GOSFORD CITY SURF CLUB REDEVELOPMENT PROJECT A new era for our region
Surf Club Feature
DECADES OF COMMUNITY
A NEW ERA The opening of Wamberal Surf Life Saving Club on 19 March and Killcare Surf Life Saving Club on 8 May 2009 marked the end of a ten year program to redevelop eight Surf Life Saving Club buildings. The Gosford City Surf Club Redevelopment Project was made possible through long term community support and commitment. Funding for the project was received from the NSW Department of the Arts, Sport and Recreation Surf Club Facilities Development Grants, Australian Government Water Fund Grants and Gosford City Councilâ€™s overall investment of more than $15 million.
The Surf Life Saving Clubs at Wamberal, Terrigal, North Avoca, Avoca Beach, Copacabana, Killcare, Ocean Beach and Umina Beach now boast well equipped, state-of-the-art buildings which will not only accommodate the needs of lifeguards and lifesavers but directly contribute to the safety and general well being of all users of Gosford City beaches.
Photographs: Karl Schwerdtfeger
The redevelopment of the Gosford City surf life saving clubs provides improved facilities for community use including first aid rooms, boat sheds, meeting rooms, offices, kitchen areas and function rooms which can also generate important revenue streams for the clubs.
COMMUNITY ANNUAL REPORT 08-09 Gosford City Council
Wamberal Completed Mar. 2009 Cost $2,392,900
Terrigal Completed Jan. 2001 Cost $1,277,966
North Avoca Avoca Beach Copacabana
North Avoca Completed Jul. 2002 Cost $603,083
Ocean Beach Killcare Umina Beach Copacabana Completed Mar. 2007 Cost $2,667,440 Avoca Beach Completed May 2005 Cost $2,248,031
Ocean Beach Completed Oct. 2007 Cost $2,493,638
Killcare Completed May 2009 Cost $2,562,757
COUNCIL COMMITTED Umina Beach Completed Nov. 2007 Cost $2,184,669
TO THE REDEVELOPMENT
Cover: The Killcare Surf Life Saving Club was officially opened on 8 May 2009 following its $2.56 million redevelopment. Photograph: Karl Schwerdtfeger
OF 8 CLUBS, OVER 10 YEARS.
1,028 THE GOSFORD LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA COVERS
and is nestled between the major cities of Sydney and Newcastle. The area boasts a diverse coastline on the Pacific Ocean defining the eastern boundary, the vast Hawkesbury River to the South, and the Judge Dowling Ranges forming part of the western boundary, while to the north lie Wyong and Cessnock Shires. The natural environment around the greater city includes open coastal areas and estuary beaches, escarpments, plateaux, waterways, wetlands and national parks. Culturally, the city embraces a diverse mix of people from many ethnic backgrounds who are passionate about the rich diversity of rural and aquatic aspects the area offers.
Messages from the Mayor & General Manager
THE GOSFORD CHALLENGE
Keeping You Informed
Year In Review
Supporting Families, Youth & The Elderly
Expanding Education & Skills Development
Promoting Health & Safety
Enhancing Arts & Culture
Protecting The Environment
Creating Economic OppOrtunity & Employment
Improving Transportation & Infrastructure
Strengthening Local & Regional Identity
Photograph: Karl Schwerdtfeger
Messages from the Mayor & General Manager
Gosford City Council is rising to the challenge to provide the people of Gosford with the world class regional city of which our community is worthy. Council has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the NSW Department of Lands, committing to work together to revitalise the City Centre. The appointment of a strategic design partner, the Cox Group, has brought us ever closer to achieving a cohesive and purposeful vision for the rejuvenation of our city. The redevelopment of Kibble Park is complete, providing a green heart from which the rest of the city can grow. The $2.3 million park redevelopment project features a new playground, shade sails, water feature, performance area, landscaping, pedestrian pathways, increased security lighting and an upgrade to the existing café. Underground water tanks have been installed to irrigate the park via stormwater harvesting. Our community has got behind The Gosford Challenge with pride and passion. Over 1000 citizens of all ages and stages of life, differing abilities, diverse vocations and with varying
During the past year, Gosford City Council has continued its commitment to provide the people of Gosford City with high quality services and facilities across the region. The redevelopment of the Gosford City Centre has been boosted by the achievement of significant project milestones including the formalisation of a Memorandum of Understanding with the NSW Department of Lands, the appointment of a strategic design partner, and the redevelopment of Kibble Park. As part of the Gosford City Playground Strategy, North Gosford and Pearl Beach residents are enjoying improved
connections to the city of Gosford attended the ‘Have Your Say Days’ at Gosford, Woy Woy and Erina to contribute to the transformation of our regional centre.
cultural development of our region. Gosford City Council is working with the Darkinjung Land Council to foster greater relations with the local Aboriginal community.
Across greater Gosford, the opening of the new Killcare Surf Life Saving Club marked the eighth and final surf club to be redeveloped under Gosford City Council’s Surf Club Redevelopment Project.
Gosford City Council is committed to creating a cohesive and integrated community, providing services and facilities of a superior standard for all community members and creating a regional capital city that represents the
Gosford City Council is committed to creating a cohesive and integrated community, providing services and facilities of a superior standard for all community members and creating a regional capital city that represents the diversity, talent and pride of all who live and work in Gosford City. The project—which had an overall investment in the redevelopment of Gosford City surf life saving clubs of over $15 million—has seen the Avoca, Copacabana, North Avoca, Ocean Beach, Terrigal, Wamberal, Umina and now Killcare surf clubs receive substantial upgrades.
diversity, talent and pride of all who live and work in Gosford City. The challenges ahead are many but—with Council and the community working together—we can ensure a better place for ourselves and the generations to follow.
The inaugural meeting of the democratically elected Darkinjung Land Council signifies a new era in the
Mayor of Gosford City Councillor Chris Holstein
community facilities with the opening of new playgrounds in these areas.
In a progressive move, Gosford City Council became one of the first councils in NSW to award eighteen weeks of paid maternity leave and two weeks of paternity leave to its employees—a decision supported by the Local Government and Shires Association and applauded by family and community groups.
The coastal community is celebrating the completion of the Surf Life Saving Club Redevelopment Project, with surf clubs at Wamberal and Killcare being officially opened earlier this year. Community members were invited to have their say about the future of Brisbane Water, with workshops held at Wagstaffe, Gosford and Woy Woy, contributing to the development of a Brisbane Water Estuary Management Plan. Work has begun on the new $4.3 million Peninsula Recreation Precinct in Umina. This development will give residents and the broader community access to first class facilities that complement the region’s ability to host both local and regional sporting and community events.
The past twelve months has been an exciting and dynamic time for Gosford City Council. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Council’s dedicated and talented staff who work hard to provide the essential services and premium facilities that underpin the core of our community.
General Manager Peter Wilson
The Gosford Challenge In November 2007 Gosford City Council launched a major long term initiative to renew and revitalise Gosford City Centre. This was in response to community views expressed strongly through Vision 2025, the NSW Government‘s designation of Gosford as the regional capital of the Central Coast, and the need identified in the NSW Government’s Central Coast Regional Strategy to create at least 6,000 new jobs and 6,000 new homes for 10,000 people in the City Centre by around 2030. Last year was one of laying strong foundations for the project now known as The Gosford Challenge. The Department of Lands (custodian of much Crown land within the City Centre boundaries) joined Council as a joint sponsor of the project, contributing funding and resources. This year, Council drew together people with the best minds and experience available to make sure that we get this right, and worked closely with the major stakeholders—government departments, landowners, infrastructure providers and specially convened community groups—to make sure all were on board. In early November 2008 Lands Minister, Tony Kelly, and then Minister for the Central Coast, John Della Bosca, joined with Mayor of Gosford City, Councillor Chris Holstein, to announce there would be ‘no turning back’, demonstrating that the renewal project had the full support of both levels of government. Together they launched the nationallytargeted Request for Proposals (RFP) to select a strategic design partner to prepare a masterplan.
The RFP was a substantial document that, amongst other things, spelt out Council’s goals and philosophy for the renewal. It was important to set the right tone for the whole project. Council’s overriding requirement was for a visionary, inclusive masterplan that clearly sets out the process by which change will occur, flowing naturally into the first ‘concrete’ steps of renewal itself. The RFP drew both national and international responses. After a rigorous review process, the Cox Group—an urban design and architectural firm headquartered in Sydney with an international client base and portfolio— was selected, and started working with The Gosford Challenge team late in the financial year. Parallel to assembling a pre-eminent design and masterplanning team, the Challenge team began investigating Council and community requirements for the renewal of civic facilities including meeting spaces, a regional library, and other potential options. The possibilities range from refurbishing existing facilities, through purchase and adaption of an existing building, to new construction on a greenfields site. Council has held preliminary discussions and explored technical issues with the receivers of the Town Centre Building (formerly known as Market Place) on Henry Parry Drive. The Gosford Business Improvement District Association, known as GBID, saw its first year of operation in 2008/09. Midway through the previous year, Council approached business people in the City about their interest in setting up a non-profit organisation with the sole purpose of enhancing the vitality of the City Centre. They enthusiastically embraced the idea and set up GBID, which commenced
operations in July 2008, with local businesswoman Deborah Warwick as chair. GBID has been building support amongst commercial property owners and business operators. It has run many events and promotions, significantly improved safety, reduced antisocial behaviour, and contributed to beautifying parts of the City. During the year, work started on the final stage of the upgrade of Kibble Park. New facilities include a modern playground, outdoor stage and revamped restaurant. Each facility will contribute to making Gosford City Centre more attractive and, in combination, encourage more people into the park. Just before year end, The Gosford Challenge team, its advisors and the Cox Group familiarised themselves with the research done through Vision 2025, and the feedback from stakeholders and community groups, to develop a succinct vision for the project. It became clear from the research that the vision was: To develop and grow Gosford as a ‘world-class’ waterfront regional city, within Greater Sydney. Council will test this vision statement with the community in the coming year. Realisation of this vision will deliver a city that all Central Coast residents will have pride in and want to visit. It will create jobs for this and future generations, reducing the number of people commuting outside of the region for work. There will be more entertainment and cultural choices, more options for education, as well as excellent health and sporting facilities—all of which will reduce the need for residents of the Central Coast to commute or relocate.
