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Central Coast
GosfordNSW
[[File:Umina Beach.jpg|270px]]
View of Umina Beach from Mount Ettalong
Population: 325082  (9th)
Density: 570.6/km² (1,477.8/sq mi)
Established: 2005
Postcode: 2250, 2251, 2253, 2256, 2257, 2258, 2259, 2260, 2261, 2262, 2263, 2775
Area: 566.2 km² (218.6 sq mi)
Time zone:

 • Summer (DST)

AEST (UTC+10)

AEDT (UTC+11)

Location:
LGA:
State District:
  • Gosford
  • Lake Macquarie
  • Wyong
  • Terrigal
  • The Entrance
Federal Division:
Localities around Central Coast:
Upper Hunter Hunter Tasman Sea
Greater Blue Mountains Area Central Coast Tasman Sea
Hills District Forest District Northern Beaches

The Central Coast is a peri-urban region in the Australian state of New South Wales, located on the Tasman Sea coast north of Sydney and south of Lake Macquarie.

The Central Coast has an estimated population of 325,082 as of June 2015, growing at 1% pa. making it the third largest urban area in New South Wales and the ninth largest urban area in Australia. Geographically, the Central Coast is generally considered to include the region bounded by the Hawkesbury River in the south, the Watagan Mountains in the west and the southern end of Lake Macquarie in the north.

Politically, it is administered by the Central Coast Council as of 12 May 2016. In September 2006, the New South Wales government released a revised long term plan for the region that sees the Central Coast classified as a regional city, along with Wollongong and the Hunter Region. Subsequently, a new junior ministerial post was created in State Parliament, this was downgraded to a joint parliamentary secretary position in March 2015. As of April 2015, the parliamentary secretary for the Hunter and Central Coast is Scot MacDonald. In November 2015 both Gosford and Wyong councils controversially voted to merge under allegations of bullying as part of the state government's Fit for the Future plans. Amalgamation into a single Central Coast local government area has now passed all administrative and legislative requirements.

History

The region has been inhabited for thousands of years by Aboriginal people. The local Guringai and Darkinjung people were some of the first Aboriginal people to come in contact with British settlers. An Aboriginal man from the region named Bungaree became one of the most prominent people of the early settlement of New South Wales. He was one of the first Aboriginal people to learn English and befriended the early governors Phillip, King and Macquarie. Macquarie later declared Bungaree "The King of the Broken Bay Tribes". Post settlement disease and disruption greatly reduced the numbers of Aboriginal people.

In 1811, the Governor of New South Wales, Lachlan Macquarie, gave the first land grant in the region to William Nash, a former marine of the First Fleet. No further grants were made in the area until 1821.

Geography

The region is a network of towns that have been linked in recent years by expanding suburban development. The main urban cluster of the region surrounds the northern shore of Brisbane Water and includes the Coast's largest population centre, Gosford, stretching east to the retail centre of Erina. Other major commercial "centres" on the Coast are Wyong, Tuggerah, Lakehaven, The Entrance, Terrigal, and Woy Woy. Large numbers of people who live in the southern part of the region commute daily to work in Sydney. The Central Coast is also a popular tourist destination and a popular area for retirement. The Central Coast has significant employment including services, tourism, manufacturing, finance, building, retail and industrial. As a result, the cultural identity of the region is distinct from that of the large and diverse metropolis of Sydney as well as from the Hunter region with its mining, heavy industry and port. On 2 December 2005, the Central Coast was officially recognised as a stand-alone region rather than an extension of Sydney or the Hunter Valley.

Climate

The Central Coast has a humid subtropical climate (Köppen climate classification: Cfa), with warm humid summers and mild winters. Rainfall is spread fairly evenly throughout the year, but is slightly more frequent during autumn.

Population

The Australian Bureau of Statistics publishes population census data and regular population estimates on the Central Coast under a Significant Urban Area. As at June 2015 the estimated population of this region was 325,082. Earlier, at the 2001 Census, the population was 304,753 with 146,926 males and 157,827 females. The median age was 41. The ABS also includes the Central Coast region population wholly within Greater Sydney.

Culture

Media

Television

The Central Coast has four broadcast translators across the region, located at Bouddi (between Killcare & MacMasters Beach), Gosford and Wyong (Forresters Beach),Mount Sugarloaf (Newcastle) Due to the Central Coast being split between the Sydney (metro) and Northern NSW (regional) licence areas, these translators carry stations from both areas.

In total eight television stations service the Central Coast:

  • ABC New South Wales (ABN)
  • SBS New South Wales (SBS)
  • Seven Sydney (ATN)
  • Nine Sydney (TCN)
  • Ten Sydney (TEN)
  • Prime7 Northern NSW (NEN) - Seven Network affiliate
  • Nine Northern NSW (NBN)
  • Southern Cross Ten Northern NSW (NRN) - Network Ten affiliate

Each station broadcasts a primary channel and several multichannels. Subscription television service Foxtel is also available via satellite.

Radio

The Central Coast has a number of local radio stations. The three large commercial stations are 107.7 2GO, Star 104.5, 101.3 SeaFM, all being part of national networks.

