Media Release: Administrator says no to a popular vote on de-amalgamation

The administrator has ruled out giving the Central Coast a popular vote on de-amalgamation at the September Council elections.

Administrator Dick Persson has also declined to withdraw the Gosford Council building from the asset sales list.

Greens candidate for Budgewoi ward Sue Wynn said: 

“We stand firm in our belief that residents deserve an opportunity to have their say on the amalgamation and whether to reverse it – that is entirely their privilege.

“We will now be commencing the process of collecting enough signatures to obtain a Boundary Commission Inquiry. We are mindful that the surveys of central coast residents conducted before amalgamation showed widespread opposition to the merger. While that isn’t our favoured option, it will at least enable everyone to be heard and firmly held views to be considered. The Boundary Commission will then recommend the Local Government Minister either maintain the amalgamated Central Coast Council or de-merge into new Wyong and Gosford Councils.

“By now, everyone is acutely aware of the Council’s financial situation and, if the residents choose to opt for a de-merger, this would also be in the knowledge of the costs associated with it.

“Yes, a de-merger would involve additional cost, but it is unclear if these would be as excessive as for the bungled amalgamation.

“It is not contentious to say that the NSW Government strongly pursued consent for the unpopular amalgamation. It follows that the State Government should be expected to contribute to and assist with re-establishing the two former Councils if that is what people really want.

“We have put the administrator on notice that there is considerable interest in our community to explore a de-merger”

“To now proceed with the sale of the Council building in Gosford is a reckless act which seeks to close the door on a potential new Gosford Council.

“The Central Coast can absolutely come back from this stronger and better. The return of our Central Coast Mariners from the bottom of the league table to lead the competition is an inspiring reminder that no one should write us off.”