6,000 TO CREATE AT LEAST
new jobs & new HOMES FOR TEN THOUSAND PEOPLE
Chris Holstein Mayor
Craig Doyle Deputy Mayor
Chris Burke Councillor
Peter Freewater Councillor
Amy Houston Councillor
Your Council Every four years, ten Councillors are elected to represent the Gosford City community and to direct and control the affairs of Council in accordance with the Local Government Act. The Councillors review Councilâ€™s performance, its delivery of services, financial and management plans, and its annual budget.
In September 2008 local government elections were held in Gosford City. The elected Councillors, who will serve for the next four years, are: Chris Holstein (Mayor) Craig Doyle (Dep. Mayor) Chris Burke Peter Freewater Amy Houston Terri Latella Jim Macfadyen Laurie Maher Vicki Scott Jeff Strickson
Terri Latella Councillor
Jim Macfadyen Councillor
Ordinary Council meetings are open to the public from 6.45 pm on the first and fourth Tuesdays of the month, with a reconvened meeting on the second Tuesday of the month. Meetings are held on the first floor of Council’s administration building at 49 Mann Street, Gosford. Agendas for these meetings can be obtained from Council’s website at www.gosford.nsw. gov.au or from Gosford City libraries from 12 pm on the Thursday prior to the meetings.
Laurie Maher Councillor
The Gosford Challenge The Gosford City Centre Protocol In late 2008, Gosford City’s elected Council jointly agreed to an important step in moving forward on the revitalisation of Gosford, signing the Gosford City Centre Protocol. The protocol states: We, the undersigned, representing the full spectrum of political viewpoints hereby affirm our support for proceeding without delay or interference, with the process of identifying the best possible masterplan and development pathway for the renewal of our city centre. Whilst our differences may be many, and the cases we put before the electorate in relation to a wide range of political, social and community issues
Vicki Scott Councillor
Jeff Strickson Councillor
will be varied, on this one issue we speak with a single voice: Gosford has waited long enough for the city centre it deserves. Quite properly this joint commitment is confined to the process itself. It can be expected (and the community would expect it of its elected representatives) that, in time, robust debate will ensue over specific elements, and the various priorities attached to different individual projects. But all Councillors, as attested to below, stand behind the professional officers of your Council as they progress with the development pathway. We affirm this in the knowledge that residents of Gosford and environs would not wish to see this critical process unsettled or derailed by the upcoming elections. We share with residents in the view that Gosford has waited long enough.
Peter Wilson General Manager
Gary Chestnut Environment & Planning (Acting)
Stephen Glen City Services
Nic Pasternatsky Corporate Services
Terry Thirlwell Community Services & Organisation Development
Rod Williams Water & Sewerage
Colleen WorthyJennings City Centre Development
Operational Structure Gosford City Council is structured into six main areas of operation under the guidance of the General Manager, Peter Wilson:
City Centre Development The responsibilities of this Directorate are the implementation of the City Centre LEP and Vision 2025 pertaining to the Regional City, development of a masterplan with identified catalyst projects, and development of partnerships with relevant state departments.
Community Services and Organisation Development The responsibilities of this Directorate are community development, library services, arts and culture, customer services and communications, organisational development, the internal auditor, and the Mayor and Councillorsâ€™ assistants.
This Directorate is responsible for waste services, engineering services, construction operations, maintenance operations, emergency services, fleet services, and recreation and natural resources.
This Directorate manages finance, information management and technology, supply, contract management, legal services, property services, and the secretariat.
Environment and Planning Integrated planning, business services, development, education and compliance, and the development assessment team are managed by this Directorate.
Water and Sewerage The responsibilities of this Directorate are asset management and planning, regulatory services, operations, the performance management team, and the technical support team.
Photograph: Karl Schwerdtfeger
921,503 OVER THE PAST YEAR FROM Gosford city LIBRARIES
BOOKS WERE BORROWED
Keeping you informed Every year, a range of printed communications is made available to the community aimed at keeping residents informed. These publications are available through Council’s customer service centres, libraries and via its website located at www.gosford.nsw.gov.au The special publications produced this year include:
Magazines Coast Community – a news publication delivered free to residents via the local newspaper every four months. Community Annual Report – an annual publication that summarises the key business activities of the previous financial year.
Planning and Strategy Documents Vision 2025 Corporate Plan 2007/08–2009/10 Supplementary Sustainability Report 2009 Water Plan 2050 Gosford Integrated Water Cycle Management Strategy Gosford City Playground Strategy
Special Interest Newsletters Green Living News – a free publication for community members interested in learning how to reduce environmental impacts around the home and workplace. Natural Areas News – a free publication to keep bush carers and community members informed about Bushcare and other environmental activities occurring in Gosford City. Little Green Steps – distributed to childcare centres and pre-schools involved in the Little Green Steps sustainability program, providing environmental education for classroom activities. ArtGos – a free quarterly publication distributed to Friends of the Gallery members and volunteers of Gosford Regional Gallery and Arts Centre. Centre Stage – a free quarterly publication distributed to theatre patrons providing information on upcoming theatre events. The Greenhouse News – a free publication distributed to local primary schools providing information on relevant environmental issues, activities and available funding opportunities. Gosford City Library Newsletter – a free monthly newsletter, available from all library branches, containing information about upcoming events including storytime, book clubs and information sessions. Water News – appearing fortnightly in the local newspaper, this advertisement features information on water restrictions, storage levels, usage targets, consumption, and water saving tips. Gosford Connect – appears weekly in the local newspaper, containing information on upcoming events, workshops, initiatives and projects.
Community Grants Newsletter – a new initiative, this newsletter provides information on projects that have been implemented, upcoming projects and general grant information. This newsletter is developed and sent out quarterly to community groups across the Gosford LGA and can be accessed on Council’s internet site.
Other Council Publications • Building and Development • Cats and Dogs • Council and Accessibility • Council and Our Environment • Gosford City Library • Gosford City Water Supply • Guide to Our Waste Services • How Council Works • Our Community Services • Our Gallery and Theatres • Recreation Facilities Location Guide • Rumbalara/Katandra Reserves brochure
Vision 2025 “Welcome to Gosford 2025 - an enterprising, sustaining, creative community where residents live rewarding lives. Gosford’s strong local and regional identity is shaped by its unique setting of bushland, open space and waterways, and its network of diverse, village-like communities. In Gosford, we promote economic opportunity, provide for a caring community, and protect our natural environment. Development is compact, well planned and supported by efficient transportation, sound infrastructure and quality urban services. Gosford sustains its residents by offering them opportunities to learn, work and excel, supporting their health, safety and wellness, and nurturing their artistic and cultural life. Belonging to Gosford means living in an inclusive community that responds to the needs of its people - both today and for future generations.” Gosford Vision 2025 A Strategic Direction for the Future
In February 2006 Council adopted the Gosford Vision 2025 - A Strategic Direction for the Future planning document. Developed in consultation with the Gosford City community, this document identifies eight key focus areas identifying the City’s vision for the future: Creating Economic Opportunity and Employment Improving Transportation and Infrastructure Protecting the Environment Strengthening Local and Regional Identity Enhancing Arts and Culture Promoting Health and Safety Supporting Families, Youth and the Elderly Expanding Education and Skills Development These focus areas now form the basis of all Council operations and reporting structures, including this document.
YEAR IN REVIEW
JUL Gosford City hosted the 2008 Australian Sister Cities Association National Conference, kicking off with a cultural friendship walk at Gosford Regional Gallery which includes the Gosford Edogawa Commemorative Garden. The conference was attended by international delegates who joined
AUG The Green Living Fair took place at Erina Fair with recycled craft activities, a lot of worms, and clown shows used to teach children simple and fun ways to reduce waste and conserve energy and water.
OCT Council was a major sponsor of the Brisbane Water Oyster Festival and Blessing of the Fleet held on 9 November. The event showcased the Peninsula and local oyster farmers.
Council celebrated NAIDOC Week on 10 July with a flag raising ceremony and morning tea.
Gosford City Reads promoted early childhood literacy, and featured activities in Kibble Park, Gosford and Erina Fair Shopping Centre including: story telling, reading relays, author talks and a teddy bears’ picnic. During a two week visit to the Central Coast, students from Gosford City’s Japanese sister city, Edogawa, took part in busy program including a water safety education and surf training course run by Council’s Gosford City Surf School.
their Australian counterparts to celebrate the theme Sense of Place and enjoy a range of activities. Gosford City Council also signed a spirit of friendship agreement with its sister cities of Edogawa, Japan and Nitra, Slovakia to commemorate the twentieth anniversary of their sister city relationships.
