The Central Coast Regional Office NSW Department of Planning and Infrastructure have recently produced a discussion paper titled 2031 / Your Future Central Coast. The Discussion Paper focuses on areas important to supporting the projected addition of 64,250 people to the Central Coast by 2031 – housing, jobs, transport, infrastructure, natural resources (such as water supplies) and services, and the question of how we maintain the natural environment.
Our assessment of the focus of the planning is that it is very biased toward growth and an expansion of the extractive industries and there is no mention of how the rural lifestyle in the Mountain Districts will be preserved and enriched. The plan assumes the area will continue to be a source of fossil fuel mining including Coal Seam Gas for decades to come, a position at odds with calls from climate scientists for a rapid move to renewable energy sources.
We therefore undertook to send a submission in response to the discussion paper outlining the community’s views regarding Coal Seam Gas mining. Our submission is here, for your reference (PDF file).
The Mountain Districts Association also undertook to submit a response, which had a far broader scope than the Gasfield Free Mountain Districts submission – going beyond the question of CSG to also look at housing, roads, infrastructure and so on. The MDA’s response will be published on their website shortly.
The Department’s planning process allowed for a period of community consultation. This feedback will then inform the development of a new Regional Growth and Infrastructure Plan for the Central Coast. We are advised by the Dept. of Planning that the draft version of the RGIP will be out in approximately six months. We will also be commenting on that document when appropriate.