Chair’s Message – March 2022
In the first quarter of 2022, RDACC has been leading the way in tackling some of our region’s biggest barriers to growth, competitiveness and sustainability, as we re-emerge to seize new opportunities in this post-pandemic era.
High priority items on our agenda include:
- A lack of available development lands
- Progression of a regional airport
- Better connectivity via high-speed rail; and
- Major improvements to our public transport system.
RDACC looks forward to working closely with the Greater Cities Commission (formerly Greater Sydney Commission), in coordinating the collective participation of all levels of government and industry to address our regional challenges, and help make Sydney and its surrounds more globally competitive.
This expansion of the Greater Sydney Commission late last year to include Wollongong, Newcastle and the Central Coast, means we now need to get up to scratch and address some of the biggest issues that have been holding us back.
Being part of a six-city region from Wollongong to Newcastle and with Parramatta in the west, means we need to become as resilient as possible, so we can hold our own and support the growth of all involved.
This growth means more local jobs, better education and training opportunities, a stronger workforce and more competitive business and industry on a regional, national and global level, which is what needs to happen if we want to have a sustainable future.
Arguably, the biggest issue currently holding us back is our lack of available land for development.
If we’re serious about creating local jobs, we need to open up land for development. We still have 35,000 people leaving the Central Coast to travel for work every day, which impacts heavily on family and community life.
RDACC is calling on all levels of government to develop solutions to fast track commercial and industrial development approvals, address bio-certication and planning issues, and investigate innovative funding solutions to unlock these vital employment lands to deliver jobs on the Coast.
We also need to investigate all options including pursuing the development of lands adjacent to the M1 to take advantage of the widening of the M1, NorthConnex and the development of Western Sydney Airport & Aerotropolis.
Addressing these issue isn’t about blame. It’s about all of our regional stakeholders working together to address the shortage of jobs on the Central Coast and to advocate on behalf of our entire region for more local lobs for our growing regional population.
Our regional connectivity and transport issues are also preventing our region to reach its full potential.
RDACC has long been a supporter of the need for a regional airport. This would represent a significant milestone in our regional connectivity and we are very pleased this important issue is now back on the state government agenda.
An airport on the Central Coast will create more than 2,500 jobs, including well-qualified roles such as technicians, engineers and air traffic control. Several comprehensive studies have been undertaken on the benefits this development would have on our entire community and now its time to take action!
In addition to a regional airport, we need to explore the possibilities for greater connectivity across all of our transport systems.
High-speed rail between Sydney and Newcastle is something we have heard about for a long time, and with recent election promises being made in this regard, we need to explore the most effective and feasible solutions to make this work.
It’s also imperative that we address the major issues with our existing public transport network, which is worse than it was ten years ago! As a strong regional community, we deserve better and as such, we need our governments to provide a public transport network worthy of a sustainable and resilient Central Coast.