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Wednesday, 28 October 2009
Page: 11374


Mr CRAIG THOMSON (9:51 AM) —I have spoken in this place on a couple of occasions about the need for the Central Coast to be recognised as a region. Today I rise to speak on that matter again and to talk about the launch on 7 October of the I Love the Central Coast campaign. Along with the New South Wales Business Chamber Central Coast division, represented by Mary Doherty, I was able to launch on 7 October this important campaign to change the institutions on the Central Coast to make sure that they have a focus on the Central Coast. Too many of our institutions are either Hunter based or Sydney based, and what happens for us on the Central Coast is that we end up missing out.

I would like to acknowledge some of the people who are supporters of the campaign and were able to attend the launch or provide written statements supporting the campaign. First and foremost must be Laurie McKinna and the magnificent Central Coast Mariners, who have been right behind the campaign to have our region recognised and who do a great job in raising the profile of the area. I would also like to thank Dr Phil Godden from the Central Coast Division of General Practice. The Central Coast Division of General Practice is organised on a Central Coast basis, and he sees the need for us to organise all health on the Central Coast on that regional basis. I acknowledge Ms Sharon Brownley from the regional P&C, who again sees that education should be organised on a Central Coast basis rather than being, as it is now, organised out of the Hunter. We had Greg Florimo, who is heading the push to have the Central Coast Bears admitted into the NRL in a couple of years time. He was there to lend his support.

Julie Goodwin, the winner of MasterChef, was there to lend her support, and she had some insightful things to say about how she constantly referred to the Central Coast when she was on MasterChef and people would say, ‘Where is that?’ She got a real sense that we were a region without an identity, and that has led to her great support for this campaign. John Singleton has been supportive as a local resident of the Central Coast in helping to push the identity. The mayors of both Gosford and Wyong councils have been supportive. The famous photographer Ken Duncan has lent his support, again, to this campaign. The surf lifesaving movement is an integral part of Central Coast life, and Chad Griffith from Surf Life Saving Central Coast was one of those who were there, again calling for recognition of this area. We also had there Kerry Ruffles, who works for the newly formed RDA, and Tourism Central Coast. I would also like to thank the state Liberal and Labor MPs who attended. Chris Hartcher from the Liberal Party was very supportive, as were Grant McBride and David Harris. This is a campaign that needs to succeed to make sure this region is properly recognised.