Peninsula Tourism Partners president Ms Kim Cole believes the Peninsula is constantly being given the cold shoulder by Central Coast Council.
“There appears to be a continual lack of council interest in establishing regional events on our Peninsula,” she said.
“The focus appears to be from the Gosford Waterfront to The Entrance.”
Peninsula Tourism Partners, meanwhile, is working with local business owners and community members to create a calendar of local events, such as car shows, art festivals, red carpet days, school holiday fun and a major Christmas event
“But this will not be possible without funding from council and Destination NSW,” Ms Cole said.
“We have asked council to consider utilising our beautiful Peninsula as an alternative for major events.
“We are located five minutes from Woy Woy Station, 25 minutes by ferry from Palm Beach and 90 minutes from Sydney via the M1.
“We also have numerous accommodation providers to cater for a large number of guests wishing to attend events.
“The Peninsula is the perfect Central Coast destination to hold events and to encourage both day trippers and holiday makers.
“We are surrounded by two national parks, more than 40 cafes and restaurants within a two kilometre radius, stunning waterways, cycleways, playgrounds, boutique stores and the list goes on.”
As passionate as Ms Cole is about her area, she believes her enthusiasm has been put in the too-hard basket by Central Coast Council.
“I do ask why a small committee of local business owner-operators have taken on the job of promoting our region as holiday and event destinations,” she said.
“Increasing visitation numbers to our region will result in an injection of money into local business.
“Council is very well aware of the financial struggles local business experienced during the six-month diversion of the Palm Beach Ferry service.”
Ms Cole has urged council to “regain the community’s faith that the council has an invested interest in our region” by promoting #visitourpeninsula, The Southern Gateway to the Central Coast.
Central Coast Council responded to Ms Cole’s concerns, saying that a Major Events Strategy for the whole of the Central Coast would be delivered for the Destination Management Plan in 2019.
The purpose of this strategy would be to identify any gaps in the current full calendar of events that are staged across the coast and investigate the opportunities, including venue scale, for the coast to attract major events that will generate economic return.
The Council statement said it sponsored a number of events on the Peninsula.
This included $9500 for a national bowls competition which will be run at Ettalong Memorial Bowling Club in April, Australia Day celebrations on the Woy Woy waterfront and the annual Ettalong Oyster Festival.
Community groups and event organisers could apply for funding for events under Council’s Community Event and Place Activation Grant Program and Sponsorship Program, according to the statement.
The next application period would be open between January 14 and February 28.
Media statement, 9 Jan 2019
Kim Cole, Peninsula Tourism Partners
Media statement, 10 Jan 2019
Gary Murphy, Central Coast Council
Reporter: Bernie Leo