Chair’s Message – December 2022
2022 has seen the Central Coast emerge from the widespread impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, that has hindered communities around the world over the past two years.
This year has been one of rebuilding and reimagining, as we take stock of how all our lives have changed and together, we find a new way forward.
This rebuilding phase has seen unprecedented regional collaboration, in which all levels of government and key stakeholders have been working together to attract funding, investment and enabling infrastructure to the Coast to propel and support our community into its next era of growth.
Big wins for 2022 include:
- RDACC partnered with Infrastructure Australia to develop the Regional Strengths and Infrastructure Gaps Report, which highlights opportunities in healthcare, manufacturing and tourism on the Central Coast.
- A $420M federal and state government upgrade was announced for the Pacific Highway through Wyong, totalling over $2B in funding brought to the Coast as a result of the Critical Infrastructure Priorities List.
- The NSW Government announced $18M for a University Campus in Gosford and $500M for higher speed rail connecting Newcastle – Sydney, to match the Australian Government’s $500M pre-election funding commitment.
- Return of the Central Coast Airshow attracted in excess of 20,000 visitors and provided a significant boost to our local economy.
- Following the Airshow success, RDACC reignited its advocacy efforts for the development of the Central Coast Airport and a light aviation precinct at Warnervale.
- Together with Business NSW and Pacific Link Housing, RDACC brought over 100 business leaders together at the inaugural Central Coast Housing Forum to discuss the impact of housing affordability gaps for our region.
- Following on from the Forum event, Central Coast Council named Pacific Link Housing as its official partner in the first stage of council’s Affordable Housing Land Proposal program.
- The $17.2M Coast Food Manufacturing Precinct and Innovation Hub project at Lisarow will become a reality, with an official federal budget allocation for its construction.
- RDACC joined the Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA) NSW, in hosting a fourth Central Coast Developer’s Forum, which saw government representatives, regional leaders and local developers coming together to improve development and economic outcomes for the Central Coast.
- RDACC officially backed the Gosford Waterfront revitalisation project and encouraged all residents to have their say during the official consultation process.
- Council approved the 2022 Key Enabling Projects Prospectus, detailing 12 projects of significance that have been identified as infrastructure funding priorities for the Central Coast over the next 3-5 years. As the driver of the original Critical Infrastructure Priorities List, RDACC is a key supporter of this advocacy strategy.
As we head toward a state government election in March next year, we hope to build on the momentum of collaboration and cooperation which has achieved so much for the Central Coast over the past 12 months.
We will continue to fiercely advocate for the funding, enabling infrastructure and economic prosperity that our regional community so rightly deserves.
RDACC will also look a little different in the coming year. We have recently streamlined our Board in alignment with the priorities of the updated RDA Charter and to ensure a best-practice governance model.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all our outgoing board members for their service to our community, making a special mention of Chris King, who has been a member of the RDACC Board since its inception in 2014.
Thank you also to Edgar Adams, Joe Coyte, Kerry Harman, Clare Keogh, Chris King and Frank Sammut for your guidance, wisdom, and commitment to the Central Coast community during your respective tenures.
In looking forward, the RDACC Board will be comprised of eight members, with the current sitting positions held by myself (Chair), Anna Cruckshank (Deputy Chair), Tamara Bucher, Mike Dowling, Stephen Glen, Matt Kelly, Ron Mussalli and Chris Smith.
I thank each of you for your service to date and look forward to continuing our work together to ensure the Central Coast is a thriving, sustainable and productive place to live, work and play for future generations.
Lastly, I would like to thank RDACC CEO & Director Regional Development, John Mouland, and Executive Assistant, Elizabeth Saltwell. This small and mighty team works tirelessly to achieve so much for our region and I acknowledge your significant contribution.
I wish every citizen of the Central Coast a happy, healthy, and restful festive season and hope for only good things for us all in 2023.