, it has really highlighted the challenges of being lumped in with Greater Sydney,” Ms Wicks said. 
 
She has previously lobbied her Liberal colleagues over the issue.  
 
“I met with NSW representatives about this issue in August 2020 and held a stakeholder roundtable in September last year and the case for us being a stand-alone region has only strengthened since then,” she said. 
 
“The Central Coast has a unique identity,” Ms Wicks said. “We are now one Central Coast Council and home to over 340,000 residents, a population larger than Wollongong, Geelong and Hobart.  
 
“I have faith that the Premier can require the NSW Government to agree to a common definition for the Central Coast and declare Gosford as our capital city and I am calling on the state government to do so.” 
 
“By having a consistent definition, government policies can be more effectively implemented in the region, as well as giving certainty to Central Coast residents and businesses who have been confused as to whether they are eligible for government programs and why they are being lumped like greater Sydney. 
 
“We don’t consider ourselves to be part of Greater Sydney we see ourselves as the Central Coast.”
 
Ms Wicks said with a new region and capital city status, government departments could relocate to the Gosford, providing more jobs for locals. 
 
“I want to thank the Central Coast Community for all they are doing to comply with the NSW health orders but this lockdown has highlighted the frustration that many Central Coast residents feel when we are overlooked as an individual region with its own capital city. 
 
“I will not stop fighting for this change because it’s past time that the Central Coast becomes a region in its own right.”
Coast businesspeople have long been pushing for the Coast to be considered a standalone region.
 
Cr Bruce McLachlan has been a staunch supporter of the Coast as a major region. During his tenure with Central Coast Council he has continually push the virtues of a united Coast.
 
There has been a massive upswell of anger on social media attacking the State Government over its inclusion of the Coast in Greater Sydney.
 
The inclusion also means the holiday plans of tens of thousands of locals have been thrown into chaos with travellers banned from all states because of our association with Greater Sydney.
 
These include many retirees making their annual caravan trip to Queensland or around Australia. They have lost hefty deposits and payments on expensive sites and accommodation.
 
NOTE: The August edition of Central Coast Business Access will have a full rundown on the push to be a standalone region. We welcome your submissions.


editor

Publisher
Michael Walls
michael@accessnews.com.au
0407 783 413

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Central Coast Business Access (CCBA) covers the business and community issues of the NSW Central Coast region. CCBA is a prime media source for connecting with the pulse of the region and tapping into it's vast opportunities.