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Submission for a State and National Inquiry into Planning and Financing Growth Centres at the Local Government Level

Author: Raymond Charles Rauscher

Executive Summary

The catalyst for this submission are the proposer’s (Rauscher) conclusions reached in researching the planning and financing of Australian urban growth centres at the local government level. One main conclusion is the need for the State and Federal Governments (in cooperation with peak Local Government bodies) to examine different models (including value capture planning) to best plan and finance these growth centres. It is the Federal urban growth policy making that directly affects States and Local Government bodies. This applies, for example, to the Central Coast Council, a case study focus of this submission. In summary, it is proposed that the NSW State and the Federal Government initiate an inquiry under the title State and National Inquiry into Planning and Financing Growth Centres at the Local Government Level.


I would like introduce myself as a resident and town planner living in East Gosford, Central Coast on New South Wales. I have lived on the Central Coast since 1978 and have witnessed the actions of the three levels of government (Federal, State and Local) in planning and financing the growth of the Central Coast. I am making this submission given in particular the current challenges local councils (such as the Central Coast Council) face in planning and financing infrastructure and services in urban and regional growth areas.

I have recently completed three papers on the above subject that may assist all three levels of government in considering this submission’s proposal. The papers are as follows (with a brief comment after each, including how to access the papers):

  1. Planning and Financing Growth Centres – Role of State, Federal and Local Governments (Case Study Central Coast Region, NSW) (Rauscher 18 June 2021)
  • Planning Infrastructure Contributions within a Value Capture Framework (Rauscher 11 Sept 2021)
  • Regional Growth Centre Renewal and Value Capture Planning – Gosford City Centre Revitalisation (GCCR) (Rauscher 2021)
  1. Planning and Financing Growth Centres – Role of State, Federal and Local Governments (Case Study Central Coast Region, NSW) (Rauscher 18 June 2021)

This above paper (attached) (11p) was written in the light of the Central Coast Council’s (case study) current (2016-2021) planning and financial challenges in meeting growth centre needs. The paper was submitted to the NSW Commissioner of Public Inquiry – Central Coast Council (Term of Reference #3 – Other Matters). The paper examines planning and financing of growth centres (case study Central Coast) in the context of the roles of: State (New South Wales) (herein referred to as the State), Federal Government; and Local Government (Central Coast Council) (herein referred to as the Council).

The paper notes that one critical issue that has affected the operations of the Council (thus leading to the above Public Inquiry) is the lack of adequate funding for the Council to meet growth centre demands for infrastructure and services. The public focus since the State dismissal of the Councillors (2020) has been primarily (and acknowledged in this submission as important) on issues of: 1. the Council’s debt; 2. cost of the amalgamation of two councils into one; and, 3. responsibilities of Councillors and Council staff.

While these above issues are important and are being examined by the Commissioner (noted above) I submit the issues are broadly hinged on a general lack of funds available for the Council to finance required growth centre related infrastructure and services. A prime basis of this lack of funding is the unique features (shared with many other declared growth centres throughout Australia) of the Central Coast Region, that is:

1. Extensive and vulnerable environment of the region

2. Backlog of infrastructure and service requirements of the current population (the Central Coast being declared a State growth region in 1975 (46 years ago)

3. Continued costs of meeting settlement requirements of an incoming population (as determined usually by State urban settlement policies)

The implications of these above features to the Central Coast Council’s planning and financing of urban growth are severe and addressed in the paper. These implications may well apply to local government councils in other growth centres within Australia.

2. Planning Infrastructure Contributions within a Value Capture Framework (Rauscher 11 Sept 2021)

This paper (attached) (15p) focuses on the NSW Productivity Commissioner’s Final Report on the Review of the Infrastructure Contributions System (Dec 2020) and associated proposed legislation. The paper examines infrastructure provision within a value capture planning (VCP) framework. The paper outlines the importance for the NSW Government to adopt value capture principles in planning the provision of infrastructure and services (this would apply for instance to an area such as the Central Coast).

The paper argues that adopting a VCP framework could ensure certainty that funds are available to meet projected infrastructure and service needs stemming from development. The paper concludes that the NSW infrastructure contributions inquiry provides an ideal opportunity for the government to adopt required policies to meet future infrastructure and service needs, particularly in growth areas. The paper was recently forwarded (11 Sept 2021) to the NSW Minister for Planning (Hon. Bob Stokes) for his consideration.

3. Regional Growth Centre Renewal and Value Capture Planning – Gosford City Centre Revitalisation (GCCR) (Rauscher 2021)

This third paper outlines the background to, and provides a model for, value capture planning (VCP). The paper references the book Renewing Cities with Value Capture Planning (Rauscher 2021). Four city and regional growth areas (two in Sydney and two regional) are examined in respect to achieving through value capture policies: equitable housing; public and open spaces; and, sustainable transport. The book’s Chapter 5 (Regional Growth Centre Renewal and Value Capture Planning – Gosford City Centre Revitalisation (GCCR) is of relevance to planning and financing regional growth centres in areas such as the Central Coast. In a similar vein, Chapter 6 (Regional Capital City Renewal and Value Capture Planning – Greater Newcastle Metropolitan Area (GRMA) is relative to regional capitals’ planning and financing growth areas. The book and the individual chapters noted are accessible and listed in the References at the end of this submission. Finally, and relative to the subject of this submission, there is recent legislation adopted by the Victorian Government (July 2021) where principles of value capture in growth areas are examined. That legislation is built around the principle of ‘windfall gain’ (or ‘land value uplift’) applying to land rezoned for urban growth expansion.

Conclusions and Directions

In this submission there is a central argument for the States (i.e. NSW) and the Federal Government (in cooperation with Local Government peak bodies) to examine the planning and financing of growth centres at the local government level. The submission suggests this be done in the form of a State and National Inquiry into Planning and Financing Growth Centres at the Local Government Level. It’s important to observe that it is the Federal level of planning and financing urban growth that States and Local Government (such as the Central Coast Council case example) are dependent on.  Finally, it’s suggested that NSW State and Federal Members in that State’s growth centres be engaged to support this submission’s suggestion of an inquiry of this type.  


