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RDACC Budget response: region deserves better

20-06-19

Regional Development Australia Central Coast (RDACC) has welcomed announcements in the recent NSW State Budget regarding infrastructure funding across the Central Coast, however says as a region we need to start working together to attract critical, large-scale enabling infrastructure funding from the NSW and Commonwealth Governments.

RDACC Chair, Phil Walker, urges all regional leaders to come together to attract the funding we deserve.

“It’s the responsibility of our regional leaders to provide a united voice, to attract funding that will drive the economic development of our region and benefit every resident, in terms of employment opportunities, access to quality facilities and services, and to ensure a sustainable and prosperous future for the Central Coast,” said Mr Walker.

“While it’s great to see money being allocated to improving infrastructure on the Coast, particularly $150M+ for road upgrades and $60M+ dedicated to redevelopment projects at Gosford and Wyong hospitals – these are mainly commitments to continue existing projects, and what we really need to focus on as a region is proactively attracting funding for significant enabling projects that will ignite the Central Coast.”

RDACC CEO and Director for Regional Development, John Mouland, said it’s our responsibility to work proactively and collaboratively to attract the level of funding for catalyst projects that will impact the entire community.

“The time is now to be working together across all levels of government and industry to be preparing the business cases for the large-scale, game-changing projects that are really going to change the future of the Central Coast for the better and allow our region to achieve its full economic potential,” said Mr Mouland.

“RDACC is looking forward to working with council, local members and key regional stakeholders to develop a renewed Regional Infrastructure Priorities List that will allow our region to develop competitive business cases to viably compete with other regions for essential state and federal infrastructure funding.

“This process will also build on the recent regional collaboration efforts to identify key enabling projects for funding consideration under the $4.1 Billion Snowy Hydro Scheme Legacy Fund for Regional NSW. These projects include the Tuggerah Employment and Lifestyle Activation Precinct (and Food Innovation Centre), Somersby – Mt Penang Employment Precinct and the Gosford Hospital Health, Education and Research Precinct.

“We also need to be focusing our efforts on transport linkage projects such as the fast rail and current M1 upgrades, and the NorthConnex initiative that will improve connectivity to metropolitan centres and the opportunities that these projects will provide to our entire community.”

Mr Mouland further explained the Central Coast had historically not received its fair share of funding.

“The Central Coast is one of the largest regional population centres in NSW, and it is fair to say that historically we have not received our appropriate share of State and Federal funding,” added Mr Mouland.

“And although it is easy to blame all levels of government for this ongoing challenge, we as a region need to learn from other successful regions that have decided to take a more collaborative approach to the identification of suitable enabling infrastructure projects, the building of competitive business cases for funding, and deployment of whole-of-region lobbying processes to secure required funding commitments.

“It’s time for our region to stop complaining, to put aside political agendas and individual ideologies and present a united voice on behalf of our 350,000 residents (forecasted to grow to 414,615 by 2036), to proactively attract the funding the residents of the Central Coast and our future generations deserve.”