Central Coast council election, 2021

This election has been postponed until September 2022. This guide remains up for informational purposes, and will be repurposed for a new guide when the election comes around.

Central Coast council covers the entire Central Coast region between Sydney and the Hunter region. The council is bounded at the southern edge by the Hawkesbury River and at the northern edge by Lake Macquarie.

The council extends from Patonga in the south to Lake Munmorah in the north, and also covers Gosford, Woy Woy, Erina, Kariong, Copacabana, Avoca Beach, Umina Beach, Wyoming, Niagara Park, Wamberal, Terrigal, Bateau Bay, Killarney Vale, Berkeley Vale, Tuggerah, Wyong, The Entrance, Budgewoi and Toukley.

The council has a population of about 344,000 as of 2019. It is the third most populous council in New South Wales.

Wards
Central Coast is divided into five wards, with each ward electing three councillors.

Budgewoi ward covers the north-eastern corner of the new council. The ward covers those suburbs previously contained in Wyong council on the southern end of Lake Macquarie, including Lake Munmorah, Moonee, Gwandalan, Chain Valley Bay, Doyalson, Budgewoi, Toukley, Charmhaven and Buff Point.

Gosford East ward covers south-eastern parts of the new council, including Erina, Terrigal, Kincumber, Avoca Beach, Copacabana and Saratoga.

Gosford West ward covers the south-west of the new council, including the rural hinterland of the former Gosford council, as well as the suburbs of Gosford, Kariong, Woy Woy, Umina Beach and Ettalong Beach.

The Entrance ward covers the suburbs on the southern side of Tuggerah Lakes, including The Entrance, Berkeley Vale, Killarney Vale, Bateau Bay and Forresters Beach.

Wyong ward covers the north-west of the council, including Wyong, Tacoma, Tuggerah, Warnervale, Tuggerawong, Wallarah, Ourimbah, Niagara Park, Narara, Wyoming and North Gosford.

Incumbent councillors
The current council was suspended on 30 October 2020, and the council is currently run by administrator Dick Persson.

Budgewoi Greg Best (Ind) Jillian Hogan (Labor) Doug Vincent (Labor)
Gosford East Jane Smith (Ind) Jeff Sundstrom (Labor) Vacant (Liberal)1
Gosford West Chris Holstein (Ind) Richard Mehrtens (Lab) Vacant (Liberal)2
The Entrance Lisa Matthews (Lab) Bruce Mclachlan (Ind) Jilly Pilon (Liberal)
Wyong Chris Burke (Lib) Louise Greenaway (Ind) Kyle Macgregor (Lab)

1Rebecca Gale resigned from council in October 2020 while urging the state government to intervene in the council.
2Troy Marquart resigned from council in October 2020 while urging the state government to intervene in the council.

History
Central Coast Council was created out of a merger of Gosford and Wyong councils in 2016. The 2017 guide covers the previous history of these two councils and how much of the new council came from its predecessors.

While both major parties have competed in both councils over the last two decades, neither were dominant in either council, with a large independent bloc in each council.

Labor won six seats at the first election in 2017, alongside four Liberals and five independents.

At the 2017 mayoral election, independent councillor Jane Smith was elected mayor. She was supported by the four Liberals and two other independents in the first round and then won with the vote of Chris Holstein after he was knocked out of the race. Holstein won the deputy mayoral race with the support of the same councillors as those who voted for Smith.

This alliance did not hold at the 2019 mayoral election. Smith flipped to support Labor mayoral candidate Lisa Matthews, along with fellow independent Louise Greenaway (who had supported Labor in 2017). Labor and Greenaway then supported Smith for deputy mayor.

The council announced in late 2020 that a debt of $89 million was discovered. This led to the suspension of the council and the appointment of an administrator, Dick Persson.

Candidate summary
There will not be an election for Central Coast Council in 2021.

Assessment
There will not be an election for Central Coast Council in 2021.

2017 results

PartyVotes%SwingSeats won
Other independents59,80531.54+1.95
Labor 57,26530.20+7.06
Liberal 46,75124.65-6.64
Greens 14,8347.82-1.6
Save Tuggerah Lakes10,9865.79-0.8
Informal15,8937.73

Vote breakdown by ward

Labor topped the primary vote across the council, with their vote much higher in Budgewoi Ward at the northern end of the council. Their vote ranged from 22.2% in Gosford East to 43.3% in Budgewoi. Labor won two seats in Budgewoi and one in every other ward.

The Liberal vote ranged from 16.7% in Budgewoi to 37.4% in Gosford East.

The Greens ran in four wards, with a vote ranging from 7.8% in Budgewoi to 11.2% in The Entrance.

There was a large vote for a number of independents, with a total vote ranging from 30.3% in Gosford East to 47.3% in Wyong. One independent was elected in each ward.

WardALP %LIB %GRN %Others %
Budgewoi Ward43.316.77.832.3
Gosford East Ward22.237.410.130.3
Gosford West Ward25.622.210.142.0
The Entrance Ward27.726.411.234.7
Wyong Ward32.220.60.047.3

Election results at the 2017 Central Coast Council election
Toggle between primary votes for Labor, the Liberal Party, independent candidates and the Greens.

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