National Ride to Work Day on 15 October promoted the community benefits of cycling including reduced traffic congestion and pollution problems. Winners of the 2008 Gosford City Garden Competition were announced on October 16 at an awards
DEC The inaugural Central Coast Recognition of Excellence Awards were presented on December 3 as part of the worldwide celebrations for International Day of People with a Disability.
The Grandma Moses Art Exhibition received 165 entries in 2008. The exhibition’s official opening and awards presentation took place on 16 September.
Council was a major sponsor of the Australian Springtime Flora Festival held at Mount Penang Parklands from September 11-14. presentation at Gosford Regional Gallery. Winners included John and Lesley Cleary in the category Champion Residential Garden over 1000 square metres. Best School Garden was awarded to Holgate Public School and Best Waterwise Garden went to Papayla Children’s Centre. The Jarrett Street Playground in North Gosford was officially reopened on 24 October with the new design featuring plenty of shade; open space for games and picnics; and a range of swinging, climbing and rocking play equipment.
Council was a major sponsor of the 2GO Newcastle Permanent Carols at Central Coast Bluetongue Stadium, with thousands enjoying the entertainment and fireworks display. The Gosford Waterfront New Year’s Eve Festival came alive with the Council sponsored Family Fun Race Day at Gosford Racecourse; a Central Coast Mariners football match against Perth Glory; and live music, an aerial circus show and a spectacular fireworks display over Brisbane Water.
Live art, musicians, light shows, buskers, jazz concerts, dancing, interactive workshops, boutique markets and special Chinese New Year celebrations were just some of the highlights of the Summer in the City event hosted in Kibble Park from 19 to 25 January. The Gosford City Australia Day Community Awards were announced on 23 January at a ceremony and gala dinner held at Central Coast Leagues Club. Award categories included Business Person, Environment, Volunteer, Senior, Youth Photograph: By Victoria
and Community Event of the Year. The 2009 Citizen of the Year was awarded to Ken Duncan for the contributions made through his art as well as his work helping young people, particularly indigenous youth. National Australia Day Ambassador, Little Patti and Local Ambassador, Lucky Starr, joined Gosford City residents in celebrating local Australia Day activities on 26 January. More than 30,000 people attended the festivities at Gosford waterfront, Wagstaffe and Woy Woy.
Seniors’ Week was marked by an array of activities from BBQs, bush walks, bike rides and canoeing to line dancing, a cricket match and a cruise on Brisbane Water. The 2009 Gosford City Harmony Day was celebrated at the Central Coast Youth Centre, Niagara Park. Embracing the theme Different but One, the activities included art displays, international food tasting and contemporary cultural performances— all designed to promote peace and community harmony.
MAY The new Killcare Surf Life Saving Club was officially opened on 8 May by President, Clr Jim Macfadyen. It was the eighth and final surf club to be redeveloped as part of the Gosford City Council Surf Life Saving Club Redevelopment Project.
MAR Council’s Status of Women committee hosted celebrations for International Women’s Day throughout Gosford City. Activities included a march through Gosford City Centre, art exhibitions, a breakfast and a candle lighting ceremony.
Over 100 members of the community attended the Brisbane Water Estuary Management Study and Plan Workshop on 4 April to hear about the findings of the study and provide feedback on areas where issues have been identified. The Kariong Festival, held at The Hill Youth Centre, was a major part of Youth Week celebrations. The event featured a hip-hop dance performance, Taiko drumming display, mural painting and other youth-centred entertainment and activities.
A flag raising ceremony with guest artists commemorated Reconciliation Week. Gosford City was declared a Refugee Welcome Zone on 16 June. Council declared its commitment in spirit to welcoming refugees into the community.
In its fourth year, the annual 5 Lands Walk provided a journey of art, culture and entertainment along the coastline through MacMasters Beach, Copacabana, Avoca Beach, North Avoca and Terrigal. The walk saw local and international artists and entertainers, historians, walkers, environmentalists and the Aboriginal community come together and celebrate. The Filipino community was also recognised for their contribution to Gosford City on 30 June with an official ceremony signifying Philippine National Day.
Supporting families, youth & the elderly Forty-eight local community and cultural groups shared approximately $200,000 in grants from Council’s Community and Cultural Development Grants program. This program is open to all non-profit community organisations for the purpose of undertaking a community development or cultural development project. Projects range from festivals, workshops and exhibitions through to targeted projects of varying sizes that assist local populations such as children, youth, the elderly, indigenous groups and people with a disability. Over the last financial year requests for funding have far outweighed the allocated budget, making the grants program very competitive. Consequently, the projects that do gain approval are diverse, innovative and of the highest standard. In addition to the Community and Cultural Development Grants, Council provides assistance to small volunteer-based community non-profit organisations that provide a service to residents of Gosford LGA. Council provides funds for the printing of material to be used for promotion, with forty-three organisations receiving $250 each in 2008, totalling over $10,000 in support.
Supporting Children Council continued its high quality child care programs with each of its eight centres maintaining their affordability and higher than recommended staff to child ratios. All centres are staffed by qualified, dedicated professionals with a diverse range of skills, knowledge and backgrounds. All long day care centres and vacation care services are fully accredited with the National Childcare Accreditation Council (NCAC).
In November 2008 all of Council’s child care centres went live on the Australian Government’s new Child Care Management System (CCMS). The centres operated by Council consist of seven long day care centres, one occasional care centre and two vacation care services. The centres are always a hive of activity. In the past year activities included our own Olympic Games; Father’s and Mother’s Day celebrations; and environmental, water safety and healthy eating talks. The centres also hosted Aboriginal educational activities; fundraising events; Harmony Day celebrations; Christmas parties; various excursions; and visits from the fire brigade, Healthy Harold, reptile shows and the Easter Bunny.
Council’s child care centres provided many activities in support of the Children See, Children Do theme for National Child Protection Week in 2008. In addition to self defence classes, information sessions took place with the aim of increasing the children’s awareness of their own feelings, and how to help keep themselves safe in various situations. Council’s centres continued their work promoting cultural awareness with the children celebrating Chinese New Year. The children prepared Asian style food; dressed up in traditional Chinese outfits; played with traditional Chinese instruments; and made fans, lanterns and potpourri. In November 2008 all of Council’s child care centres went live on the Australian Government’s new Child Care Management System (CCMS). All child care services use their CCMS registered software to record child enrolment and attendance information which allows easier calculation and payment of child care benefit fee reductions. Gosford City and Wyong Shire Councils commenced a joint initiative with the Department of Education and Training to facilitate a more effective transition to school for children. The initiative focuses on the area of literacy and assists children attending Council run preschools transition to their respective Department of Education school.
There are currently around 140 playgrounds in the Gosford LGA and under the Gosford City Playground Strategy there is an objective to open/upgrade 106 playgrounds in total. Playgrounds have a vital role to play in the health and well-being of children and are just as important for adults, offering social interaction and promoting healthy family activity. Council is committed to providing the local community with playground facilities throughout the Gosford LGA that meet Australian Safety Standards and encourage safe and imaginative play. Council continues to work in partnership with the local community to achieve this aim.
Supporting Older People and People with a Disability Council has continued to provide support to older people and people living with a disability through improved access to Council facilities, projects, events, and information on government agencies and service providers. Home and Community Care (HACC) Development and Training projects provide HACC agencies with advice, training, promotion and support. Council’s HACC training team has the Kariong Youth Centre as its base. Council’s Positive Ageing Strategy remains a key document to ensure ongoing priority is given to: improvements in the physical activity status of our older community members; support of a flexible lifestyle
with opportunities for leisure and learning; increased mature aged participation in the workforce; and a lifelong contribution to their community. The education programs held at Council’s senior citizens’ centres have attracted large numbers and positive feedback. These programs included seniors’ driving education; tax help seminars; fire evacuation training; and a series of education talks presented by COTA (Council on the Ageing). The upgrade of the Woy Woy Community Care Centre to accommodate dementia day care, frail aged day care, food services, case management, and other support services for older people has been completed. The centre has been named Yaringaa, the Darkinjung word for ‘laughter’. This year the annual Grandma Moses Art Competition saw 165 paintings entered and hundreds of visitors over the three days of the exhibition. Intergenerational projects that took place during the year included the water tank mural at the Gosford Senior Citizens’ Centre and the seniors’ community bus airbrushing project. These projects saw local young people and seniors work together on a purposeful and mutually beneficial activity to produce a work of art that both groups were equally proud of, promoting a greater understanding and respect between the generations to assist in breaking down social barriers. Council adopted the new Disability Action Plan 2008-2012 in September
2008. Wherever possible, Council is committed to reducing the barriers that exclude people from accessing the services and facilities available in our community. The Disability Action Plan provides suggestions for community groups and individuals on how they and Council can work together to reduce barriers faced by people with a disability in our community. The Central Coast Recognition of Excellence Awards were presented on 3 December at Wyong Shire Council to celebrate International Day of People with a Disability. Approximately 130 people attended to see the nominees presented with certificates and awards in six categories. The audience was entertained by the Central Coast Choir Collective, a performance by Ty McGill, and a presentation by Central Coast participants at the Special Olympics held in Shanghai. Council conducted an audit of sixteen community facilities for disability access. The access reports for these buildings will be prioritised and placed on a register of works to be funded by Council’s Accessible Buildings Program. Council’s Disability Services Officer and the Community Facilities Development Officer were also successful in applying for $170,000 of the Federal Government’s Regional and Local Community Infrastructure Program funding to upgrade disability access for five community facilities in the Gosford LGA. This funding will provide basic access needs such as accessible entries and amenities.
