You may have noticed we’ve posted a lot about Gosford and its residents on our Facebook page lately. That’s because they have just had their long-promised Performing Arts and Cultural Precinct shelved. Cancelled. Gone. Worse still, to be replaced by a tax office and after they’d accepted the closure of the historic Gosford Public School at the site, on the promise of that precinct.
There were workshops, stages and even a new library included in the plan. It would have created new jobs, brought people back into town in the evenings, and made Gosford a safer, more creative, more attractive place to live and visit in countless ways. It all looked so hopeful. We even campaigned around this project at the last State Election.
Yet now, without any serious community consultation, the entire project has been recycled to relocate the Australian Tax Office there instead. There are many other locations in and around Gosford that would better suit this move, and which would not sacrifice the Cultural Precinct. A tax office does not need a waterfront position. We're already spending more than $40million a year for empty government office spaces in Canberra alone.
The whole project feels like short term political convenience triumphing over long term investment in the local population and community, never mind any respect for encouraging the cultural life of Australians. It is the sort of issue that really gets us worked up – it goes to the core of why we exist as a party.
So I implore you, as someone who agrees with the principles of this party, to sign this petition today and add your voice to the outcry – and make a comment too when you do, that the Arts Party told you about this terrible decision.
And if you know anyone who lives on the Central Coast of NSW, then please forward this email to them. Only by standing together can we make things better, for what happens in Gosford today will keep happening elsewhere in the future.
Lucy Wicks is the Federal Liberal MP for Robertson, which covers Gosford.
The Central Coast, with over 320,000 residents, is the third largest urban area in New South Wales and the ninth largest urban area in Australia.