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Central Coast Council Financial Crisis - ePetition

On 11  February 2021, SHIRA were made aware of an ePetition created by two Central Coast residents regarding the financial crisis facing Central Coast Council after it's creation several years ago by the highly criticised amalgamation of the Gosford City Council and Wyong Shire Council. Below is the call to all residents to sign and send this ePetition to the NSW State Government.

Subsequently, the ePetition reached its 20,000 signature goal and the date and time for the debate set.

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An ePetition has been created to place our Central Coast Council problems and issues directly onto the floor of the NSW Legislative Assembly (Lower House) for POSSIBLE DEBATE (see next).

Sign the ePetition here so this happens...

 The ePetition covers pretty much everything that concerns "Coasties" now and into the future.

See the ePetition requests and layout here...


ePETITION SUCCESSFUL (Stage 1)... 21,422 signatures received!

The petition will be debated in AND webcast from the Legislative Assembly at 4pm on 6 May 2021.

Following is the email received by all those who submitted an ePetition signature...

"This is an automatically generated email from the NSW Legislative Assembly. 

The ePetition "JUDICIAL INQUIRY INTO THE FINANCIAL CRISIS FACING THE CENTRAL COAST COUNCIL" has closed for signatures and has been presented in the Legislative Assembly by Mr David Harris. 

The ePetition text in full is: 

To the Speaker and Members of the Legislative Assembly, The citizens and ratepayers of the Central Coast draw your attention to the financial crisis facing the Central Coast Council : * accumulated debt since amalgamation in 2016 of a reported $565 million, * accumulated losses over the past 4 years of well over $200 million, * unlawful and unauthorised use of Restricted Funds, * inability to pay staff and wages in October, 2020 without a bailout by the NSW Government of $6.2 million leading to the suspension of the Council and the appointment of an Administrator. We respectfully petition the Assembly to: 1. Hold a Judicial Inquiry to investigate : a) how this financial crisis happened and who is responsible, b) the poor performance and breaches of integrity requirements by the Council, c) reforms to the Local Government Act to protect the community from the impacts of financial mismanagement and malfeasance (if any) in the future, d) whether Councillors and senior staff were negligent in their duty to properly manage the Council and whether they have been dealt with appropriately, e) the impact of amalgamation on the Council's financial problems, f) any other matters relating to the poor performance of the Council. 2. Request the Minister for Local Government to delay any application by the Council to IPART for a Special Rate Variation of 10% or 15% and any decision on the sale of Council assets until residents can consider the findings of the Judicial Inquiry and its recommendations. 

The ePetition received 21422 signatures and has been sent to the NSW Government for a response. 

You will receive an email with a link to the response when it is received.

As the ePetition received more than 20,000 signatures, it will also be debated in the Legislative Assembly at 4pm on 06/05/2021. 

You can watch the debate on the webcast at"



ePetition Debated in State Parliament (Stage 2)

On 6 March NSW State Parliament finally debated the ePetition signed by more than 20,000 Central Coast residents regarding the major problems Central Coast Council have, but more significantly the (known and unknown) impact on all the property owners and residents just over the horizon.
All the local members debated, as well as the Ministers for Communities and Local Government.

State Government "Public Inquiry)" (Stage 3)

The end result of the ePetition and as mentioned in the debate by the Local Government  Minister, is a "Royal Commission" type "wide-reaching" Public Inquiry of the Central Coast Council looking into what happened to get to where we are now.
A State Government Public Inquiry has all the powers of a Royal Commission including:
  • power to compel witnesses
  • discovery of documents within Council
  • involvement of the public
  • make submissions
Appointed as the Independent Commissioner of this Public Inquiry is the "very prominent barrister" - Roslyn McCulloch.
Her more than 30 years of experience in the Local Government fields include:

  • public inquiry into Balranald Shire Council in 2019
  • working mainly in the Land and Environment Court
  • planning appeals
  • experienced in planning environmental and local government law
  • advised Councils on local government related matters
The Inquiry is expected to take about 12 months. At its conclusion McCulloch will present a report to the Minister, and possibly make recommendations regarding her findings.
Possible recommendations may include:
  • a Performance Improvement Order
  • dismissing Council altogether.
See the debate on YouTube at...