Central Coast Council vows to reveal all on airport decisions

UP IN THE AIR: Central Coast Airport, at Warnervale. Picture: David Stewart
UP IN THE AIR: Central Coast Airport, at Warnervale. Picture: David Stewart

CENTRAL Coast Council has resolved to authorise the “proactive release” of information relating to the future development of the Wyong Employment Zone, including the Central Coast Airport, at Warnervale, on its website and at council chambers. 

Mayor Jane Smith said there had been a perception of secrecy around the airport in the past and the proactive release of these documents would restore confidence in open decision-making. 

“If the community feel assured they are being given all the information they need to understand an issue, then they will then be able to better appreciate the decision-making of council,” Cr Smith said.

“Council tonight has deferred a decision on the re-allocation of budget to the airport and the Wyong Employment Zone for site visits and a full briefing.

“We understand there may be implications for current lease arrangements at the airport and want to ensure we have all the information we need to make the right decision.”

Central Coast mayor Jane Smith.

Central Coast mayor Jane Smith.

In 2016, then-Premier Mike Baird announced a $100-million aircraft manufacturing facility would be built at the airport.

Amphibian Aerospace Industries (AAI) was to relocate its American manufacturing operations to the Central Coast, under the plan, he said.

But in November last year, the new Central Coast Council jettisoned the former Wyong Council’s plans to develop the “aviation hub”.

It instead confirmed its support for the Warnervale Airport (Restrictions) Act, and resolved that the current 1196-metre runway not be extended, removed or altered. 

On Monday, Cr Smith said the council had not turned its back on the area.

“This will not derail our focus and plans to create much needed employment opportunities in the growing north of the Coast,” she said.

“We must invest in initiatives that will create the much-needed jobs our growing community need now and in the future.”

Documents relating to the Wyong Employment Zone that can be made fully public will be available on council’s website with some available for viewing only at council buildings due to copyright or other legal issues.