  1. NSW Productivity Commission (Dec 2020) NSW Productivity Commissioner’s Final Report on the Review of the Infrastructure Contributions System. NSW Productivity Commission, Sydney
  • Rauscher, Ray (18 June 2021) Planning and Financing Growth Centres – Role of State, Federal and Local Governments (Case Study Central Coast Region, NSW). Attachment
  • Rauscher, Ray (11 Sept 2021) Planning Infrastructure Contributions within a Value Capture Framework. Attachment
  • Rauscher, Ray (2021a) Regional Capital City Renewal and Value Capture Planning – Greater Newcastle Metropolitan Area (GRMA)

Regional Capital City Renewal and Value Capture Planning – Greater Newcastle Metropolitan Area (GNMA)

  • Rauscher, Ray (2021b) Regional Growth Centre Renewal and Value Capture Planning – Gosford City Centre Revitalisation (GCCR)

Regional Growth Centre Renewal and Value Capture Planning – Gosford City Centre Revitalisation (GCCR)


Dr Ray Rauscher

U4 #25 Waratah St

East Gosford 2250

Tel. 4311 6674 or M. 043 500 4844

Date 15 Sept 2021

Submission to Commissioner – Public Inquiry (Central Coast Council)

Submission to Commissioner

Notice of Public Inquiry – Central Coast Council

Planning and Financing Growth Centres – Role of State, Federal and Local Governments (Case Study Central Coast Region, NSW)

Submission Focus: Term of Reference #3


Ms Roslyn McCulloch


Office of Local Government

Locked Bag 3018

Nowra 2541


Dr. Ray Rauscher

U4 #25 Waratah St East Gosford 2250  

M 043 500 4844

H 4311 6674                                                                           Dated: 18 June 2021




1. Local Government Rates and State Cost Shifting to Local Government

1.1 Local Government Rates

1.2 State Cost Shifting to Local Government

2. State and Council Planning and Financing a Growth Centre

2.1 Major Open Space and Wildlife Corridor Systems

2.2. Local and Regional Roads

2.3 Bus Transport and Bus Shelters

2.4 Transit Ways

2.5 Bikeways

2.6 Gosford Transport Interchange

2.7 Footpath and Curb and Gutter Provisions

2.8 Cultural and Community Service Facilities

2.9 Heritage Planning

2.10 Library and Recreation Facilities

2.11 Central Coast CBDs Main Streets Upgrading

3. Local Government Reform and Central Coast Growth Centre Costs

3.1 Local Government Reform Process

3.2 State Significant Areas

3.3 Central Coast Region Gaining City Status

3.4 New Approaches to Funding Growth Centres Such as the Central Coast

3.5 Governance and Elections Review



I make this submission to the Commissioner of the Public Inquiry into the Central Coast Council (NSW) (herein called the Council). On the basis of Terms of Reference of the Inquiry I wish to address several items under Terms of Reference #3, ‘other matter that warrants mention particularly those that may impact on the effective administration of Council’s functions and responsibilities or the community’s confidence in the Council being able to do so’.

In addressing the #3 Term of Reference I submit that one critical issue that has affected the operations of the Council (leading to this Inquiry) is the implications of planning and financing for the Region as a Growth Centre. The public focus (and the rightful seeking of information by all parties) since the dismissal of the Councillors by the State has been primarily on: the Council’s debt; cost of the amalgamation of two councils into one; and, responsibilities of Councillors and Council staff. While these are important and central questions I submit they are broadly hinged on a general lack of funds available for this Council (given a number of uniquely regional features) to be addressed herein.

The planning and financing of growth centres is examined in the context of the roles of State (New South Wales) and Local Government (Central Coast Council). It is acknowledged that the Federal Government of Australia plays a significant role across its Parliament and Departments in planning and financing growth centres. The submission, however, focuses on the Terms of Reference of the Inquiry.

The submission is written in the light of the Central Coast Council’s current position (May 2021) of a budget deficit of $547m (a major part of which was brought over from the pre-amalgamated councils). Any review by the State (via the Commissioner’s inquiry work and recommendations to the State) in the planning and financing of a growth centre such as the Central Coast (thus Central Coast Council) needs to reference the Federal Government’s role and responsibilities.


In the development of any urbanizing area (city or region) there are fundamental planning and financing tools. At various times the governance bodies contribute different expertise. The starting point for any review is the Central Coast Region being declared a NSW Regional Growth Centre in 1975 (Central Coast Structure Plan (DoP 1975).


In examining growth centre planning and finance, the significance of population growth on the Central Coast needs to be first addressed. Population growth on the Central Coast has been a major issue since 1975 (noted in the above Structure Plan release). Hence the region has experienced growth from 70,000 residents (1975) to the current population of 354,915 (February 2021) and a projected population of 414,615 in 2036 (additional increase of 59,700 people as noted above) (references: idcommunity demographic resources and Central Coast Planning Strategy 2036 (DPIE 2018).

Projecting ahead 20 years from 2036 to 2056, this author estimates a likely population will be close to 500,000 (½ million) (an increase of 85,385 from the projected 2036 population). In summary from the 2021 population (354,915) there could be an increase of 145,085 people on the Central Coast by 2056 (that is within 35 years). To examine this projection within a timeline looking backwards from 2021 to 1986 (35 years) is not considered by most as a long timeline. In conclusion, population growth and the challenges it presents to the State and Central Coast Council’s planning and financing is a core and significant factor for the public and governance.

The aspect of sustainability (environment, social and economic) is also essential to address by all parties (including the Commissioner of this Public Inquiry). What choice within governance decision making (State and Local) will be offered to Central Coast residents in determining an optimum and sustainable population (and cost to service that population) for the Central Coast?  There are three major factors within this population question that will need to be considered in any review by the Commissioner now and State and Local Government at all times, namely:

1. Quality of life of all Central Coast individuals (including implications of Covid-19 pandemic)

2. The movement of a portion of Greater Sydney’s growing population (under State planning timeframes) to the Central Coast

3. Impact of population increases on the environment of the Central Coast

Growth Centres

It’s acknowledged that the Central Coast Region is one of five NSW urban growth centres within and adjacent to Greater Sydney. The other four centres are: South West Sydney; Western Sydney; Illawarra-Wollongong; and, Greater Newcastle Metropolitan Area. Planning and financing for all growth centres includes, and to herein be addressed:

1. Local Government Rates and State Cost Shifting to Local Government

2. State and Council Planning and Financing a Growth Centre

3. Local Government Reform and Central Coast Growth Centre Costs

1. Local Government Rates and State Cost Shifting to Local Government

There are two questions here (rates and cost shifting) for the State and the Council to address:

1.1 Local Government Rates

The submission acknowledges a decision this month by the New South Wales Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) (in determining Council’s request) for a rate rise of 15% (an increase above the 2% allowable annual rate rise increment as set by the State) over three consecutive years. Given the harmonizing of rates across the whole of the Central Coast (as required by the State), the rate rise will be significantly higher than the 15% within in the pre-amalgamated Gosford City area. The harmonization adds an additional 27.1% average increase in rates in the old Gosford City area. The rates in general will fall within the pre-amalgamated Wyong Shire area.

