Wyong Shire Council: Highlights 22/07/15 Council Meeting #Wyong #CoastTimes #CentralCoast #News
Media Release – 22 July 2015
Highlights of 22nd July, 2015 Wyong Shire Council Meeting
Council is Committed to Increasing Tourism, Investment and Employment Opportunities Across the Shire
Council wants more strategic management and promotion of tourism, investment and employment in the Shire and will explore a number of options and will establish a stand-alone Shire wide events and promotions body to be fully funded and supported by Council.
Tourism is seen as a key economic driver for the region and when coupled with strategic investment and strong promotion of events and activities means jobs and opportunities for the Shire’s growing population.
Council will enter into negotiations with The Entrance Town Centre Management, Greater Toukley Vision, Central Coast Tourism and Wyong Regional Chamber of Commerce to give effect to Council’s new direction. The General Manager will be required to report back to Council the outcome of the negotiations.
Mayor Eaton said: “More tourists and investors coming here, means more jobs – it is that simple – and jobs are our number one priority.”
“Council is working hard to make the Shire more attractive for tourists and investors with record spending to make our lakes and beaches the best in NSW, and are building a world class skate park and state of the art performance centre.
“This investment together with strong promotion of the Shire and an exciting calendar of events will all contribute to driving visitors and jobs into our region.”
“Currently Council spends $2 million on various promotional bodies in the region – a huge amount of money in anyone’s language.
“We need one body that takes a holistic approach to promoting the Shire – and get more bang for our community’s buck.”
Council Will NOT Prepare a Planning Proposal to Rezone Land at The Entrance
Council will not prepare a planning proposal, which would have been the first step in a proposed rezoning of a vacant parcel of land near The Entrance Community Centre so as to permit medium density development.
The land was originally gifted to the community by the Taylor family for a school site and was in the hands of the Department of Education for a number of years.
The Department of Education then sold it off to a private investor but there is a strong feeling in the community that it should be left alone as it will provide environmental protection to a wide variety of flora and fauna which frequent the site.
Mayor Eaton said: “The community are united in their opposition to the proposal to rezone this land as it is the last land of this type in the area.
“We are losing enough vegetation around the lakes and we need to step in and protect where we can.”
New Tourism Accommodation is Coming for Gwandalan
The Gwandalan Bowling Club has been given the green light to start the rezoning process that could enable a future tourist accommodation development on the site.
Council had originally deferred making a decision on the proposal until a community meeting was held. Over 180 residents attended the meeting on June 3 and the overwhelming majority were in support of the proposal.
The Club also presented Council with a petition signed by 500 people in support of the proposal and the minutes of a Club meeting where 122 members were in support.
The proposal will be forwarded to the Department of Planning for a “Gateway” approval so as to proceed with the rezoning process.
A rezoning will clear the way for the Club to then lodge a development application to build a number of hotel rooms in an area currently lacking in adequate tourism accommodation.
Council is Delivering Major Projects On Time and Within Budget
Council is delivering on its promise to provide better services and infrastructure with $37.8 million in capital works projects and $12.64 million in road works currently tracking on time and within budget.
The local road network is undergoing a major transformation with upgrades to Goorama Avenue in San Remo, Kanangra Drive and Ruttleys Road due to be completed by the end of the year.
The long awaited rebuild of Alison Homestead will be finished within weeks delivering on a promise to return the historic homestead to its former glory following the devastating fire.
There is no stopping construction of the long awaited $12.7 million performing arts centre – The Art House with block walls to the theatre and studio well progressed and half of the all important fly tower complete.
Just across the road works on creating a piazza style Frank Ballance Park are ahead of schedule and will be open again to the public in November, well before The Art House opening.
Norah Head boat ramp is well and truly back in operation and enjoyed its official opening just last week. The $2.85 million project is testament to what can be delivered when the three tiers of government work together. This week the new pedestrian bridge at Saltwater Creek will be in and a big opening is planned for Sunday 2 August.
Council will spend a record $66 million this financial year on roads and $105 million on capital works – one of the highest spending Councils in the state.
Mayor Eaton said: “Our Shire is literally being transformed as these major projects take shape and make good on the promise to deliver jobs and opportunities for our community.
“The Art House is a project particularly close to my heart and it is just so exciting to know it is on track for a Christmas completion date.
‘We know our community want better roads and with our second year of record spend well and truly underway, residents will certainly be able to see what a difference a great road can make.”
Shire’s Beaches Water Quality Still Second to None
Wyong Shire is home to the best beaches in NSW with all of the 22 swimming locations declared safe under the Beachwatch Partnership Program.
Water quality is monitored, under this Program, by the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage to provide information to the community so they can make informed decisions about where and when to swim.
Mayor Eaton said: “We know we have the best beaches in the state and it is heartening to have that consistently confirmed by an independent body.
“The water may be a bit chilly right now but those who still love swimming in the cooler months can do so with confidence knowing the water will be clean and safe.”
June DA Approvals Top $29 Million
In June 151 Development Applications (DAs) were approved representing $29 million of investment with the potential to create 290 jobs in the Shire – the highest result since February.
DA turn-around times are still some of the best in the State at 21 days for more complex DAs and just 12 days for homes and minor structures.
Mayor Eaton said: “Investor confidence in the Shire is at a record high and that is great news for our community.
“This is no accident and is a direct result of our own investment in infrastructure and services that is putting Wyong on the map as a great place to live, work and invest.
“It is a testament to our dedicated and hardworking planning staff who are committed to turning around high quality development applications quickly and efficiently.”
Recruitment of a New General Manager Underway
Council tonight appointed recruitment advisor Davidson Executive for initial professional advice about recruiting the next General Manager for Wyong Shire Council.
Council formally thanked outgoing General Manager, Michael Whittaker, for his outstanding service and assistance in the recruitment process going forward.
said: “Council wants to cast as wide a net as possible to ensure we get the best candidates we can to move our Shire forward.
“They will have big shoes to fill as Michael has been an outstanding General Manager and has really delivered for Council and the community.”
Article Compiled by Gaye Crispin, Coast Times