Supporting Young People Council’s Youth Services team has enjoyed another fantastic year of growth and youth engagement. Through continual development and refinement, Youth Services are attracting a growing number of young people to its programs, greater numbers of partnership programs, hire groups and awareness in the general community. Each of Council’s direct service youth centres at Erina, Kariong and Kincumber are establishing a sense of pride in the young people of their respective communities. Efforts continue to be made to ensure that all of Council’s Youth Service programs are equitable and inclusive for as many community members as possible—each youth centre is designed to be wheelchair friendly, with their staff involving young people in each step of the consultation process.
Over 3000 community members took part in the diverse events held across the Gosford LGA during Youth Week in April... The past year has seen further development of the Youth Engagement Strategy (YES) project. The project has had success in areas of high antisocial behaviour, as well as working behind the scenes with many events and festivals across the Central Coast. The YES team enjoys partnerships with NSW Police, liquor accords and various community groups to provide a holistic approach to addressing several community concerns. By working on strategies that complement the Quality of Life Strategic Plan, Council’s Youth Services team are helping to build a stronger community. Over 3000 community members took part in the diverse events held across the Gosford LGA during Youth Week in April, including: the launch of Kincumber Recording Studio, UMINAFIED, and the Kariong Festival. Council’s YES team was also involved with events such as the Summer in the City festival and the annual schoolies event at Terrigal.
Supporting the Indigenous and Multicultural Communities In the Gosford LGA approximately 14.6 per cent of residents are from overseas with 5.1 per cent of these residents being from non-English speaking backgrounds (2006 Census information). Council represents part of the Regional Multicultural Interagency and participates in providing resources and programs to support the culturally and linguistically diverse community. In early 2009 Council introduced the pilot Communities Catching Waves Program. This program provides an opportunity for people from non-English speaking backgrounds to learn about general beach safety in a fun and safe environment. Participants originated from Brazil, Japan, Chile, Germany, Argentina and Poland. During Refugee Week in June many people celebrated when Council, on behalf of the community, announced that it had signed on for Gosford City to become a Refugee Welcome Zone officially recognised by the Refugee Council of Australia. The culmination of the 2008/2009 Aboriginal Surf Program was held on 28 March 2009 with over thirty-five participants competing in the under 14’s, under 17’s and open categories. Participants enjoyed a free BBQ, drinks and showbags, with prizes awarded to the division winners.
One of the major outcomes was an agreement to develop a Memorandum of Understanding between Gosford City Council and the Darkinjung Land Council... In July, Council celebrated National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (NAIDOC) Week with a community event at its main administration building in Gosford. The celebrations included a flag-raising and local Aboriginal cultural performance. A mayoral reception for the new board of the Darkinjung Local Aboriginal Land Council was held on 25 March 2009. One of the major outcomes was an agreement to develop a Memorandum of Understanding between Gosford City Council and the Darkinjung Land Council on issues relevant to both parties.
This state wide conference will see a number of delegates arrive on the peninsula for a series of seminars and workshops... Plans are well underway for Mingaletta Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Corporation to move into the renovated Umina Community Hall under a lease arrangement with Council. This will provide Mingaletta with much needed space and the ability to further interact with the local Aboriginal community and the wider community as a whole. The 2009 Local Government Aboriginal Network Conference will be hosted by Gosford City Council from the 7-9 October 2009 in Ettalong. This state wide conference will see a number of delegates arrive on the peninsula for a series of seminars and workshops that highlight what is happening at councils throughout the state, as well as providing new directions and best practise models for the future.
Affordable Housing In July 2008 Council hosted a Housing Forum with over sixty people in attendance representing a range of stakeholders including the Federal and State Governments, local community housing associations, service providers to local homeless persons, the Aboriginal Housing Association and other relevant community groups and representatives of the private sector. The forum provided an opportunity for the sharing of local information and data, and for each stakeholder to identify emerging local issues and their role in responding. To further develop work in this area, attendees at the housing forum were asked to nominate their interest in participating in a Housing Sunset Committee. Following an expressions of interest process, the Housing Sunset Committee was established to inform Council of practical strategies to address Gosford City’s affordable housing needs. The Housing Sunset Committee met from November 2008 through to April 2009 and developed an Implementation Plan for consideration by Council. The committee also developed a number of other research and discussion documents including: an issues paper regarding residential parks; a housing continuum model; housing trust research paper and draft housing trust business plan.
FOOD PREMISES INSPECTED
BY COUNCIL OFFICERS OVER THE PAST YEAR
THE WOY WOY WATER RECYCLING PLANT OPENED IN MARCH 2009 AND WILL SAVE AN AVERAGE OF
MEGALITRES OF WATER PER DAY
Expanding education & skills development
Schools Environmental Education In 2008 twenty-five schools registered for Council’s schools environment program, The Greenhouse. The theme was Reduce before Recycle. Students were asked to examine their buying habits and came to understand the links between consumerism and environmental damage, and were ultimately encouraged to consider repairing, reusing, borrowing, or even doing without.
The program also provided two professional development workshops on the topics of ‘How to get started’... Council provided participating schools with a resource folder filled with background information, activities and competition guidelines. Throughout the year schools undertook many activities as part of their commitment to the program. It was exciting to see the
creative way that schools incorporated the theme into their school life. Central Mangrove Public School sold reusable lunch wrap mats as a fundraiser, Somersby Public School celebrated Book Week with a book swap, and Niagara Park Public School had a recycling competition where the prize was a reconditioned bicycle. School of the Year winners for 2008 were Niagara Park, Pretty Beach and Central Mangrove Public Schools. The Mayoral Award for Best Performance went to Gosford and Pretty Beach Public Schools for their creative dramatic performances. In partnership with Wyong Shire Council, Gosford City Council continued to coordinate the environmental sustainability program Little Green Steps for preschools. A quarterly environmental newsletter continued to be distributed to all preschools and early childhood services in the region. Education staff also produced resource kits on the topics of water, waste, energy, biodiversity and stormwater to support early childhood staff when communicating sustainability messages to very young children. The program also provided two professional development workshops on the topics of ‘How to get started’ held
Water education continued to be a key component of Gosford City and Wyong Shire Councils’ Little Green Steps program throughout 2008/2009. at Parklands Preschool, which is a model sustainable preschool; and ‘How to use the sustainability resource kits’ held at Bloom (Preschool) at Wamberal. Both councils continue to take requests for assistance and support from councils throughout Australia interested in developing their own preschools sustainability program.
Water Education The Central Coast Watertight program was initiated as a partnership between Gosford City and Wyong Shire Councils and Rumbalara Environment Centre. Over a three year period, forty-two Central Coast schools will experience this interactive program on water conservation and water quality. During 2008/2009 eleven schools participated
Blue Planet is an interactive water education website which was developed by Gosford City and Wyong Shire Councils in partnership with local students and teachers. in the program with around 3,500 students attending the sessions. Water education continued to be a key component of Gosford City and Wyong Shire Councils’ Little Green Steps program throughout 2008/2009. Water audits were conducted at each centre, as well as additional children’s activities. Information about current water issues was also provided to the centres. Blue Planet is an interactive water education website which was developed by Gosford City and Wyong Shire Councils in partnership with local students and teachers. The website provides curriculum-linked science and geography information for high school students and teachers, with an emphasis on local information. During 2008/2009 Council expanded the site’s broad range of topics to include information on La Nina, El Nino and an in-depth analysis of climate change. Blue Planet staff also commenced a series of workshops with local high school teachers to promote the benefits of Blue Planet as a tool in lesson development. Council promoted water awareness and education through many community events including: Central Coast
Community Congress, Australian Springtime Flora Festival, Green Living Festival, Kincumber Festival, Putt Putt Regatta, Kids’ Day Out, Brisbane Water Oyster Festival, Gosford Santa Parade, Deepwater Plaza Christmas Parade, Australia Day celebrations, and the Gosford Regional Show.
Creating Youth Opportunities In November 2008 eight trainees studying the Certificate III Children’s Services via the flexible delivery mode with TAFE Central Coast received valuable work experience with Council’s child care centres. Council’s Youth Services team continues to provide our community with valuable links to schools, universities, trade schools and TAFE with the goal of expanding local employment opportunities. Several low or no cost TAFE courses have been run at each of Council’s youth centres over the last year, with more courses in development. Youth Services provides free access to computers for the community to utilise the internet, and other educational or employment information. Youth centres also conduct workshops on topics
Youth Services provides free access to computers for the community to utilise the internet, and other educational or employment information. Youth centres also conduct workshops on topics including woodwork, gardening, video, photography and music. including woodwork, gardening, video, photography and music. The Breaky Club is an award winning program held in conjunction with Kincumber Neighbourhood Centre. The community’s senior members run the Breaky Club program, assisted by a Council Youth Worker, to provide its young people with a nutritious breakfast three mornings per week.