The rates question is acknowledged to be a complex and most significant one for Council and all ratepayers of the Central Coast. Coupled with the rates question is the issue of asset sales to raise funds to bring the debt down (noted above) as is currently proceeding  Both of these two issues and several others are core items in respect to meeting costs of a regional growth centre such as the Central Coast. The issues are especially important given the planned regional population increase (approximately 59,700 to 2036, only 15 years from 2021) under State residential release area planning.)

1.2 State Cost Shifting to Local Government

Cost shifting signals a council carrying financial impositions by the State. The cost shifting is within a context of a council existing as a statutory body created by the State. The council’s councillors, for example, can be dismissed by the State (as occurred with the Central Coast Council in 2020). Thus cost shifting to local government, as one issue, needs review, including (for example) in areas of:  waste charges; and, costs associated with State owned land and water assets such as Tuggerah Lakes and their foreshores. The Lakes and foreshores, for example, require continue Council upgrading, recreation use provisions and maintenance (i.e. dredging and stabilisation of The Entrance Channel). Finally, at the same time local government in Australia has no constitutional recognition to better position itself in areas such as cost shifting. It’s understood that most Australians favour a local government constitutional recognition.

2. State and Council Planning and Financing a Growth Centre

There are a number of questions for the State and Council to address under planning and financing of a growth centre as follows:

2.1 Major Open Space and Wildlife Corridor Systems

Major open space provisions such as the Coastal Open Space System (COSS) needs review to determine a greater funding role of the State and Federal Governments (including planning, additional land acquisitions, use of and maintenance of these spaces). In addition, the State needs to examine how conservation and wildlife corridors can be further established, expanded and maintained (see State Government’s North Wyong Shire Structure Plan 2012). This is especially so in the growth development release areas such as Lake Munmorah and the extension of the COSS program into all of the former Wyong Shire area of the Central Coast.

2.2. Local and Regional Roads

Many of the roads on the Central Coast are designated ‘local’ by the State (thus funded by the Council). A State review of those roads that could more logically be designated ‘regional’ is needed. In addition, many roads designated ‘regional’ and maintained by Council under agreement with the State (with a subsidy to Council) needs to also be reviewed. The State indicated via a press release on 25 Jan 2021 (Coast News) that it will be reviewing these road designations throughout the State to (quote) ‘ease the associated costs to councils (and thus ratepayers)’.

2.3 Bus Transport and Bus Shelters

The State, given its provision of leasing new buses to Central Coast bus companies (as well as the State collection of fares and provision of information plinths) should also take over the role of providing bus shelters.  There is a pressing need for bus shelters over the entire Central Coast. Apparently the Council does not have the financial ability to provide and maintain these shelters. In one suburb alone, Springfield, there are 18 bus stops in the main bus route (total stops covering both directions) and only 2 shelters. This situation exists in a suburb that was targeted by State zoning for rapid development in the 1970s (50 years ago). It’s surmised that the Central Coast residents’ low bus patronage (excluding school runs) is partly a result of poor bus infrastructure such as appropriate and modern shelters (i.e. containing lighting, etc.).

2.4 Transit Ways

It’s noted the State has funded (around year 2000) 3 new Transit Ways (Parramatta to growth centres of Liverpool, Rouse Hill and Blacktown). This included state of the art bus shelters (with time boards, bike racks, adequate seating, night lights and emergency telephone). There are many opportunities for the State to undertake Transit Ways on the Central Coast. The first such route would be from Woy Woy via Gosford, Erina, Bateau Bay, Tuggerah, Wyong, North Lakes and Wyee. It is understood that the Central Coast Sustainable Transport Group submitted this proposal to the NSW Minister for Transport in 2020.

2.5 Bikeways

There appears to be a major need for a greater take up by the State in financing bikeways and related infrastructure on the Central Coast. The current expenditure on bikeways is inadequate in meeting the bikeway plans as adopted by the Council.

2.6 Gosford Transport Interchange

The Gosford Transport Interchange needs a total upgrade similar to Newcastle Interchange. This is particularly the case for the bus waiting area as this area is antiquated and totally inadequate for a growth centre.  Upgrades such as electronic bus time signage, seating and commuter protection from wet weather needs attention in a master plan. This would include finance from the State and/or private public partnerships (PPPs) (such as the Newcastle example cited).

2.7 Footpath and Curb and Gutter Provisions

The State needs to consider assisting Council in undertaking footpath and curb and gutter provisions throughout the urban areas. It is understood that there is a Council 50 to 60 year backlog (mostly in established areas) in the provision of this essential infrastructure.  The Council budget is miniscule compared to this backlog, suggesting some urban areas will never see adequate footpaths and curb and guttering. In respect, for a growth area designated in 1975 as noted in the introduction, this situation would appear to be a dysfunction of governance provisions. The issue thus needs a partnership solution between the Council and the State.

2.8 Cultural and Community Service Facilities

Cultural and Community Service facilities on the Central Coast need to receive better State and Federal Governments support in planning, financing and upkeep. This upkeep of facilities happens extensively in Sydney where State cultural facilities, for example, are readily State funded. This includes Sydney’s museums, culture, performing arts centres, and the recent (2021) $40m upgrade of the Wharf Theatre in The Rocks.

There is a recent case study on the inability of State, Federal and Local governance to engage the Central Coast community to build a Central Coast Performing Arts Centre (PAC). The project was promoted over 20 years (2000-2020) by the local community. The failure to see this facility eventuate (as reported in the local newspapers The Advocate and Coast News over several years) appears to be attributed to a lack of agreement (in site location and finance) by the State, Federal and Council.  As a result it’s suggested the Central Coast community’s confidence in the three levels of governance working together was diminished. A review of projects such as PAC would be valuable for future need provisions (often generated from the community level). 

2.9 Heritage Planning

The State needs a major role in heritage planning (including signage) in centres such as Gosford City Centre and other major and minor Central Coast CBDs.

