Chris Holstein - Gosford mayor
2009 has been a big year for the Peninsula community.
The commencement and completion of a number of major initiatives conducted by Gosford Council has seen the provision of assets and services to enhance all facets of community life.
The new Killcare Surf Life Saving Club was officially opened in May, marking the eighth and final surf club to be redeveloped under Gosford Council's Surf Club Redevelopment Project.
The project which had an overall investment in the redevelopment of Gosford Surf Clubs of over $15 million, has seen the Avoca, Copacabana, North Avoca, Ocean Beach, Terrigal,
Wamberal, Umina and Killcare surf clubs receive substantial upgrades.
The new building houses a large water craft storage area, a first aid room, a Surf Club Patrol room, a kiosk, a function room, a restaurant, a kitchen, a bar, a member's training room and public amenities.
It is also one of two surf clubs (after Wamberal) to have a solar hot water system installed.
The $2.6 million facility on Beach Dr at Killcare is a joint partnership between Gosford Council, Killcare Surf Life Saving Club, the NSW Department of the Arts, Sport and Recreation and the Federal Government, through a water fund grant.
Gosford 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.
Under the Gosford City Playground Strategy, two new playgrounds were opened on the Peninsula in 2009, at Pearl Beach and Nambucca Dr, Woy Woy.
The $80,000 Pearl Beach playground includes an all-abilities swing and other play equipment situated within a giant sandpit.
Built by council and designed in consultation with the community, the playground received a $4000 contribution from the Pearl Beach Progress Association.
The Nambucca Dr Playground was the second of five playgrounds opened across Gosford City during the month of October, and features a new trike track, slalom and bone shaker.
Work on the Peninsula Recreation Precinct is progressing to provide residents across the Central Coast with first class sporting and community facilities.
Council has engaged in extensive community consultation, working with individuals and community groups to provide a precinct in response to the needs of our local community.
Many features of the new precinct are already taking shape.
The precinct and its increased security features will be a visual and active deterrent to assist in curbing the anti-social behaviour that has occurred on the Peninsula during recent times.
In November, Gosford Council held a Community Open Day to showcase plans for the new precinct.
The Community Open Day provided an opportunity for community members to take ownership of the precinct and gain an understanding of how the Peninsula and wider Central Coast community will benefit from the project.
The $4.3 million Peninsula Recreation Precinct project is one of the largest outdoor recreation developments to be undertaken within the Gosford Local Government Area and has received over $3 million in funding from the Australian Government under the Regional and Local Community Infrastructure Program.
A major initiative aiming to curb anti-social behaviour on the Peninsula saw the introduction of Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras in the Woy Woy, Ettalong Beach and Umina Beach precincts.
The locations selected for the CCTV cameras are predominantly in the shopping and business centres, along pedestrian routes and between transport facilities, railway stations and car parks.
Gosford Council was awarded a Safer Suburbs Plan grant of $680,000 from the Australian Government Attorney-General's Department for the installation of the CCTV network and is working in collaboration with the local business community to ensure the initiative is a success.
2009 saw the $1.6 million refurbishment of the building commonly known as Woy Woy Meals on Wheels to cater for Dementia Day Care, Frail Aged Day Care, Food Services,
Case Management and other support services for older people.
Officially opened in September, the new centre known as Yaringaa was a joint initiative between the Federal Government, the NSW Department of Ageing and Home Care and Gosford Council to create a top-class facility that will be of great benefit to our community, now and into the future.
In celebration of National Youth Week, Gosford Council Youth Services hosted Uminafied, a youth skate, BMX and scooter competition at Umina Skate Park.
Now in its seventh year, the event offered an action packed day of skate, BMX and scooter competitions for all young people aged between 12 and 24 years and proved to be a resounding success.
An Uminafied event is being planned for 2010.
Gosford Council has received $10,000 from CDSE funding to run the Youth Engagement Strategy program.
The strategy will continue to look at options for young people in the area while liaising with NSW Police and the Peninsula community on the redevelopment of the Peninsula Recreation Precinct and general use of the area among young people.
More than 380,000 people have visited the Peninsula Leisure Centre in 2009, which equates to over 1000 visits every day.
During the year, the centre has played host to over 30 school swimming carnivals, ran drumming workshops and hosted both State and National Water Polo Championships, as well as offering a pool lifeguard course for students at Brisbane Water High School.
Launched in 2009, the centre's Super Kids program continues to thrive in developing fit, healthy and active kids across the local community.
Celebrating its fourth birthday in October, the centre held a Community Open Day event to launch its Get Fit For Summer Campaign.
Over 250 people attended and to date over 50 people signed up for new memberships.
The centre has had over 1.5 million visits since it was opened four years ago.
To celebrate this achievement Gosford Council has recently invested $175,000 in new cardiovascular equipment which is now available to all members and guests.
The community had its say in shaping the future of Brisbane Water, with over 80 community members attending the Brisbane Water Estuary Management workshops in April.
An information evening was held to present the findings of the Brisbane Water Estuary Process Study, followed by three community consultation workshops held at Wagstaffe, Gosford and Woy Woy South.
The priority issues and management strategies raised during the workshops have contributed to the development of a Draft Brisbane Water Estuary Management Plan which will be on public exhibition from January 18 until March 12 next year.
On the cultural front, the Peninsula Theatre hosted the Short and Sweet Central Coast short play festival.
Now in its third year on the Central Coast, the festival's growing popularity delivered audiences a truly unique and entertaining experience, offering a diverse range of plays handpicked from an extensive pool of entries.
Highlights of this year's festival included Catch a Falling Knife by John AD Fraser, No Junk Mail by Frank Hatherley, Bangers by Donna Cameron, The Big C by Shaun Tinkler and Living with Mrs Spragg by Graham King and Megan McGowan.
Gosford Council commenced dredging of the entrance channel to Brisbane Water in December.
The dredging process involves the sweeping of sand from the navigational channel to the ocean side of the Ettalong Shoal, with the works taking place at the northern end of Broken Bay near Lobster Beach.
Dredging of the channel will improve conditions for vessels navigating through the entrance to Brisbane Water and is expected to be completed prior to Christmas.
Gosford Council has accepted the NSW State Government's offer to meet the shared responsibility for the maintenance dredging with the matching of funds for this work.
As is evident, there has been a lot happening on the Peninsula during 2009.
On behalf of Gosford Council, I look forward to continuing to work together with Peninsula residents to improve and enhance the Peninsula community in 2010.