Promoting health & safety
Public Health Initiatives Council’s Chemical Reduction Strategy was prepared to reduce the volume of toxic chemicals used by Council. Implementation of the strategy has resulted in real safety gains by eliminating unnecessary chemicals, and replacing necessary but toxic chemicals with non-toxic alternatives. Council will continue to monitor and review its chemical usage in the interests of the health and safety of both its employees and the general public. Through a proactive management strategy, Council identified, isolated and removed the potential risk of exposure to asbestos at its Gosford and Ettalong Senior Citizens’ Centres. This health and safety action protects Gosford and Ettalong’s senior citizens as well as their wider communities.
A number of initiatives were implemented to assist businesses to comply with health regulations, including the delivery of free Food Handler Training programs... Over 600 food premises within the Gosford LGA—including restaurants, cafes, mobile food vendors and take away outlets—were inspected by Council officers during 2008/2009, with emphasis on the management of food storage and handling.
A number of initiatives were implemented to assist businesses to comply with health regulations, including the delivery of free Food Handler Training programs, as well as resources to assist businesses in the safe preparation of food. The ‘Don’t be a nuisance - be a good neighbour‘ education program continued throughout 2008/2009. Resources were provided to assist home owners comply with legal requirements for the installation of household items such as air conditioners and wood-fired heaters. Twenty-two coastal sites including beaches, lagoons and tidal pools were sampled each week from October 2008 to April 2009 to monitor water quality. Over fifty swimming pools available to the public were inspected throughout the year to check for water contamination to ensure safe swimming for residents and visitors to our City.
Swimming Pool Audits Over 500 existing swimming pools on private properties throughout the Gosford LGA were audited to ensure they were fenced in accordance with the requirements of the Swimming Pools Act. Council’s Building Surveyors check fencing to ensure it is of the required height, construction and is fixed in compliance with Australian Standard AS 1926-1986. Orders were issued when fencing and gates were found to be either deficient or faulty, with follow-up inspections undertaken to ensure the required work was completed.
Water Initiatives Council has extended its efforts in protecting public and environmental health through the Priority Sewerage Project at Mooney Mooney and Cheero Point (MMCP). Now in its final stages, the MMCP Sewerage Scheme is an essential initiative that will improve water quality by removing ineffective and overloaded on-site sewerage facilities.
Council is dedicated to supplying good quality drinking water and the implementation of its drinking water quality management program... As a result, these communities will benefit from reduced odours, dampness and seepage on their properties. The scheme will provide far-reaching benefits for the wider community by providing cleaner waterways and increased safeguards for the oyster growing and fishing industries located in the Hawkesbury River area. Council is dedicated to supplying good quality drinking water and the implementation of its drinking water quality management program, Water Quality 2010, continues. Supported by a $4.5 million contribution from the Australian Government’s Water for the Future - Water Smart Australia program, this two year program incorporates a
device as part of Council’s Water Meter Replacement Program.
continue driving safely, how to monitor your own abilities, recent changes to the road rules, new car technology and issues of medication and fatigue.
A comprehensive The Gosford Senior Citizen’s Centre framework is being has seen the installation of water tanks developed as part of Water with run-off water used for toilet system Quality 2010 that will guide water tanks. New dual flush toilets have Surf Life Saving Club also been installed to conserve water. Council’s management of Redevelopment drinking water quality into The openings of the new Wamberal Road Education Initiatives Surf Club on 19 March and Killcare Surf the future. Club on 8 May 2009 marked the end suite of capital works, maintenance, monitoring and analysis, management and operation, and communications initiatives to deliver solutions to drinking water quality issues. To date, Water Quality 2010’s focus on safeguarding every aspect of the water supply system has resulted in enhanced treatment and system operation, cleaner water mains and improved customer service facilities. Consequently, there has been a significant decrease in discoloured water complaints. A comprehensive framework is being developed as part of Water Quality 2010 that will guide Council’s management of drinking water quality into the future. In November 2008 Council adopted a revised Backflow Prevention Policy to protect the quality of water provided to its customers. The policy formalises the requirement to install and maintain appropriate backflow prevention devices to prevent contamination being drawn back into the public water supply. The policy applies to all commercial, industrial and multi-property residential customers connected to the water supply within the Gosford LGA. Council also continues to progressively replace water meters on single dwelling residential properties with an integrated water meter backflow prevention
Since the opening of the Central Coast Lifetime Learning Centre in August 2007, the Community and Road Education Scheme (CARES) has seen many school groups attend interactive road safety bicycle skills courses. The CARES program is a joint road safety initiative of Gosford City and Wyong Shire Councils and local Police. The focus is on imparting bicycle, road safety, and coping with traffic skills to school aged children—particularly those in Years 5 and 6. During the July school holidays, Community Road Safety Officers from Gosford City and Wyong Shire Councils jointly held CARES open days with local Police. More than 160 Central Coast children benefited from this state-ofthe-art program. Due to the success of these open days, further school holiday programs are planned.
Two senior drivers’ workshops were held in August 2008 in conjunction with Wyong Shire Council. The workshops, held at Gosford Senior Citizens’ Centre and the Central Coast Lifetime Learning Centre at Palmdale, were attended by approximately seventy Central Coast residents over the age of sixty. A further workshop was held in November 2008 at the Umina Beach Library and was attended by twenty-two Central Coast residents. The workshops covered topics such as safe driving techniques, how to
of a ten year program to replace eight surf life saving club buildings. The surf life saving clubs at Wamberal, Terrigal, North Avoca, Avoca Beach, Copacabana, Killcare, Ocean Beach and Umina Beach now boast well equipped, state-ofthe-art buildings which will not only accommodate the needs of lifeguards and lifesavers but directly contribute to the safety and general well being of all users of Gosford City beaches.
Woy Woy Peninsula CCTV Council was awarded a Safer Suburbs Plan program grant of $680,000 through the Federal Attorney-General’s Department for the Peninsula CCTV Project. The project involved the installation of 20 closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras in the central business districts of Woy Woy, Umina Beach and Ettalong Beach to help address the issues associated with crime and antisocial behaviour throughout the Woy Woy Peninsula.
Enhancing arts & culture Our Sister Cities
Council hosted the Australian Sister Cities Association national conference from 27 to 30 July 2009 at the Ettalong Beach Club. The conference, with the theme ‘Sense of Place’, provided delegates from both the youth and adult programs with the opportunity to learn from and share one another’s indigenous histories. National and international delegates experienced an informative and interactive program, as well as exploring some of Gosford’s local highlights.
Council continues its support of local regional festivals such as Australia Day, Gosford Show, 5 Lands Walk, Flora Festival, Bloodtree Festival, Brisbane Water Oyster Festival, 2GO Carols and New Year’s Eve, amongst others.
Council proudly welcomed delegates from our international sister cities to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of its sister city relationships. Since 1988 Gosford City has fostered sister city relationships with Edogawa in Japan, and Nitra in Slovakia. In addition, our Australian sister city of Walgett (located west of the dividing range in NSW) joined the conference and met with members of the delegations from Edogawa and Nitra. All four councils continue to enhance relationships between their citizens to promote awareness and understanding of business, cultural, economic, educational, industrial, sporting and tourism opportunities; as well as promoting excellence in local government, business and other fields through exchange and communication. During July 2008, twenty teenage ambassadors from Edogawa Youth Wing came to Gosford. Narara Valley High School and local families once again proudly welcomed their special guests to their school, homes and community. The young people enjoyed the always popular Australian Reptile Park and the Gosford-Edogawa Commemorative Garden. The visits continue to offer local students and their families the opportunity to learn about sister cities on a very personal level as they share each other’s culture, exploring language skills and developing new relationships.
The Gosford Regional Gallery continues to play an important role in promoting Aboriginal culture and reconciliation. This year, 289 Aboriginal students from Years 5 to 11 created murals at the gallery in support of NAIDOC Week. The annual Reconciliation Exhibition saw a large increase in the number of entries. The gallery, through its artist networking program, has mentored two groups of artists to develop a group exhibition based on themes chosen by local artists. The two themes are ‘Age, Aging and Ageism’ and ‘Suburbia’.
A production presenting the ten best scripts enjoyed a week long season at the intimate Peninsula Theatre in Woy Woy. The Short+Sweet Short Play Festival, an initiative of Council and totally local production, is now in its third year. This festival provides the opportunity for local writers, directors, actors and theatre practitioners to engage with other members of the cultural community through the creative process. The 2008 festival, presented in July, attracted sixtyfive script submissions. A production presenting the ten best scripts enjoyed a week long season at the intimate Peninsula Theatre in Woy Woy. Guest judges for the festival included John Bell and Mark Cleary, creator of Short+Sweet. The winning play was placed into the finals in the Sydney Short+Sweet Festival with a chance to
compete with some of the country’s finest. Gosford is the only regional centre in Australia that produces a Short+Sweet Short Play Festival. The lantern procession on Australia Day 2009 attracted thousands of spectators. People from many walks of life and cultural backgrounds experienced an Aboriginal smoking ceremony and carried lanterns despite the rainy weather. Aboriginal elders blessed the walkers and dignitaries who joined the procession. The Cultural Laboratory continues to gather all art forms together for an evening of lively presentations and public discussion. This grassroots program of quarterly meetings at the Peninsula Theatre successfully attracted more than one hundred local artists, cultural practitioners and cultural groups to express their ideas and expose their art over twenty five presentations. Each presentation is recorded and archived in DVD format for future cultural reference. The ticket entry to the two and a half hour show remains extremely accessible with a free supper offered during interval. Council continued to support the cultural community via the distribution of the 2008/2009 Community, Cultural and Festival Grants. Twenty-six cultural groups benefited from more than $114,000. As an outcome, the broader community was enriched with original theatrical productions; film festivals; contemporary art exhibitions; Aboriginal art workshops; youth, orchestral and multicultural initiatives in music; recognition and celebration of dance; and projects marking important social celebrations including Harmony Day and International Women’s Day. Council provided several cultural programs for the support and development of the arts community. Visual artists benefited from twentythree exhibitions held at the Gosford Regional Gallery including five solo
exhibitions by local artists and two interstate touring exhibitions. The Gosford Regional Gallery continued to focus on supporting young artists as an area of priority through exhibitions such as ‘Emerging’ which showcased nine young artists from across NSW. The gallery has continued to be at the forefront of art education on the Central Coast. A partnership with Hunter TAFE has seen three units of a diploma offered through the gallery. With over sixty enrolments, this partnership is assisting in filling the scarcity of advanced courses in the arts. The gallery also offers a range of informal education opportunities through its art class program, which comprises over 500 individual classes. Similarly, there are regular programs for school students from class excursions to programs such as Sculpture by the Bay and the Aboriginal students’ mural project.
