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Chair’s Message – September 2022

29-09-22

In the wake of the change of government following our federal election, government and industry leaders around the country are finding new ways to work together as they adjust to the shift in dynamics, and changes to people and policies.

The Central Coast is no exception.

In this post-federal-election era, Central Coast leaders from all realms are finding new ways to work together for the benefit of our region.

With the state election scheduled for March next year, this era of change offers a genuine opportunity for Central Coast leaders to come together and advocate on behalf of the 360,000+ people we represent.

It offers us the opportunity to put regional outcomes ahead of individual interests, regardless of party politics or political persuasions.

Here at RDACC, we’re known for continuously calling for regional collaboration from all levels of government and sides of politics, because we know that working as a united front is the best way to attract funding, large-scale infrastructure, and investment, to deliver the outcomes our region so rightly deserves.

One new face we’re very much looking forward to working with is the recently appointed Minister for Regional Development, Local Government and Territories, The Hon. Kristy McBain MP.

Together with our CEO John Mouland, I recently had the pleasure of meeting with Minister McBain, ahead of the National Jobs and Skills Summit.

This meeting was part of a regional roundtable with representatives from across NSW to help inform discussions at the Summit about the challenges our regional industries are facing in attracting and retaining skilled workers.

These roundtable discussions then became the voice representative of regional communities at the Summit event.

Another major challenge we are facing here on the Central Coast is a lack of affordable housing. This impacts our overall economic growth, with many of our region’s biggest employers expressing the difficulties they have in attracting and retaining skilled workers in the areas of health, hospitality, manufacturing, construction and many others.

To help address this significant issue, we partnered with Business NSW and Pacific Link Housing to coordinate the first-ever Central Coast Housing Forum.

The Forum brought together over 100 local leaders to discuss the impact of housing affordability gaps for the region and collectively consider potential solutions. These included:

  • The impact of housing shortages on the recruitment and retention of staff.
  • New housing models that provide affordability through innovations in financing and ownership types.
  • The need for broad community support for solutions such as increased development of new infill medium density housing in appropriate locations.
  • Increased monitoring of rent setting at affordable housing properties that have received planning concessions.

The next step in this process will be Pacific Link Housing and RDACC producing a ‘Statement of Affordable Housing on The Central Coast’, which will present a unified position and outline the elements required to deliver more affordable housing for our region.

Collaboration continues to be key in successfully overcoming any of the regional challenges we experience. Facing them head-on and as a united force helps to reduce these hardships for the good of our entire community.

This time of political change presents a rare opportunity for the Central Coast to present a strong and powerful voice on the advocacy agenda for all levels of government, industry and investment.

Let’s not waste it.

Lawrie McKinna
Chair

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