2.10 Library and Recreation Facilities

In respect to Gosford CBD library (replacing the existing one) it has taken Council (given funding shortages) over 25 years (1996-2021) to plan, allocate finance, and agree on a site. On 17 Feb 2021 the Council (via the Administrator) agreed to finance the new library. This long timeline suggests Council’s inability to be able to finance some major service provisions such as libraries and recreation facilities and thus needing review. Central Coast residents note, for example, the State is assisting Greater Sydney in the rebuilding, upgrading and operation of the NSW State Library and numerous sporting complexes. The State has financed the new Parramatta Stadium (2020) and has put forth plans to rebuild other Sydney stadiums.

2.11 Central Coast CBDs Main Streets Upgrading

The State may need to expand areas of financial assistance and consider joint programs with Council to upgrade many Central Coast CBDs and main streets. These include, for example, CBDs of Woy Woy, Ettalong, Umina, North Gosford, East Gosford, Erina, Bateau Bay, Long Jetty, The Entrance, Tuggerah, Wyong, Toukley, Budgewoi and Northlakes. This could include a review of funding for upgrading and provision of traffic calming, public amenities (i.e. toilets), open spaces, infrastructure, rest areas, landscaping, passive recreation, children’s play areas, seating etc.).

3. Local Government Reform and Central Coast Growth Centre Costs

There are several questions for the State and Council to address under local government reform and the continuing Central Coast growth centre costs, as follows:

3.1 Local Government Reform Process

On a broad basis the State Government may need to review its local government reform processes. The State for example commenced its local government reform investigations in 2012 (main document being Destination 2036). It’s noted that this process commenced before the State legislated amalgamations in 2016 within the Local Government (Council Amalgamations) Proclamation 2016.

The State’s amalgamation steps affected the Central Coast councils of Gosford and Wyong. It is understood in effect that the two councils were amalgamated (as a Central Coast Council) via an ultimatum by the State (as reported in the Sydney and Central Coast papers in late 2015). It was reported that the Gosford Mayor’s delegation to the Minister for Local Government at the time was informed the State would amalgamate the two councils were Gosford Council not to agree to amalgamation. In general the resident sentiment on the Central Coast (then and now in 2020) appears to be that the residents were not effectively and fully engaged by the State in its amalgamation review process. That said, the State may need to review the full implications of the amalgamation, including related costings incurred by the new Council, extended finance impositions on ratepayers now and into the future (noted above), and State to local government cost shifting (also noted above). Finally, the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) needs to examine reforms of local government from that tri-governmental level. This group is chaired by the Prime Minister of Australia Scott Morrison and has equal sitting rights with the States afforded to the Australian Local Government Association.

3.2 State Significant Areas

A review may be needed on the implications (i.e. planning and finance at State and Council levels) of the State designation of ‘State Significant Areas’. Gosford City Centre, for example, is designated a revitalisation area (under the State’s Gosford City Centre Revitalisation Program 2018). There are planning and finance implications of this designation for Gosford CBD. A wider public understanding of this State planning process is needed, given there are  other major development areas that would warrant State initiated (in cooperation with Council) revitalization attention. These may include centres within the following urban growth corridors:  Woy Woy-Umina Corridor; Somersby to Erina Corridor, Tuggerah-Wyong to Warnervale Corridor, The Entrance-Long Jetty and Bateau Bay Corridor, and Northlakes to Lake Munmorah Corridor.

3.3 Central Coast Region Gaining City Status

The loss of the designation of ‘Gosford City’ under the amalgamation noted above may need to be addressed by the State. City status, for example, has a range of financial, state, national and international advantages to capitalise on.  The State, it is noted, refers within its State Significant revitalisation plans for Gosford CBD (see above 3.2) as plans for the ‘Gosford City Centre’.

The State may wish (in cooperation with Council) to establish and fund a ‘Committee to Investigate Central Coast City Status’. The committee would investigate all implications (pluses and minuses) of the potential for the Central Coast achieving city status. Such a committee could spend up to two years to complete its task (including engaging the electorate and working within the Central Coast Council chambers). In time the Committee (in cooperation with Council) would present a report for comment to the electorate and then to the State. The report would include comments on how other urban and regional areas have achieved city status.

In addition, it is important to ensure democratic procedures are used in consideration of city status. A referendum on city status could be considered for the 2024 NSW local government elections. Were the results to indicate a majority in favour of city status the implementation of that move would again be the responsibility of the Committee to Investigate Central Coast City Status. The referendum could offer names for such a city, including for example: City of Gosford Wyong, or City of the Central Coast. Within a city designation there could then be designated a number of city centres for planning and financing, including:  Gosford Centre (potentially keeping its current State designated ‘regional capital’), Woy Woy-Umina Centre, Tuggerah-Wyong Centre, The Entrance-Long Jetty Centre, Toukley Centre, Northlakes Centre, and so forth.

3.4 New Approaches to Funding Growth Centres Such as the Central Coast

Despite the development of the Central Coast (as a designated Growth Centre), there appears inadequate financing (Federal, State and Council levels) of a range of affordable and social housing, open and public spaces and sustainable transport (examples noted above). New approaches to funding costs related to urban development, especially in growth centres, will also need scrutiny. There needs, for example, to be linked four (4) year budgets of the three levels of government – Australian, State and Local. This budgeting arrangement would give certainty to urban planning and financial needed at that third level of local government. The current short term continual and expensive grants competition within the State-local government framework (often highly politicized) needs to be reformed.

A State review of this financing challenge could incorporate looking at expanding the band of urban development finance approaches. One system widely used in other countries and occasionally in Australia (i.e. in transport projects such as the planned Aerotropolis in Southwest Sydney and Metro Sydney) is Value Capture Planning (VCP). The subject covers developer provisions and land value capture levies. See a current book (2021) on the subject of VCP entitled Renewing Cities with Value Capture Planning (Rauscher 2021). The book develops a VCP model and applies this model to four growth areas (case study in brackets): Greater Sydney Inner City (Waterloo-Redfern); Greater Sydney Middle City (Canterbury-Bankstown); Central Coast (Gosford City Centre); and, Newcastle Greater Metropolitan Area (Newcastle West End).

3.5 Governance and Elections Review

There have been recent suggestions by Central Coast residents over the 2020 and 2021 period (see Coast News) and by the previous Council Administrator (Dick Persson) of the need for a local government governance and elections review. The governance of Council (including number of councillors, ward systems, and structures for engagement of the public) is an important review area given the Central Coast is a growth centre. The Administrator has recommended a referendum for the coming Sept 2021 election with one option being to reduce the number of councillors from 12 to 9 and wards from five to three. This decision by the Administrator at the time appears to be premature until all reports (including the Commissioner’s) to State government are complete and recommendations considered.