... 150 acts including vocalists, actors, musicians, dancers and jugglers performing on stage over the five day season... Now in its third year, the Supper Club theatre initiative continues to provide a program of intimate cabaret for music lovers. It has been so successful that the monthly events are sometimes booked out before advertising has commenced. The range of artists engaged for this initiative varied from internationally known performers to up-and-coming local musicians. Designed specifically for senior citizens, the Morning Melodies program has been a part of the theatre program for many years, and has built a solid following. These monthly matinee performances provide social interaction and entertainment for many people, and are a highlight for those who may not have the opportunity to attend evening performances. The Youth in Performing Arts program maintains its popularity with the community, this year featuring approximately 150 acts including vocalists, actors, musicians, dancers and jugglers performing on stage over the five day season. This year over $5,000 in scholarships was donated by the local community. Council is continuing to develop family friendly outdoor cultural activities in the Gosford Regional Gallery and
Caroline Bay precinct. Sculpture by the Bay is a school based exhibition run by the gallery which attracts art lovers, families and local walkers to the beautiful environment of the Caroline Bay foreshore. This year the exhibition involved over 100 Year 10 students from seven local high schools working with Japanese sculptor Akira Kamada on the theme of land art. The second annual treasure hunt, held throughout January in the Gosford-Edogawa Commemorative Garden, saw over 2,000 children search for ‘Fergus the Frog’ while unravelling clues about the Japanese gardens and Japanese culture. Laycock Street Theatre celebrated twenty years with a celebration event held in August 2008. Officially opened in August 1988, the theatre was built with the assistance of bicentennial funding. Over the years, the theatre has been home to the Gosford Musical Society; has supported and encouraged local theatrical and musical groups; and initiated and presented programs including an annual subscription season, schools and educational program, Morning Melodies and the Supper Club.
January 25 began with folkloric dance performances by Fijian, Filipino, African and colonial bush dancers. around the theme of Waltzing Matilda on Saturday, 24 January. The International gala night on Sunday, 25 January began with folkloric dance performances by Fijian, Filipino, African and colonial bush dancers. It then moved to a gala event featuring opera, ballet and a piano concerto which marked Chinese New Year and the Summer in the City finale.
Given the stormy weather on the day, the annual 5 Lands Walk Festival on 20 June 2009 was still a success. Both the nine kilometre walk component and the five cultural programs of Macmasters Beach, Copacabana, Avoca, North Avoca and Terrigal were able to be delivered to the satisfaction of organisers and participants. Despite the walk being officially closed at 10am, 243 walkers registered and completed the entire journey. Another eighty unregistered walkers covered smaller sections. Over 2,000 spectators enjoyed the five cultural presentations which were relocated to the local surf life saving clubs, with free food, educational talks, concerts, art competitions, photographic displays, beach installations, jazz, drumming processions, dances and live theatre. The inaugural Summer in the City festival was held in the third week of January enlivening the city centre with four unique artistic evenings. Each evening had a different artistic director and appealed to a variety of audiences. The first evening saw magicians, stilt walkers, chalk artists, buskers, face painters, boutique markets, chill-out spaces, and evolving installations at the carnivale-themed youth night on Thursday, 22 January. Friday’s Jazz night featured five popular bands offering five hours of elegant jazz. The Arts night involved over fifty artists including singers, bands, dancers and more in a unique artistic performance based
Photograph: By Victoria
PROTECTING THE ENVIRONMENT Consultation with the community and a range of stakeholders forms an important component of plan development.
Brisbane Water Estuary Management Study and Plan Council, with the support of the NSW Department of Environment and Climate Change (DECC), is currently preparing an Estuary Management Study and Plan for Brisbane Water. The purpose of this study is to identify and recommend appropriate actions to manage the environmental, social and commercial aspects of Brisbane Water Estuary. The Management Study and Plan is developed in line with the NSW Estuary Management Manual (1992) and the NSW Government’s Rivers and Estuaries Policy 1993. The planning process will establish a balanced long-term management framework for the ecologically sustainable use of Brisbane Water and its catchment. In developing the plan, all values and uses of the estuary are considered to assist in recommending preferred management options. Consultation with the community and a range of stakeholders forms an important component of plan development. A workshop was held on 4 April 2009 at which the community was provided with an opportunity to identify any issues they had observed on and around the Brisbane Water Estuary. Over 190 issues were identified, with key issues including: poor water quality and sedimentation associated
with stormwater outlets and creeks; sedimentation and foreshore erosion; safe passage through navigation channels; safety issues in relation to boat traffic; and low rates of tidal flushing in some locations. A community information evening was conducted on 18 May 2009 to communicate the scientific findings of the Estuary Process Study, which was adopted by Council in February 2009. With over 190 management issues identified, input was sought from the community at a series of three Options Development Workshops, held from 19-21 May 2009 at Wagstaffe, Gosford and Woy Woy. The purpose of these workshops was, firstly, to identify specific actions that might be undertaken to mitigate these issues and, secondly, to ensure that the estuary is managed in such a way as to maintain or enhance its current condition. It is anticipated that the Draft Brisbane Water Estuary Management Study will be placed on public exhibition for comment in late 2009. After all submissions have been compiled and addressed, the management study will be finalised and work will begin on the Brisbane Water Estuary Management Plan.
Lower Hawkesbury Estuary Management Plan In March 2009 Council adopted the Lower Hawkesbury Estuary Management Plan. The area relevant to the management plan includes the estuarine areas of the Lower Hawkesbury River (below Wisemans Ferry), and Berowra, Cowan and Mangrove Creeks. The purpose of the management plan is to fulfil the requirements of the NSW Government’s Rivers and Estuaries Policy 1993 and the NSW Coastal Policy 1997. The key requirement of these policies is to encourage the integrated, balanced, responsible and ecologically sustainable use of the State’s estuaries.
The key requirement of these policies is to encourage the integrated, balanced, responsible and ecologically sustainable use of the State’s estuaries. The management plan proposes that the plan’s implementation will be overseen by a newly established Lower Hawkesbury Estuary Management Committee, intended to consist of community, commercial and government representatives.
Low Emission Vehicles
Butt Free City Week
Council’s commitment to environmental protection and responsibility was demonstrated by the selection and purchase of its first ‘Euro 4’ emission level trucks by Council’s fleet team. These trucks feature new technologies including a diesel particulate diffuser (DPD) and exhaust gas reticulation (EGR) which help to reduce harmful emissions. This is the first step in working toward meeting the future emission standards of Euro 5/ADR80/03.
Council participated in the National Butt Free City Week, funded by the Butt Littering Trust. Butt Free City Week was held in the Gosford CBD from 23-26 March 2009. During the program 908 smokers committed to helping make Gosford a Butt Free City by correctly disposing of their cigarette butts. Monitoring of cigarette disposal behaviour before and after the program showed a twenty-two per cent improvement in correct butt disposal, the highest of the participating cities, indicating the program was a great success. Through promotion, advertising and the resulting media coverage, Council’s campaign reached a potential audience of over 835,000 people.
Household Chemical & Hazardous Waste Collection Council’s household hazardous waste collection was held at the Erina Council depot on 31 August 2008. The collection received over twentyeight tonnes of material from over 700 vehicles. The main items collected were paint (14t), batteries (3t), motor oil (3t) and gas cylinders (1.5t). Council held its household chemical collection program on 28 February 2009 in which approximately twenty-five tonnes of material was collected.
Flooding and Drainage Council continued its long-term commitment to overcoming flooding and drainage problems throughout the Gosford LGA. Flood studies were completed in draft form for the Davistown and Empire Bay catchments and also for the Woy Woy Peninsula. The completion of these studies, which identify the nature and extent of the flooding problems, are a prerequisite to the commencement of Floodplain Risk Management Studies. These later studies evaluate options to alleviate flooding problems and set development controls prior to the preparation and adoption of a management plan. Once completed, the studies enable Council to request government assistance in the form of grants to address the flooding problems. Floodplain risk management studies were also completed for Middle Creek at Pearl Beach. Council has been selected to host the fiftieth Annual Floodplain Management Authority conference to be held in February 2010. The conference is a major focal point for delegates to meet to discuss the latest technology and exchange ideas in addressing floodplain management across Australia.
