Chamber opposes the extension of special rate variation
The Peninsula Chamber of Commerce has opposed the extension to the Central Coast Council Special Rate Variation which extends the approved three year rate rise for the further seven years.
Chamber president Mr Matthew Wales said: "This is particulary unacceptable when we are told by the Council that the rate hike is necessary to simply maintain existing services and that no new works will be undertaken in the foreseeable future.
"Effectively, ratepayers in the south will be slugged an extra 30 to 40 per cent over the next 10 years but get absolutely nothing for it", said Mr Wales.
"It is the Chambers view that this is an over-simplistic solution to the Council's $565M debt problem as opposed to a more responsible approach to paying down its debt obligations.
"This comes at a time when suburbs like those on the Peninsula are falling into neglect with our local road network lacking kerb and gutter, stormwater drainage and footpaths. Roads are potholed and crumbling before our eyes", he said.
"It is an absolute embarrassment that the Peninsula, which is one hour from Australia's premier City of Sydney, has 70% of roads without kerb and gutter and drainage".
"On top of this, our town centres of Umina Beach, Ettalong Beach and Woy Woy are barely being maintianed by Central Coast Council where we are now being told that maintenance services will be further slashed due to Council's financial woes", said Matthew Wales.
"To add insult to injury, our beachfronts are a disgrace with weed-infested dune areas, eroding shorelines and sub-standard surf club carparks and forecourt areas.
"And we shouldn't forget our overgrown parks and reserves, neglected streets riddled with weeds and potholed roads.
"Rather than take the easy road, the Chamber wants the Council to think more laterally than simply slugging the ratepayer for more money.
"The Council should be further investigating the sale of surplus land and assets rather than capping those sales at the $60M threshhold required by the bank. If the land or asset is not productive or useful, sell it off and pay down the Council debt."
"Peninsula residents have had enough of being Council's cash cow and getting nothing in return", said Mr Wales.
"We have waited long enough for improved roads, services and community facilities. Nothing for the next 10 years is simply unacceptable."
Media release, 2 Apr 2022
Matthew Wales, Peninsula Chamber of Commerce