On 12 May 2016, the NSW government amalgamated Gosford and Wyong Councils to become Central Coast Council. The community was never asked if they wanted to merge and 5 years later Central Coast Council faces a significant financial crisis, rates are going up, staff have been axed, community assets are being sold and services cut.
At the time of merger, Gosford and Wyong Councils had a combined debt of over $300 million and only $5 million in unrestricted funds – and yet the NSW government forced the merger of these Councils without the community’s backing.
The NSW Government appointed Administrator, Dick Persson, acknowledges that the community didn’t want the merger then and doesn’t want the merger now – but claims that the matter is resolved.
It is not.
The Friends of Democracy will focus on returning democracy to our community and reclaiming our Council.
Initially this will mean educating the community about the option of a demerger – what this means, what it costs and how it would be achieved. We will then see if there is support for the demerger option.
If not, then we need to consider how the community’s interests can best be served by a large Council. How do we build and support an engaged community that wants to protect the things that they love whilst planning for the future.
The Friends of Democracy is not politically aligned.
We welcome, and hope that, supporters from all political parties - and no political party - will join this cause.
12 January 2022
A submission to the Public Inquiry into Central Coast Council from Assoc. Professor Graham Sansom raised questions about the labels of “financial calamity” and “serious financial crisis” that triggered the suspension of democratically elected Councillors.
Although acknowledging that there were improvements needed in financial management, systems and processes, Mr. Sansom suggested that the touted $565 million debt is “an example of misuse of a big number”.
The Demerge NSW Alliance (DNA) was launched on Tuesday 9 November 2021 as a new coalition of residents and community groups from across New South Wales calling on councils to give their community a voice on the option of demergers. Central Coast Friends of Democracy is part of the alliance that is calling for communities to have their say about the future of the merged Councils.
On 12 May 2016, the NSW government amalgamated Gosford and Wyong Councils to become Central Coast Council. Five years later rates are going up, staff have been axed, community assets are being sold, services cut and there is a public inquiry into Central Coast Council. Our Council is broken and our local democracy is under threat.
Read about the pluses and minues of a merger / demerger - and take our survey. Download our flyer here
Dear resident of the Central Coast Council area,
If you support the call to demerge Central Coast Council and to reinstate the former Gosford and Wyong Council areas, then please
- Download the petition - click here
- Print the petition
- Complete with your correct details (as they appear on the Electoral Roll), sign and date
- Spread the word to encourage others to also complete a petition