I live in the marginal seat of Robertson, misrepresented by the wholly inadequate Lucy Wicks.
Lucy was a Tony Abbott captain’s pick, parachuted into the area displacing the locally preselected candidate, much to the understandable chagrin of the party members.
Ever since, it has been a sandbagging effort to keep her there.
Aside from constant polling – I am one of the few people left with a landline because the mobile phone tower Lucy has been promising for three elections is still “coming soon”, just like the surplus – we have been porkbarrelled with rushed and ill-planned developments.
The Central Coast was one of the early areas for rollout of FttP NBN. And then the Coalition took over.
My 94 year old mother-in-law has FttP. My home and business became the guinea pigs for FttN which was an unmitigated disaster. No-one knew what they were doing. My business lost all telecommunications. Frantic calls got phone and internet back within a few days but EFTPOS, fax and security were out for two months causing a loss of an estimated $20,000 and many regular customers. I was eventually paid $5,000 in compensation by Telstra.
Then there was the much-vaunted decentralisation of the ATO with an office opening up in Gosford.
A primary school on prime waterfront land was closed. To appease the community, we were told the site would become a performing arts centre – part of a cultural, recreational and arts precinct.
Then along comes Lucy Wicks who decides that putting the ATO building there was a better idea – jobs for the area, flow on to local businesses – you know the drill.
Canberra-based developer Doma Group, a previous Liberal Party donor, was awarded the contract and allowed to purchase the site for $3.3 million. Before the building was even completed, they had sold it to the City of Brisbane Investment Co – CBIC was set up in 2008 by Campbell Newman when he was Brisbane Lord Mayor – for $43.5 million on the strength of a ten year lease commitment from the Federal government worth $70 million.
This was despite a rival bid by Gosford Council and a local developer, proposed for the CBD rather than the waterfront precinct, which was valued at around $38 million.
To summarise, the state government closed and sold a school to a Canberra developer, who then onsold an unbuilt building to a Queensland local government investment body for more than $40 million more than they paid for the site and the Federal government will lease it back for ten years for $70 million despite a local bid for about half that amount.
Surely it would have been better for the local council to acquire the site, pay local contractors to build the building, and then rent it to the Feds for whatever they were willing to pay.
Or for the state government to keep the site, build the building, and then collect the rent.
Lucy’s great idea meant that the people of Gosford lost a school and a performing arts centre and the financial benefit went to a private company in Canberra and a local government in Queensland.
Well done you, Lucy.
Ms Wicks also has a bad habit of claiming credit for what other people have done.
“Ms Wicks stood in Parliament on Wednesday to speak about 12 major projects and initiatives, but failed to mention that council has planned, driven and is delivering at least nine of these for residents on the peninsula,” Cr McKinna said in February 2016.
“(The) council developed the masterplan for Woy Woy Oval’s redevelopment, secured $5.5 million in federal and state funding for the project and we’re currently building it. Plus, we’ve invested almost $3 million towards the redevelopment, but no recognition from our local member.
“It’s a similar deal with upgrade works at McEvoy Oval in Umina.
“(The) council staff have put in a huge effort along with local sporting groups to develop a masterplan for the entire site, invest $220,000 towards the project and also make sure the NSW Government matched our funding contribution.”
But Lucy wants the accolades.
I am so looking forward to seeing the back of this useless member. She will not be missed.
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