A wide review of the Central Coast as a Growth Centre (especially for planning and financing) is critical (as noted in above examples).  A review could tie into the State’s local government reform process noted earlier (see above 3.1). The review could also tie in the Federal Government’s review of local government planning and finance. This could include consideration of constitutional recognition (1.2 above). Finally, there are many other alternatives that should be considered in reviewing governance for planning and financing growth on the Central Coast and other growth centres (noted in the introduction above). Some of these alternatives relating to Greater Sydney and growth centres are addressed in the recent book Cities in Global Transition (Rauscher 2017 Chapter 18).


There are several conclusions drawn from this submission for the Commissioner to consider, including:

  1. Many of the suggestions within this submission could apply to other NSW council areas (especially nominated Greater Sydney and Regions Growth Centres as noted).
  • A full State review (in consultation with the Australian and local governments) of the position of local government in regards to planning and financing growth and development is needed. This would include examining Federal, State, and local governments’ roles as noted in numerous examples covered within this submission.
  • An examination is needed of Federal, State and local government sustainable population projections (as noted in the introduction and including post covid-19 urban planning implications).
  • Any State review needs to project ahead to the year 2036 and 2056. These are the years the NSW State, for example, is using in its forward planning (as noted).
  • The State will need to carefully and comprehensively consider all recommendations by the Commissioner for this Inquiry and the range of suggestions contained in the submissions likely to be made.

In closing, these issues of planning and financing of growth and development at the local government level have been raised for many years and in many other localities of the State and nation. The importance of these issues, for example, has been expressed by a full spectrum of Central Coast interests. These interests cover residents, businesses, elected officials and institutions.

I trust the Commissioner’s report will provide the State with needed directions of change within the parameters of the Inquiry’s third term of reference (that this submission focused on) in addition to the two other terms of reference.

Respectfully submitted

_______________________________                                  _______________

Dr. Ray Rauscher                                                                   Dated 18 June 2021

U4 #25 Waratah St

East Gosford 2250  

M 043 500 4844

H 4311 6674 


Department of Planning (1975) Central Coast Structure Plan. State Government, Sydney

Department of Planning, Infrastructure and Environment (DPIE) (2018) Central Coast Planning Strategy 2036. State Government, Sydney

NSW Government (2012) Destination 2036. NSW State Government, Sydney

NSW Government (2012) North Wyong Shire Structure Plan.  NSW State Government, Sydney

NSW Government (2016) Local Government (Council Amalgamations) Proclamation 2016. NSW State Government, Sydney

NSW Government (2018) Gosford City Centre Revitalisation Program 2018. NSW State Government, Sydney

Rauscher, Ray (2017) Cities in Global Transition. Springer Publishers, Switzerland

Rauscher, Ray (2021) Renewing Cities with Value Capture Planning. Springer Publishers, Switzerland

Habitat Association after 11 years of publishing

After 11 years of publishing on the WordPress platform, the association has done a review of the articles on four of its sites:

  1. the habitat Association main site.
  2. Habitat Town planning Forum
  3. Habitat Association Centre for Renewable Energy
  4. Gallery 2020 Publishing

In addition to the above sites habitat has three older sites still available:

5. Habitat Short Story nook

6. Visions of inner Sydney, which were research photographs for several published books, by Ray Rauscher

and lastly

7. Will the real Melchizedek please step forward, which was again researcher for philosophical book, which is likely to become the basis for further research, into the true history of humanity on earth, It Is also the basis for a published book: entitled; Melchizedek, High Priest of God And Your destiny in this eternal priesthood.

On reviewing many of the articles written around the year 2010 posted on the first four habitat sites, Ray Rauscher one of the directors of the Habitat sites sites noted that most of the articles are still very relevant today after over ten years of publishing.

This is an inditement on the progress made in the world , issues such as climate, conservation, and progressive planning and local government management in Australia today.

The Habitat Association must congratulate Ray Rauscher on publishing six books on progressive planning in growth areas in Sydney and other locations in the greater Sydney area and his knowledge of other environments in world such as the growth of urbanisation in New York in the united States of america.


To source and/or print authored papers from the Habitat website take 3 steps (please reference the author and site web if material is used).

  1. Go to subject of your choice (on right scroll down).
  2. To copy press on item and select ‘save as’ nominating your folder
  3. Or, select print the item (can view print item), then press print


New South Wales Renewable Energy Policy (2017)


Renewable energy and non-bulk rail freight to replace road freight (2015)


Renewable energy policy development in Australia from 2001 to 2017 (2017)


Transforming Australia to a sustainable energy economy (2017)


What are fossil fuels doing to our planetary systems? (2016)



Council Amalgamations New South Wales  (2016)

Council Amalgamations


What do we mean by the word philosophy? (2021)

What do we mean by the word philosophy


Central Coast Regional Growth Area by Dr. Ray Rauscher and Kevin Armstrong (2011)

North Wyong Structure Plan NSW Australia by David Holland (2011)

Submission for the North Wyong Structure Plan NSW Australia

Planning and finance role of NSW state and federal governments in growth centre-development – central coast region case study (2021)


Visions of Inner Sydney


Train and Bus Interchange Blue Haven, NSW, Australia  (2012)

Blue Haven Train and Bus Interchange 2012 

Transport planning long term for New South Wales (2012)

Submission on discussion paper on long-term transport planning for NSW

Transport precinct, a proposal for renewal in Wyong, NSW, Australia (2012)

Wyong Transport precinct, a proposal for renewal


Table 1. Papers on Habitat Association for Arts and Environment Web

Subject  A-ZPaper (or Submission) and AuthorAuthorDate
Central Coast Regional GrowthCentral Coast Regional Growth AreaArmstrong, Kevin2012
North Wyong PlanningSubmission for the North Wyong Structure Plan NSW AustraliaHolland, David2016

Living a Good Life

This is the notes from a lecture of one of the Habitat affiliated groups organised by one of the Habitat Association directors, ray raucher.

This Group has an interest in writing and conversing about philosophy, this article is the notes from lecture given by Phillip Stroud a retired lawyer at at a meeting of the group on the 14th of May 2021, held in East Gosford. 

Notes by Philip Stroud

What do we mean by the term “Good Life”?