Green Living Council’s environmental education program Green Living continued throughout the year with initiatives including: distribution of a quarterly newsletter, a monthly newspaper page, an environmental tour during Seniors’ Week, and displays at community events including the Flora Festival. A Green Living Fair held at Erina Fair in November 2008 provided the community with a range of eco-activities and encouraged residents to save energy and water, as well as reducing waste and chemical usage. Green giveaways were given to the 372 residents who calculated their ecological footprint; 200 children took part in the wiggly worm workshops; 150 native plants were given away; and approximately ninety people participated in workshops on green gardening, natural cleaning, chemical free pesticides and green smart homes. Thousands of residents attended the four eco-fashion parades that were held to heighten awareness of the benefits of recycled fashion and sustainable fabrics such as organic cotton and hemp.
NSW Climate Summit During November 2008, as part of Council’s ongoing commitment to addressing the impacts of climate change, local residents were given the opportunity to explore the key question How can we work together to respond to climate change? Residents from Gosford, Wyong and Lake Macquarie local government areas, in partnership with the Nature Conservation Council of NSW, joined forces at two local forums held in Swansea and Erina. The groups were guided through expert presentations,
question and answer sessions and group discussions. A response was developed and all participants were involved in formulating a list of recommendations that were presented to Council. Participants earmarked priority areas for local, state and federal government bodies including: support for exploring green energy sources, educating the community on the impacts of climate change, and improved pedestrian and cycle networks and other forms of public transport.
Water One of Council’s major water saving initiatives, the Woy Woy Water Recycling Plant, opened in March 2009. The plant will save an average of forty-six megalitres of water per year, reducing demand on the town water supply. The plant is capable of delivering over 300 kilolitres per day of non drinking recycled water for use on-site and across the Woy Woy area for irrigation, dust suppression, landscaping and construction works.
Additionally, smart water meters and low flow urinal devices were installed at each site and dual flush toilets were installed at Ettalong. The Peninsula Leisure Centre Rainwater Harvesting System was commissioned in December 2008. The system includes 140 kilolitres of storage capacity and harvests rainwater from the centre’s large roof area. Harvested water is used in the pool backwashing system and for on-site irrigation, saving an average of two megalitres of town water per year. The project cost $75,000 and was funded through the Australian Government’s Community Water Grants and Council’s Water and Sewerage Directorate. Rainwater harvesting systems were commissioned at the Gosford and Ettalong Senior Citizens’ Centres in January 2009. The combined storage of the two systems is fifty kilolitres and the harvested water replaces town water in the centres’ toilets, urinals, and laundries. Additionally, smart water meters and low flow urinal devices were installed at each site and dual flush toilets were installed at Ettalong. The combined measures are saving
With dam levels sitting at 32 per cent, revised Level 3 water restrictions were approved in June 2009, allowing Central Coast residents some flexibility in watering. over 1,000 kilolitres of town water per year. These projects were made possible through two Australian Government Community Water Grants and Council’s Water and Sewerage Directorate. With dam levels sitting at 32 per cent, revised Level 3 water restrictions were approved in June 2009, allowing Central Coast residents some flexibility in watering. For the first time in three years residents and businesses are permitted to water gardens and lawns with handheld hoses fitted with a trigger nozzle or drip irrigation systems on two days of the week for up to one hour. In 2008/2009 Council continued to implement its Water Demand Management Program. Key initiatives to reduce potable water consumption included rebates for the purchase of water efficient appliances and rainwater tanks. Over 1,600 washing machine rebates and approximately 900 rainwater tank rebates were provided to residents. The Mardi-Mangrove Link is a key component of WaterPlan 2050, the blueprint for managing the Central
Coast’s water supply over the next forty-five years, and is the largest water infrastructure to be built on the Central Coast for twenty-five years. Over the past twelve months work on the MardiMangrove Link has made significant progress with detailed engineering and environmental studies undertaken to determine the pipeline route through Wyong Creek and Yarramalong Valley. Construction of the pipeline is due to commence in early 2010, with final commissioning due by mid-2011, subject to a range of statutory approvals. The Mardi-Mangrove Link is an initiative of Wyong Shire and Gosford City Councils with Australian Government funding of $80.3 million through the Water Smart Australia Program. Regular water quality monitoring was undertaken in various catchments throughout Gosford City with the aim of protecting and improving the health of aquatic ecosystems. A Health of the Waterways Report has been developed, which is available on Council’s website, to assist the community in better understanding the health of our waterways. To assist local businesses to develop a clearer understanding of their environmental responsibilities, Council continued its Clean Industry Program. The program seeks to educate local businesses about their responsibilities to ensure business activities do not adversely impact on the environment. The program aims to demonstrate how businesses can comply with relevant environmental regulations. Participants receive an on-
site assessment, advice from Council’s Environment Officers, best practice guides, self audit checklists and emergency spill training. Businesses are also encouraged to apply sustainable business practices in order to assist in reducing the City’s ecological footprint.
Automatic Water Level Recorders Council has commenced the first stage of installations of automatic rainfall and water level recorders within the suburbs of Erina, Kariong, Kincumber, Wamberal and Woy Woy. The system consists of a series of automatic rainfall and water level recording devices that continually record and transmit information collected on both rainfall and river level heights. In addition, it is anticipated that the system, once installed, will be able to be adapted to provide an early warning system within the Gosford LGA for severe storm and flooding events.
Photograph: Karl Schwerdtfeger
IN THE PAST YEAR, GOSFORD CITY OFFICIALLY BECAME
ZONE A REFUGEE WELCOME
CREATING ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY & EMPLOYMENT The Gosford City Centre Local Environment Plan (LEP) 2007, gazetted in December 2007, provides economic opportunities including commercial, residential, marina, entertainment, waterfront development and tourism activities. In addition, the proposed Gosford Draft Local Environment Plan 2009 has been prepared and is currently being reviewed by the State Governmentâ€™s Department of Planning. Once approved or amended as deemed necessary by the Department, it will be placed on public exhibition for comment. Once gazetted, it is anticipated that the LEP will provide many increased economic opportunities including commercial, employmentgenerating and residential activities. Activity will focus on developing the Regional City Centre, supported by development in centres such as Erina, Ettalong, Terrigal, Woy Woy and Umina. The LEP will also provide bonuses and incentives in certain centres in exchange for improved urban design outcomes. Central Coast Tourism Inc is a memberbased, non-profit organisation that markets the Central Coast as a tourist destination to domestic and international tourists. Council continued to provide support to Central Coast Tourism Inc with a grant of $460,000 for the promotion and development of Central Coast tourism.
Council has contributed $30,000 in the form of an annual grant to the Central Coast Business Enterprise Centre to support mentoring services for small business. This is a valuable service that fosters Central Coast small business through one-on-one coaching, free advice and mentoring. Council has provided an annual grant of $250,000 to support the establishment of the Gosford Business Improvement District Association. The funding was derived from the Gosford CBD Special Improvement Levy.
The LEP will also provide bonuses and incentives in certain centres in exchange for improved urban design outcomes. Council confirmed its commitment to the Central Coast Mariners in 2008/2009. Councilâ€™s ongoing support of the Central Coast Mariners is an important link for our community to gain national and international exposure, attract investment to the Central Coast and foster business development in the region.
IMPROVING TRANSPORTATION & INFRASTRUCTURE Road Reclassifications Following an independent review of the NSW road network, various roads around the State have been reclassified as a part of either the State road network, for which the Roads and Traffic Authority (RTA) is responsible, or the regional road network, for which councils receive State Government assistance. The reclassification of several major roads within the Gosford LGA translates to better quality roads for everyone accessing our roadways. Additional funding and assistance from the State Government will allow Council to provide upgraded, safer and more accessible road infrastructure for the community.
Cycleway & Footpath Developments The Woy Woy Foreshore Cycleway Stage 2 project has involved a further extension of the shared footpath/ cycleway along the foreshore. The extension will allow cyclists and pedestrians to cross Blackwall Road and link with the cycleway opposite the Peninsula Leisure Centre. During the year, Council commissioned a feasibility study into the construction of a cycleway/walkway along the eastern side of the rail causeway between Gosford and Point Clare. In an effort to fund the project, a funding submission has been sent to the Department of State and Regional Development requesting grant funding for the project.
Surf Life Saving Club Redevelopments Wamberal and Killcare Surf Life Saving Clubs were completely redeveloped, each with improved facilities for community use including first aid rooms, boat sheds, meeting rooms, offices, kitchen areas and function rooms. The total cost of these developments was almost $5 million which was primarily funded by Council, with $200,000 received in surf life saving club facility grants from the NSW Department of Sport and Recreation.
Gosford Taxi Voucher Scheme In December 2008 Council completed the pilot Gosford Taxi Voucher Scheme. The program was designed to help members of the community who are ‘transport disadvantaged’, either financially or geographically, gain access to transportation to utilise important social, community and training services. The program assisted 231 residents with transport needs, in particular those aged 10-16 years and those in the over sixty-five years age group. Through this program, the main transport issues were identified as being steep terrain and geographical isolation, limited transport after business hours, overly long bus routes or destinations requiring several changes of bus route.
The event was jointly organised by both Gosford City and Wyong Shire Councils and attended by 110 Year 10 students. Road Safety Education Gosford City and Wyong Shire Council’s hosted free Helping Learner Drivers Become Safer Drivers workshops on 28 October 2008 and 9 March 2009. The workshops, targeting parents of learner drivers, were attended by residents from both Gosford and Wyong LGA’s and covered topics including advice on how to help learner drivers become safer drivers, providing effective driving practice and using the Learner Driver Log Book. A High School Road Safety Awareness Day was held on 19 November 2008 at Mary McKillop High School. The event was jointly organised by both Gosford City and Wyong Shire Councils and attended by 110 Year 10 students. The day included guest speakers and practical demonstrations from a variety of local organisations.
