Balance shifts to Wyong in new carve-up

11-07-2018 by admin

COUNTER-PRODUCTIVE: Former Gosford mayor and Liberal MP Chris Holstein has questioned the merit of a ward system in the new Central Coast Council. Picture: Phil HearneTHREE of the five wards that will comprise the new Central Coast Council will be in Wyong Shire, sparking speculation that the power balance in the new entity could lie in the shire.

Wyong and Gosford councils opted to voluntarily merge as part of the state government’s Fit for the Future reforms.

On Thursday, the state government formalised that local marriage as it announced the creation of 19 merged councils from 44 old ones.

Both Wyong and Gosford councils were effectively sacked, and Ian Reynolds appointed council administrator until a new Central Coast Council is elected in September 2017.

Former Wyong mayor Doug Eaton supported the merger, saying one of the major benefits for residents would be the increased influence that a united Central Coast Council could apply when seeking funding and support from state and federal government.

The government announced that the 15-person Central Coast Council would comprise five wards, each represented by three councillors:

Gosford West Ward;Gosford East Ward;The Entrance Ward;Wyong Ward; andBudgewoi Ward.Long-serving former Gosford mayor, and former Liberal state MP Chris Holstein opposed the ward system, arguing that it would only add to the historicnorth-versus-south mindset that had plagued the region.

“They’ve tried to say let’s come together as one entity to promote the Central Coast as a region. Then they’ve divided in into five subsets,” Mr Holstein told ABC Central Coast Radio.

The ward system would prove counter productive, he said.

“It will not be in the interests of the populace of the Central Coast.”

Mr Holstein said the five wards created for the new council would have vastly differing populations, and he questioned how the boundaries were determined.

Former Wyong Council general managerRob Noble has been appointed interim general manager, with former Gosford general managerPaul Anderson his deputy.

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