A life of happiness?

A life of value?

The discussion requires consideration of the following philosophical branches:

“Metaphysics”    the nature of reality, what is the world about? 

“Ethics”                what should we do? What sort of person should I  

       be? How should I behave towards others?

Firstly, for discussion, why should we live a Good Life? 

In preparing this paper the following two works were considered:

200 Words to help you talk about Philosophy Anja Steinbauer,   published Laurence King, and

How to live a Good Life-A guide to choosing your personal Philosophy

Ed: Massimo Pigliucci (Stoic), published Vintage Books 2020.

Pigliucci argues that we have a philosophy of life even if we are not aware of it. That is each of us has a view about the world and each of us behaves towards others in accordance with an ethical framework we have adopted. The question is does our philosophy of life stand up to scrutiny? Is it a “good”philosophy of life?

The book deals with an array of philosophical views, including religious and non-religious, and some which cannot be categorised as either.

Each chapter is written by someone who has adopted, or is an expert in, a particular philosophical way of life. The following are included, Buddhism, Confucianism, Hinduism, Aristotelianism, Epicureanism, Stoicism, Existentialism, Effective Altruism, Pragmatism and Secular Humanism. The book does not deal with Marxism, Feminism, or liberalism.

Our “first” philosophy of life is developed as children. In western societies it is usually a form of Christianity such as Anglicanism or Catholicism. Many drift away as a result of questioning God’s existence but adopt Christianity’s ethical framework.

I will now go into more detail on three of the philosophies of life discussed in the book, namely, Buddhism, Aristotelianism and Effective Altruism.

  1. Buddhism[1]

The key Buddhist idea is to live compassionately, to try to relieve suffering of all sentient beings. The ethical imperative is to “always love, to substitute compassion and love whenever there is suffering, violence, cruelty and hate.”

  1. Everything is impermanent.
  2. Humans exist for a time only. Consciousness connects us to our past and present experience.
  3. Strive on with awareness.
  4. There is no God or higher power.
  5. The world is a fragile place and full of suffering (“dukkha”).
  6. One major cause of suffering is “the grasping ego”.
  7. Ego is acquisition and prone to anger and rage when it doesn’t get what it wants ( but doesn’t in fact really need)
  8. Need to be attentive to catch opportunities to improve the world or oneself.
  9. Ethical behaviour.
  10. Mindfulness or meditation.

Three strands:     Impermanence, no self

                               Ethics of compassion and loving kindness

                               Meditation and mindfulness

Does Buddhism lead to a happy life?  Not necessarily but can lead to serenity and equanimity and a reduction of suffering.

  • Aristotelianism[2]

Aristotle means “best purpose”. To live a good life means to flourish          and strive for all around well-being. To live to your full potential in all aspects of your life, but virtue is necessary.

The main criticism is that you may encounter bad luck and so not be able to “flourish”.  In contrast “stoicism” accepts the vicissitudes of life. You can increase chances of good luck by making the most of personal attributes.

We have the capacity to “reason” and can ask ourselves “what should I do”.  This leads to a life of contemplation and the pursuit of knowledge and so there needs to be a balance between “moral virtue” and “flourishing”. 

A modern adaptation focuses on “well-being”, mental health and the psychological practice of “cognitive behaviour therapy”.  

Morality is relative and not absolute and needs to be ascertained from experience (i.e. situational ethics)

3     Effective Altruism[3]

This requires us to dedicate some of our resources towards making the world a better place and to ensure those resources are used as effectively as possible.

We should determine where the problems are in the world today where my effort can make the biggest difference and how to achieve this.

 What are the practical steps to adopt this philosophy?[4]

  1. Outcome, results oriented cf. Bentham’s Utilitarianism
  2. To do as much good as possible, evaluate charities we give to
  3. All people are of equal value, including people not yet born. Peter Singer in his book “The most you can do”poses the question as “what is best?” and not “Is this good?”
  4. Undertake research to ascertain the issues and the best way to tackle them:  e.g., climate change, pain and suffering in the world, and causes of poverty 
  5. Adopt careers to address the problems. For example, become a doctor and work formedicines’ sans frontiersto reduce suffering from disease and illness or a lawyer to reduce injustice etc.


On page 1 I posed the question Why should we live a Good Life?

Life is short and as humans we do have a view or understanding of the world we live in, and we do endeavour to live life according to a set of ethical principles.  We can unconsciously or uncritically live our lives without really questioning or modifying our metaphysical and ethical approaches to life, or as I would recommend, we examine them in order to develop a more meaningful and fulfilling philosophy of life. It may be on reflection this evolves over the course of our short time on this planet.

It would be satisfying at the end of life to be able to look back and declare “I have lived a Good Life.” I imagine this would also, although not necessarily, amount to a happy life and a life of value.


[1]Owen Flanagan, a self-described “hybrid” Buddhist

[2]Daniel Kaufman     A Jew converted to Aristotelianism

[3]Kelsey Piper

[4]Doing Good Better, Will MacAskill an oxford university philosophy professor

  Charity Evaluator, GiveWell

Modelling Climate Change Uncertainties

By David Holland

Global climate models are used in the Independent Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Assessment Report Four (AR4) and Assessment Report Five (AR5) to predict future climates.

How have the modellers resolved the uncertainties of climate change predictions?

This article is based on study related to Masters of Environmental Management (Natural Resources) undertaken by David Holland 2016

When entering the world of prediction we are looking into a crystal ball with many possibilities. With Climate change predictions, we may know the past, howbeit in less detail than would be desired, but the future is simply a guessing game.  Satellite technologies have produced data since the year 2000 with increased accuracy which has increased the hindsight data available to both AR4 and AR5. Increasingly data is becoming more refined and reflective of what is actually happening on the ground.

Wigley and Raper (2001) as cited in Meehl Gerald A.  (USA), Stocker Thomas F. (Switzerland), (2007) as part of IPCC AR4, states the main uncertainties are uncertainties in emissions, the climate sensitivity, the carbon cycle, ocean mixing and aerosol forcing.

But uncertainty in the future is about the best guess based on past experience. We do not know how much meetings like the Paris accord will change the governments of the world to react to the climate issues or how quickly they will react and as a result we simply do not know the volume of future GHG emission into the future.

Volcanologists can predict certain volcanic events but the prediction of where, and how big a volcanism events may be, and then how long an aerosol event may last is less certain. All we can say is that there is a likelihood of future volcanism.