The ABC has an outreach station on 92.5 FM that operates a locally produced mid-day show from 11am to 3pm weekdays, outside this it broadcasts Sydney programming from ABC 702 AM. The community radio station CoastFM 96.3 has a considerable following as does Radio Five-O-Plus 93.3. A 24-hour Country music station TodayCountry94one is based in Gosford and broadcasts online and in syndication across the country. It also has a Christian radio station rheema fm on 94.9fm.

In most locations on the Central Coast, Sydney and Newcastle radio stations can be received at reasonable levels particularly on the AM band.

Print

The Central Coast is not serviced by its own daily newspaper. The major publication of the region is the twice weekly Central Coast Express Advocate, published by News Limited's News Local. It is distributed free of charge on Wednesdays and Fridays in the style of suburban free newspapers.

A series of free local fortnightly papers have grown in popularity over time. The Peninsula News services the southern part of the region centred around the Woy Woy area. Coast Community News services the Central Gosford region and the Wyong Chronicle services the northern part of the region. A regional sporting paper Grandstand is now defunct. All are published by a local independent publishing house, bucking the trend in declining newspaper sales. In addition a popular monthly business publication Central Coast Business Review has been sold and published for over 20 years.

Theatre

The area has two operating theatres. Laycock Street Theatre, located in North Gosford, has a proscenium arch configuration and seats 392 patrons. The venue also contains a multi-purpose space suitable for conferences, board meetings, annual general meetings, cabaret and small musical acts. The resident amateur theatre group, the Gosford Musical Society, currently contribute 5 shows a year. Peninsula Theatre is positioned in Woy Woy just south of Gosford. The theatre's configuration is a somewhat unusual 124 seat amphitheatre. The resident amateur theatre group is the Woy Woy Little Theatre Company, currently supplying a season of 4 shows per year. Both theatres are operated by Gosford City Council. In addition to these, the Wyong Shire Cultural Centre will soon replace the current Wyong Memorial Hall which is used mainly by Wyong Musical Theatre Company and Wyong Drama Group.

Sport

Bluetongue CC Stadium
Central Coast Stadium in Gosford, New South Wales, is the current home of the Central Coast Mariners.

The Central Coast has many local sporting leagues and is attempting to become a national sporting force. Central Coast Mariners represent the Central Coast in the A-League. The Mariners have been A-League premiers twice (2007-08 and 2011-12), and were A-League champions in 2013. The Mariners play out of Central Coast Stadium at Gosford, the largest stadium on the Central Coast with a capacity of 20,059.

The Wyong Roos currently play in the New South Wales Cup at Morry Breen Oval in Kanwal. They are the feeder team of the Sydney Roosters National Rugby League team, who have developed an agreement to play one regular season fixture per year at Central Coast Stadium for five years, starting in 2015 where they will play the Gold Coast Titans in Round 16.

The Central Coast Rhinos played in the Australian Ice Hockey League from 2006-2008 and the Australian International Ice Hockey Cup from 2009-2012. They played out Erina Ice Arena at Erina Fair, which is the Central Coast's only ice rink.

Other teams include the Central Coast Crusaders - the elite senior basketball program of the Central Coast region and the Central Coast Centurions - the Central Coast's junior rugby league representative team who compete in the S.G. Ball Cup and the Harold Matthews Cup.

Several attempts have been made to have teams enter other national competitions. The most notable of these was the attempt to enter the Central Coast Bears as the 16th team into the NRL. This attempt was financed by a consortium led by John Singleton, but the Gold Coast Titans were ultimately successful. The Northern Eagles, a merger of NRL clubs Manly-Warringah and North Sydney began their tenure playing half of their games at Gosford; however, within three years the team was solely playing back at Brookvale. South Sydney were also unsuccessfully approached to play out of Gosford, despite the few games that are played on the Central Coast attracting large crowds. The Central Coast Storm rugby league team play in a number of NSWRL lower grade competitions, and the Central Coast Waves rugby union team plays in the Shute Shield. The Central Coast Rays rugby union club who competed in the ill-fated Australian Rugby Championship's only season late in 2007, called Central Coast Stadium home. There is currently a push for the Central Coast Bears to be admitted into the National Rugby League for the 2018 season where they will become the 17th team. The team will play their matches at Central Coast Stadium and North Sydney Oval, representing the Central Coast and North Shore regions.

The Central Coast has numerous sporting ovals, golf courses, skate parks, tennis courts and swimming pools that are open to the public and one target shooting facility. Attempts are underway to build a series of bicycle paths. A velodrome is also open to the public at West Gosford. National parks on the Central Coast have a large range of walking paths and mountain bike trails. Water sports like sailing, rowing and water skiing are popular activities on the Central Coast lakes. Attempts are being made to attract pro golf tournaments to Magenta Shores (a new resort north of The Entrance). In 2011, the frigate HMAS Adelaide was scuttled off North Avoca Beach as an artificial reef, and has become a popular scuba diving attraction.

Retail

The Central Coast is home to Erina Fair, the largest single level shopping centre in the Southern Hemisphere and the largest non-metropolitan shopping centre in Australia. It provides many of the area's amenities such as restaurants, cinema, fast food and shopping. Another large shopping centre exists to the north, Westfield Tuggerah.

Other smaller local shopping centres are located throughout the region, including at Woy Woy, Umina, Kincumber, Gosford, Bateau Bay and Lake Haven.

  1. These figures are the distances from Sydney and Newcastle to Gosford, the major population centre in the region.

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