Editorial - Are we a part of Sydney? Or a stand alone region?
THIS IS A conversation that needs to be had. Why? Because no one really knows or understands who, what or where we figure in the scheme of things.
This has come home to me in recent months following the publication of our annual Investment Prospectus which for the past 20 years has focused on the Central Coast being its own region. With our 2016- 17 Investment Prospectus we took a different view, having spo- ken to Sydney based investors and property developers. All took the view that we should focus on being part of Sydney. After all Penrith and Parramatta, while calling themselves Western Sydney see themselves as part of Sydney. They have always seen the advantages of leveraging off what is a global brand while promoting themselves to very good effect. It is a good point. And so this year’s Prospectus highlights the fact that we are Sydney’s Central Coast. The aim is to leverage off the fact that we are just an hour from a city that ranks in the Top 10 Global Cities. A wealthy city of over four million people. Australia’s international gateway, Australia’s main financial centre, a real estate market that continues to attract foreign investors. And on it goes. The Central Coast has long been part of the Greater Sydney Metropolitan Area but governments both state and federal have always seen us differently when it comes to politics and funding. Perhaps its our fault because we see our- selves differently. Undoubtedly part of the problem is the no-mans-land that exists between Wahroonga and Kariong and the river that runs through the middle. It has always been a psychological barrier. Anyway its time for us to stop looking inwardly and think globally After all with all the new residential developments that are now underway and the investment that is taking place, it is happening. Our article on Page 14 Council increases tourism marketing funding raises an inter- esting question. Whatever happened to the Business / Tourism Development Levy that Gosford Council has been charging all the business ratepayers for the past 25 years? This levy had always been shown on the Rate Notice separately until a few years ago when that ceased and all the levies were grouped together with the general or busi- ness rate. The Business / Tourism Levy is calcu- lated at 1.5% of the business ordinary rate and Council collects better than $200,000 per year. When introduced this levy was to be applied 50% towards economic develop- ment and 50% to tourism marketing and that was the case with Wyong Council con- tributing an equal proportion which they took from the General Rate. The economic development share of the levy originally was paid to the Central Coast Regional Development Corporation which morphed into Business Central Coast and when that organisation fell apart one would suppose that council pocketed the funds. We know that Central Coast Tourism received the funds from Gosford although over the years Wyong’s contribution was always smoke and mirrors and came with strings attached. We know that CCT did an excellent marketing job however the money that went to the CCRDC and BCC went straight down the drain.
Edgar Adams, Editor
Back Send us your comments