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Monday, 30 November 1998
Page: 897

Mr LLOYD —I would like to bring to the attention of the House today a very innovative program introduced by Gosford City Council called the Coastal Open Space Program, or COS Program, which was instigated in 1984. It is a program by which council brings into public ownership land that is of environmental significance on the coastal areas of the Central Coast. As most people would know, Gosford is a very scenic area, one that has great environmental importance to the people of the Central Coast. Council introduced this scheme in 1984. Under that scheme, approximately 82 per cent of the land that they wished to acquire has been acquired—some 2,400 hectares of the 3,000 hectares that they wished to bring into public ownership.

I am very pleased that the federal government recognised this unique scheme just prior to the last election, when environment minister Robert Hill announced a contribution of $1 million towards Gosford City Council's COS scheme, which will enable the program to come into fruition and to complete the purchase of this sensitive land. I would like to pay tribute to the late Alan Strom for his vision in setting up the steering committee to organise the COS Program, because it has protected for all time some of the most scenic and environmentally sensitive land on the Central Coast. (Time expired)