We understand that the sun has a11-year cycles between sun spot activity by looking into the past but in the future things may change. As unlikely as it seems solar forcing could change.

But the most sensitive and possibly most uncertain is radiative forcing changes. This relates to the potential for changes in the concentrations of GHG’s in the atmosphere and the resultant heat retained in the atmosphere from solar radiation. There is a range of variables associated with this process. The feed back loop related to CO2 atmospheric /oceanic flux, the albedo effect reduction as ice caps melt and more ocean is exposed and how the ocean and atmospheric circulations will be affected by all this.

The first coupled models started their life in 1995 by the Climate Variability and Predictability Numerical Experimentation Group, which came out of the reconstituted World Climate Research Programme. They were call “Coupled Model Intercomparison Projects (CMIP)”. (Gerald A. Meehi, Curt Covey, Bryant McAvaney, Mojib Latif, and Ronald J. Stouffer, (Jan 2005) )

Coupled models are more advanced models, which incorporate complex software interactions of data relationships to produce output that mimics a natural system.

They are defined as a complex interaction of the various software components in the model. This interaction produces results that could be skewed by the addition of a spurious variables or a factor in the maths that may be erroneous. So inherently within the model there are at least two uncertainties, the weighting of the variables and the models complexity not fully understood as it attempts to mimic real natural systems.

As time went on several versions of this model emerged and with a variety of data sets being used to run on these models. CMIP3 was one of the better early models but it, as all the models had inaccuracies.

The various data sets from recorded data would produce a range of results from the coupled models and as a result any output from the model would have  uncertainty as to which results could be considered correct if at all any were correct.

Land use changes also have an impact of the future accuracy of a model. Land use change can change the dynamics of the complex interactions of GHGs, flux, radiative forcing within a system. If the model does not have this information then the change will not be reflected in the model output.

The CMIP5 model was able to used much less grainy data sets, which enabled CMIP5 to produce regional climate models (RCMs). But as these were on smaller scales some anomalies were observed on the edges of the regions that did not seem to match an adjacent regions boundary. As a result questions were raised as to what uncertainties needed to be addressed to correct these aberrations.

Clearly climate modelling is peppered with uncertainties, but the argument is that with better and more extensive data sets and the ground truthing of existing models, better models will be made in an attempt to reduce internal anomalies. But the fact remains that modelling is still attempting to predict an uncertain future.

Unfortunately there are a variety of data sets available to feed into the models and a range of models.

The next generation of models were used in the IPCC’ assessment report 4. These multi-model means were starting to be used because the various coupled models seemed to give both accurate and inaccurate correlations to the real natural system as recorded in the past. So if the model produced an accurate simulation on past data then it was reasoned likely that future predictions on simple climate model trends data would produce an accurate coupled data result for the future.

The fact was that coupled data results varied considerably using differed data sets and climate model versions. So it seemed to be logical that if the result were averaged, the results of the 5% to 95% results, (which gets rid of the eccentric data results), we will get from a lot of uncertain results a more certain result. This is an understanding of what a multi-model mean is. A mean of many results of a range of coupled models produced from a range of data sets and a range of assumptions of the future.

The interesting thing about this method is that each model has been set up differently with a range of parameters, some with higher GHG emissions for a future scenario, and some with lower emissions. The end result would be that if the majority of the uncertain future predictions now placed in the models were inaccurate, then the averaging out of the results of all the models would predict a wrong future for the earth.

The method starts with uncertainty as if it was a sows’ ear and suggests that it can make a silk purse by averaging the sows’ ears.

Maybe the analogy is too harsh. It is about the opinions of the model managers who input into the model their best guess of the future. If the manager feels that there will be a reduction of GHGs by a certain date and the majority of model managers believe that this will be the case then the mean of the models will trend that way.

So where does this leave us in predicting the future climate? It leaves us with a best guess solution based on the past’s data collection.

The way the IPCC have handled the uncertainty is by creating several scenarios of the future. These scenarios are based again on varies social and environmental predictions.

However in reality, the prediction that recent data has followed is in fact the highest or least safe prediction for the potential to return the climate to a normal state.


MEEHL Gerald A. , COVEY Curt , MCAVANEY Bryant , LATIF Mojib , AND STOUFFER Ronald J. ,(Jan. 2005) Overview Of The Coupled Model Intercomparison Project, American meteorological society, meeting summaries,, cited September 2016.

Meehl Gerald A.  (USA), Stocker Thomas F. (Switzerland), (2007), Global Climate Projections Coordinating Lead, IPCC assessment report 4,, accessed September 2016.

REICHLER THOMAS , KIM JUNSU, (March 2008)How Well Do Coupled Models Simulate Today’s Climate?,   In Box – Insights and Innovations, , AMERICAN METEOROLOGICAL SOCIETY, Publ. NOAA,

Social justice for poor farmers

By David Holland

When markets are invented that enable a purchaser to buy not only a good quality product, and the knowledge that the product has been produced in an environment of social justice and sustainable practices, there is hope for poorer farmers in the world to have more income security.

Security that involves better profits for the effort expended and better outcomes for producing the next crop planted by the farmer. These ideals in conjunction with the quality of the product are communicated to the consumer by an organised certification system.

Systems like FSC and PEFC have been trail blazing the way with forest products and over the years for coffee and banana farmers as well through the Fair Trade certification for coffee products and bananas through the FLO.

With imagination similar schemes could be implemented for other products that are exported from third world counties to the developed world where consumers can afford a premium for the social component of the product.

However, there should be some caution in developing the market to widely. The force of commercialism tends to devalue the social and sustainable practice commodity component of the product and the price of the commodity tends to fall as the social commodity component becomes the norm.  (Renard 2003; Taylor 2005)

It could be then said that the exercise of providing security for the farmer has then been achieved, but social engineers should always be wary of the market, it has a tendance to do what Adam Smith pronounced, and that is that it always finds the lowest price a person is willing to pay for a service or product.



Renard, M. C. (2003), Fair trade: Quality, market and conventions. Journal of Rural Studies, 19(1), 87 96, Retrieved from, June 2017.

Taylor, P. L. (2005), In the market but not of it: Fair trade coffee and forest stewardship council certification as market-based social change. World Development, 33(1), 129 147, Retrieved from, June 2017.



Urban and rural communities affected by climate change; how can we mitigate the effects?

