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Message from the RDA Central Coast Chair – December 2019

13-12-19

As we have worked throughout the year to drive economic development across the Central Coast and create more local jobs, there has been one core focus at the centre of these efforts: collaboration.

Regional Development Australia Central Coast (RDACC) has been a driving force throughout 2019 in calling for increased collaboration between all levels of government, business and industry, to present a unified voice for our region that attracts funding for large-scale, critical infrastructure projects to expand our capabilities and support our growing population.

We have also led efforts to establish and facilitate collaboration and cooperation between government departments, industry sectors and multi-regional networks.

Earlier this year, we proudly hosted the launch of the NSW Food and Beverage Manufacturing Industry Development Strategy, which aims to encourage statewide development of the food and beverage manufacturing industry – NSW’s largest agribusiness sector, consisting of 3600 businesses and employing close to 70,000 people.

This Strategy reinforced the themes of our own Central Coast Food Innovation Initiative – which include collaborating for commercial advantage and creating a fit-for-purpose workforce.

We expanded our international relationships and strengthened trade and export opportunities by jointly hosting the 27th NSW-Guangdong Joint Economic Meeting regional visit to the Central Coast.

Regarded as the most significant trade and investment initiative between NSW and China in 2019, the Sister State relationship between NSW and Guangdong facilitates mutually beneficial economic and trade opportunities for both areas.

Following our continued campaigning for a coordinated development approach of Tuggerah and its surrounding areas, we applauded the $2.8 Billion announcement to redevelop the Westfield Tuggerah site and adjoining land into a major hub of employment, transport, leisure and education.

Furthermore, we acknowledge this as a critical first step to a coordinated approach to land use and infrastructure planning designed that will act to drive further investment, encourage residential growth around existing rail and bus interchanges, boost tourism and sporting events, and create local jobs.

In recognising the critical role our developers, construction companies and broader building and development industry plays in creating and shaping the continued growth of our local economy and our region as a whole, we shone the spotlight on some of our biggest contributors, through our ‘Quality Development on the Coast Series’.

This Series will continue in 2020 to showcase the landmark work of this critical sector and the invaluable contribution it makes to the continuing viability of our entire region.

In the spirit of cross-regional collaboration, we investigated opportunities with RDA Hunter for greater collaboration and enhanced advocacy through joining forces on a multi-regional scale. As a united voice for more than 1 million current residents, which will grow to close to 1.3 million people by 2036, we are harnessing these opportunities to join forces and help both regions reach our full potential.

We lent our voice to call for calm, consideration and transparency in regional debate surrounding, continued progression toward a single Local Environmental Plan (LEP), funding for a permanent pathway at Winney Bay and the future of Central Coast Regional Airport.

As we continue to advocate for cooperation on behalf of all regional stakeholders, we again reiterate that all decisions moving forward need to be made with broader community benefits at the forefront of our decision making.

During 2019, we have been pleased to work together with all of our MPs and elected representatives, as well as government, non-government, industry, educational, community and business leaders to achieve positive results for our community.

We look forward to continuing to strengthen these relationships as we work together over the coming year, with the development of an updated Central Coast Enabling Infrastructure Priorities List taking to be delivered early in 2020 to guide the critical priorities for our region and work to build on the $800M+ of funding previously attracted under this initiative.

A special acknowledgement to our Central Coast Food Innovation Initiative Project Partners — Central Coast Industry Connect and the University of Newcastle (including the Newcastle Institute for Energy and Resources NIER) – thank you for the crucial role you play in working to establish our region as a coveted food destination and enhancing opportunity and capability across this important growth sector.

To our RDACC Board members and our Director Regional Development, John Mouland, I would like to thank you all for your ingenuity, integrity and vision. I look forward to continue working with you all to establish the Central Coast as a productive, viable and sustainable region in 2020 and beyond.

Merry Christmas,

PHIL WALKER

RDACC Chair