THE NSW Government last week launched a new discussion paper, 'Your Future Central Coast', to help shape the future growth of the region and inform the forthcoming Central Coast Regional Growth and Infrastructure Plan.
It is expected that more than 30,000 new jobs, almost 37,000 new dwellings and a range of supporting services and infrastructure will be needed to accommodate an expected population increase of more than 64,000 by 2031.
Planning Minister Pru Goward said there are real challenges that need to be addressed if the community is to harness the region's full potential, including the fact that many workers are forced to travel outside of the region because there is no work for them close to home.
The discussion paper raises key issues facing the Central Coast into the future and asks the community for feedback and ideas on how to:
- Build more houses to meet future demand;
- Deliver more jobs to meet the region's needs;
- Improve rail and road access to the region;
- Balance growth with the protection of the region's environment; and
- Protect the lifestyle residents and visitors enjoy.
The community responses to the discussion paper will help inform the Central Coast Regional Growth and Infrastructure Plan, which is being developed to provide a long-term vision for the region and identify where housing, commercial activity and infrastructure will be needed in coming decades.
"Your Future Central Coast is the first step in this discussion and we want to hear from everyone – not just the usual stakeholder groups, but the mums and dads who the catch the train to work every day and the small and large business owners that are the economic lifeblood of the community," Ms Goward said.
Minister for the Central Coast and Assistant Minister for Planning Rob Stokes said a similar consultation process in the Illawarra yielded real local insights and knowledge that was now shaping that region's long-term planning.
"There's no substitute for real local understanding when these plans are being put together," Mr Stokes said.
"The region's population is increase to almost 387,000 by 2031 – that's an extra 65,000 people as families grow or move in while current residents get older."
The discussion paper, 'Your Future Central Coast', is on exhibition until 16 November 2014. More information is available from the Department of Planning and Environment website at <http://www.strategy.planning.nsw.gov.au/central-coast/>.