By David Holland

As we move towards 2030 AD, it is no longer a question of just finding ways to mitigate climate change (Garnaut, R. 2008), it is a call for the survival of our livelihood as we know it. The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) benchmarks for 2030 for RCP 4.5 and RCP 8.5 are up to 190mm increase in sea level on 2005 levels, and up to a shocking 880 mm by 2090 under RCP 8.5. (Climate Change in Australia (1))

In coastal regions, the effects on urban areas is going to be enormous. There will be less frequent but larger storms with large storm surges. Potential the storms will cause inundate to large areas of low lying urban land.  (CSIRO and Bureau of Meteorology 2015)

If measures are not taken urgently to reassess settlement patterns, and the way we insure property assets, communities and all levels of Australian government can expect serious social and political discontent. (Holland 2012 Aug.: Holland (2015): Holland (2016 Feb.): NCCARF) The measures to reduce potential flood impacts and massive insurance claim costs, which are pushing up premium, would be to move urban areas away from hazardous zones. See Holland (2015)

Increasingly, daily temperatures and weather patterns are being affected by climate change. Recently, cyclone Debbie affected the whole east coast of Australia with flood and destruction. (Climate Council) In the summer of 2014 and 2017, the lower Hunter region of NSW was effected by mini cyclones which devastated the region.  In the summer of 2013 and in 2017, the Central Coast experienced very high temperatures. The 2017 event was experienced widely across NSW and Queensland. (BOM 2017: The CSIRO and Bureau of Meteorology’s 2015)

These events will continue to happen with more regularity. There is no remedy except to move to a more southerly location or stay indoors and have a good air conditioning system. To help conserve power, ensure that your home is fitted with solar panels and is well insulated.

Rural communities in Central NSW will experience more drought, less winter rains and more unpredictable extreme rain events. (Climate Change in Australia (2)) Winter rains often recharge the soil with moisture. Crops like cotton need that moisture for the summer planting season. (Holland 2016 Oct.)

In many places of the Darling River basin where irrigated crops are grown, water from the river will become depleted due to high use and evaporation rates. (Climate Change in Australia (2): Holland 2016)

As day temperatures rise, increased night time temperatures will damage the quality of the crop. Crop failures will potentially devastate communities due to the resulting economic down turn. (The CSIRO and Bureau of Meteorology’s (2015): Holland 2017)

Where high risk of crop failure and water shortages are likely due to climate effects, it would be up to the relevant State governments to take a proactive approach in mitigating the effects of climate change in these regions and ensure that alternate agricultural strategies are employed to avoid social disintegration. (Holland 2017)




Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) (2017 April), Special Climate Statement 61—exceptional heat in southeast Australia in early 2017 Updated 11, April 2017,  Australian Government,,  cited April 2017.

Climate Change in Australia (1),  Eastern coast south Australia Projection summaries, Future Climate, Projections for Australia’s NRM regions,, cited April 2017

Climate Change in Australia (2),  Central Slopes  Australia Projection summaries, Projections for Australia’s NRM regions,, cited April 2017.

Climate Council, Intense Rainfall and flooding, The Influence of climate change,, cited April 2017.

CSIRO and Bureau of Meteorology (2015), Climate Change in Australia Information for Australia’s Natural Resource Management Regions: Technical Report, CSIRO and Bureau of Meteorology, Australia,, cited April 2017.

Garnaut, R. (2008). The Garnaut climate change review. Cambridge University Press,, cited April 2017.

Holland, David (2012 August), Planning for Climate Change in the Coastal Regions of New South Wales,, cited April 2017.

Holland, David (2015), Planning for Sea Level Rise Risk in some Coastal Regions of Australia – A Market Approach, Habitat Town Planning Forum, WordPress,, cited April 2017.

Holland, David (2016 Feb), A national security problem – Sea Level rise, Habitat Town Planning Forum, WordPress,, cited April 2017.

Holland, David (2016 Oct.), The cotton growing industry near Bourke NSW A future with climate change, Habitat Association, WordPress,, cited April 2017.

Holland, David (2017), A warning to the NSW State government about the potential for the economy of rural towns reliant on agricultural crop income being affected by climate change, Habitat Association, WordPress,, cited April 2017.

National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility (NCCARF), What does climate change mean for Australia?,, cited April 2017.

The CSIRO and Bureau of Meteorology’s (2015), Technical Report on Climate change in Australia Projections for Australia’s NRM Regions,, cited April 2017.

Sanda, Dominica (2017 March 16), Throwback Thursday: Mini Cyclone lashed Region, The Newcastle Herald,, cited April 2017.

White Bellied Sea Eagle – The Wadalba Warrior

Habitat Centre for Arts

What a Magnificent Bird!

This is the Wadalba Warrior.

A bird that has gained the admiration of a town. A town called Wadalba.

Wadalba it located in the Central Coast of New South Wales Australia and is the home of this magnificent bird.

White Bellied Sea Eagle White Bellied Sea Eagle

The artist painted this sea eagle (copied from a photo on the white bellied sea eagle site on the internet) the reason for this water-colour painting is because there has been a battle over a housing development project on southern Wadalba Hill on the Central Coast of NSW.
There is a white bellied sea eagles nest on a tree at the edge of a clear felled forest. The chicks were inside and the site was clear felled nearly up to the tree.
The parents have been back every day to feed the chicks despite the clearing and destruction going on nearby. There is an…

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Megan Hitchens at the Choose yourself exhibition

Habitat Centre for Arts

This exclusive exhibition of fine art is for only 8 artists, giving them the opportunity to show their unique works. Megan has used a drawing style for these two drawing called the  Zentangle drawing method. For more information about this style see the link

Choose-Yourself-Flyer   T6

cipher 2

The Exhibition flyer for the time and place is available on the following link. Click to view or reproduce for your friends: Choose-Yourself-Flyer

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Climate Change related Sea Level Rise Policy changes in New South Wales

Habitat Town Planning Forum

This is an up date of a paper first written in 2010 but still relevant in 2014 more than ever with continued evidence of the effects of chi mate change in a range of environments. 

Since this paper was written in 2010 there has been a series of developments related to both NSW State government and some Central Coast local government councils and their policies.

After the Labor State government announced in 2009 the recognition of sea level rise being a scientific fact through the Draft Flood Risk Management Guide published by the Department of Environment and Climate Change Water (DECCW) several predictable things happened.

Firstly we need to understand that the DECCW based finding of 900mm sea level rise by the year 2100 on the shore of NSW from data produced by the 2007 fourth session report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change[1]. This report indicated that sea level…

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