Photograph: By Victoria
Photograph: By Victoria
Photograph: By Victoria
STRENGTHENING LOCAL & REGIONAL IDENTITY Council recognises that Australia and the lands of the Torres Strait Islands were owned by Indigenous people, and the Darkinjung was the main tribal group of the land of the Gosford LGA. In early 2009, the Darkinjung Aboriginal Land Council democratically elected a new board of members marking a positive step forward for the Darkinjung people. Gosford City Council looks forward to partnering with the Darkinjung Council to ensure that positive change continues to be made within our local community. One of the first steps to be taken is the development of a Memorandum of Understanding between our two Councils. This will set a platform for both Councils to accomplish the many tasks concerning Aboriginal heritage and looking after land and community. Council Youth Services hosted a range of international film nights at The Hub, Erina aimed at promoting harmony,
diversity and multicultural awareness within the community. The events are held monthly and have showcased films from diverse cultures including: Mexican, Indian, Greek, Australian, Italian, Indian, Turkish, Chilean, Chinese, South American, African, Filipino, French, and Iranian-Persian. The film nights offer cultural finger foods before the screenings and are drug and alcohol-free. These events have met with a fantastic response from the Central Coast community. In 2008, a range of free activities for the community such as yoga, Tai Chi and Petanque were held in Kibble Park every week as part of the Kibble Park - Active Community Spaces program. The program was designed to promote wellness and safety, as well as encourage the community to utilise existing community assets. Everyone was welcomed to these activities which provided the opportunity for a mental and physical break for Gosford City Centre’s working population. Hundreds of people attended the free events across four evenings during the Summer in the City program which saw Kibble Park come alive with festive fever from 19-25 January.
Families and friends enjoyed picnic suppers while listening to internationally renowned musicians at Friday’s Jazz night; or watched over fifty artists in a unique interpretation of Waltzing Matilda at Saturday’s Arts evening. Gosford’s cultural diversity was demonstrated with a welcome in eighteen languages to open the Gala evening which marked the program’s finale and saw in the Year of the Ox for Chinese New Year. The evening featured more than twenty acts, performed by a Chinese arts group and chamber choir. These celebrations provided a wonderful demonstration of Gosford’s diverse local talent and strong community spirit. Although affected by stormy weather in 2009, the annual 5 Lands Walk Festival continues as a feature event in enhancing Gosford’s regional identity. The walk provides an ideal opportunity to showcase local cultural and artistic talent. Educational talks, concerts, art competitions, photographic displays, beach installations, jazz, drumming processions, dances and live theatre during five cultural presentations were experienced by over 2,000 spectators this year.
$73m Estimated CAPTIAL EXPENDITURE $â€™000
28% 19% Other Structures
Storm Water Drainage $4,311
Water Supply $20,486
8% Sewerage $14,021
Plant & Equipment $5,872
Loan Principal $5,607
Other Community $2,796
Land $635 Roads, Bridges & Footpaths $12,025
Financials $282m Estimated INCOME FROM OPERATIONS & RESERVES $’000
Rates & Annual Charges $115,168
User Charges & Fees $42,255
Contributions to Works $17,261
Asset Sales $3,764
3% Interest $7,170
Other Income $7,580
3% Grants $27,270
Reserves & Loans Utilised $61,545
$209m Estimated OPERATING EXPENSES $’000 Roads & Transport $45,149
Community Amenities $39,830
23% 15% 2%
Economic Affairs $4,514
Support Services $9,166 Sewerage Services $25,372
Water Supplies $31,662
Recreation & Culture $29,151
Public Order & Safety $4,924
Community Services $11,704
Building Regulation $6,820
26th January, 2010 Three big events at Gosford, Woy Woy and Wagstaffe For event details and updates visit www.gosford.nsw.gov.au
Raft Races Thong Throwing Dunny Derby Rides & Parades Great Entertainment Fireworks
Narara Mt. Elliot
Forresters Beach North Gosford West Gosford
Gosford East Gosford
Point Clare Kariong
Woy Woy Bay
Phegans Bay Horsfield Bay
St Huberts Island
Ettalong Beach Umina Beach
Wagstaffe Pretty Beach Hardys Bay
Kincumber South Davistown Wondabyne
Bouddi Killcare Heights
Proposed COSS COSS
4,368 hectares Gosfordâ€™s Coastal Open Space System (COSS) is a system of natural reserves in the Gosford local government area which contributes significantly to the protection of the Central Coast regionâ€™s rich biodiversity. The original COSS, which was adopted by Council in 1984, identified approximately 3,000 hectares for inclusion in the system. This included both privately owned and public land. Council has recently adopted Stage 2 of the COSS, which includes land located largely between the main northern railway and the Sydney-Newcastle Freeway. The land identified for Stage 2 of the COSS retains a vegetated link along the escarpment between Brisbane Water National Park and Strickland State Forest and north into Wyong Shire. The total area of land proposed for acquisition under COSS is approximately 4,368 hectares. The reserves within the COSS contain largely unaltered natural ecosystems which provide habitat for wildlife and native vegetation. The COSS also includes sites of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal heritage significance. In addition to providing a natural backdrop to the City, the COSS offers opportunities for recreation, education and scientific endeavours. The three major COSS reserves of Rumbalara, Katandra and Kincumba Mountain
provide trails, picnic areas, barbecues and lookouts for recreation and enjoyment. The management of the COSS is overseen by a Council committee comprising community representatives, Councillors, Council staff and the Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water. At 30 June 2009, Council had acquired approximately 80% of COSS Stage 1 land parcels. Many of the land parcels acquired for the COSS have been transferred to the Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water ownership as additions to Bouddi National Park and Wambina Nature Reserve. In addition to this, Council have also transferred a number of other natural bushland parcels into Cockle Bay Nature Reserve.
COSS WEEK 2008-09 COSS Week, a week of activities celebrating and showcasing the values and significance of the Coastal Open Space System, was held from 23 - 28 September 2008. The local community was invited to participate in the variety of activities that were held within the COSS reserves, including guided heritage walks, a wilderness photography workshop, a tour
of Bushcare sites, presentations on the native flora and fauna of the COSS, and an astronomy evening. All of the activities held throughout the week were very popular with the community and feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. Following the success of the inaugural COSS Week in 2008, Gosford City Council will once again host COSS Week in September 2009.
“… I congratulate you and all those involved in the activities I was fortunate enough to be able to participate in last week, the Fungi Ramble and the Railway to Rainforest trek. I can’t praise enough the enjoyment received and how impressed I was with the organisation and the food! You treated us very well. We are fortunate to have such a good team working for Gosford Council…” Colleen Schonhoffer
MANAGING OUR ENVIRONMENT Disability access upgrades of St Johns Lookout picnic area are now complete, providing access from four car parking spaces via a sandstone paved pathway to picnic tables, the amenities building and the lookout. A timber ramp, stairs and deck were constructed to provide access to the amenities building and the picnic tables have been adjusted to accommodate varying heights. The lookout area was paved and the railing around the lookout extended and built in a design so as to provide a safer viewing area. As part of a Metropolitan Greenspace Grant, works are continuing at Rumbalara Reserve on the refurbishment of Red Gum walking trail. Old rotting treated pine and hardwood steps, bridges and boardwalks are being replaced with galvanised structures. These structures will require less maintenance and will have a much longer life span than the previous timber structures. The Kincumba Mountain picnic grounds now feature greater disability access after the construction of a sandstone path, enhancing the amenity offered at the reserve. A revised brochure for the combined reserves of Rumbalara and Katandra has been completed and is available in visitorsâ€™ information centres, libraries and the foyer
of Councilâ€™s Mann Street administration building. The brochure features an A3 map highlighting numerous trails throughout the reserves suitable for bush walkers, joggers and mountain bikers, and includes information on the history, geology, wildlife and vegetation within the reserves. Council has commissioned a bushland management plan for a remnant area of Umina Coastal Sandplain Woodland, an endangered ecological community located at Umina. The management plan will also cover the coastal foredune area surrounding Umina Surf Life Saving Club. The bushland management plan will provide guidance to Council in managing these areas through a strategy to reduce the impacts of weeds and to implement protective measures. Council manages in excess of 6,000 hectares of bushland, including Crown Reserves, with approximately 32,000 neighbouring properties along the 580 km bushland interface. Over the last financial year, forty five mechanical firebreaks were established or maintained within extreme to high bushfire risk areas. These hazard reduction activities have provided protection for over 550 reserve neighbours. In addition to the Annual Fuel Management Program, Council has been heavily involved in the review of the Gosford Bush Fire Risk Management Plan. This document broadly identifies areas at risk from bushfire across the entire local government area and is currently being reviewed by the Gosford Bush Fire Management Committee.
Reduce Since 2007, Gosford City Council has reduced the number of printed Community Annual Reports by more than 80%, reducing the impact on our local environment. This document has been printed on an environmentally responsible stock which comes from a paper mill operated under one of the most stringent environmental standards in the world. Pic: Rumbalara Reserve Photograph: Jason Smith
DESIGN & ART DIRECTION TWOLANES CREATIVE