CEN News + Media

Keep up with all the environmental news here
check online or subscribe to our e-Notice and get all the news to your email box

The Community Environment Network (CEN) has questioned the need to complete any further public land classifications when the Central Coast is months away from its first local government election in seven years.

“We are relieved to see that Central Coast Council appears to be following due process for the first time since it embarked on its public land fire sale in late 2020 but we remain concerned by the intention behind some of these proposed reclassifications,” said CEN Chair, Mr Gary Chestnut.

“CEN questions whether it will be the Central Coast community or private enterprises who will ultimately benefit from some of these properties being reclassified and rezoned,” he said.

In particular, CEN is concerned about the following reclassifications:

  • 18 Dane Drive, Gosford: 

Better known to the community as Gosford Bowling Club, which has been offered an extended lease as a sweetener while Central Coast Council pushes through this reclassification. The community has been told this reclassification is necessary to fulfil the council’s “vision” for the redevelopment of the stadium and waterfront. CEN remains deeply concerned that, following the announcement and exhibition of a masterplan for the stadium and waterfront in Gosford, it seems that a process of stakeholder consultation is ongoing with no community input. The community currently owns this land. What will the long-term dividend be for its reclassification for use as something like a private boutique hotel?

  • 49-51 Mann Street, Gosford:

This tiny sliver of land, which is actually on Henry Parry Drive, needs to be reclassified so Central Coast Council can continue with its selloff of the former Gosford Council building. The former NSW Government entered a memorandum of understanding to acquire this prime Gosford CBD site to build a “vertical TAFE” and education precint. Negotiations appear to have stalled and CEN cannot verify whether or not TAFE intends to acquire the site. If it is not purchased by the NSW Government for a future public use, we are concerned it will be sold to a private developer. Since late 2020 Central Coast Council has a track record of selling public assets for less than their market value. The NSW Government does not seem to be acting with any urgency to acquire this land for TAFE so why can’t this reclassification wait until after the local election in October?

  • 48W Wallarah Road, Gorokan

This prime piece of waterfront land separates the Wallarah Bay Recreation Club from the foreshore of Tuggerah Lake. It has been described by Central Coast Council as a “stranded asset” but it is, at the moment, a public reserve. Council cannot legally pre-empt the outcome of the reclassification by stating whether it intends to sell the land or lease it over a long-term. Either way, the intent is to privatise the land and council’s track record for securing a reasonable dividend back to its residents and ratepayers has been poor ever since it embarked on its public land selloff in 2020. Environmental land at Doyalson sold for less than its purchase price; the sale of “unimproved” land to Winarch which then resold it within months for a massive profit; and the sale of a prime Bounty Close, Tuggerah, property at the end of a long-term lease for substantially less than market value support CEN’s view that Central Coast Council should not be allowed to sell any more public assets during this period of administration. The Wallarah Bay Recreation Club is a member of the Wyong Leagues Group which owns 11 clubs across NSW. Let’s hope the council does a better job of negotiating a fair price for this land than it has in previous negotiations.

  • Part 2-4, Park Road, The Entrance

This massive piece of public land in the heart of The Entrance is also subject to a rezoning at the same time it is being put forward for reclassification even though Central Coast Council is not supposed to pre-empt the outcome of the reclassification. CEN understands another major club group wishes to “develop” this land either via a long-term lease or acquisition. Either way, the council intends to rezone it from “public” recreation to “private recreation”. We do not believe that aligns to council’s statements that this reclassification would not change the public’s access to this land.

  • 20 Summerland Road, Summerland Point

Yet another large piece of public land that includes a recreation club. What is Central Coast Council’s intention in relation to the need to reclassify this land? As the northern reaches of the Central Coast are opened up to higher levels of development, we are going to need to retain as much green space and natural bushland as possible. If the intention is to sell or enter a long-term lease for this land, the reclassification should be held over until after the local government election in October. Residents and ratepayers deserve to have independent representatives on hand to scrutinise such deals. The opportunity costs from land sales that have taken place since October 2020 have already been too great.

Other properties are included in this BULK RECLASSIFICATION PROPOSAL. For more information or to make a submission, visit Council's Your Voice Our Coast website

Contact details

CALL 02 4349 4756

PO Box 149 Ourimbah NSW 2258

FM Building, Central Coast Campus,
University of Newcastle,
Loop Road, Ourimbah,
NSW, 2258


Wildcard SSL Certificates