As the Federal Election looms on May 18, both Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, and Opposition Leader, Bill Shorten, have made visits to the Coast in recent days, wooing voters in the marginal seat of Robertson.
Robertson is classed as a bellweather seat.
It has gone to the winning party at every election since the early 1970s.
With pundits predicting a very close election result, it should be a key battleground.
Bill Shorten visited St Joseph’s Catholic College, East Gosford, and a café at Terrigal on May 13 and the week prior to that, Scott Morrison popped in to PCYC at Bateau Bay and Breakers Country Club.
Labor has launched its Fair Go for the Coast campaign, highlighting health, roads and transport as key areas of concentration, while the Liberals are also making major road commitments and pointing to measures already announced to facilitate a university campus on the Coast and improved commuter parking at Gosford and Woy Woy.
Labor has announced it will undertake a review of seismic testing processes if elected, while the Liberals continue to downplay the likelihood of seismic testing off Coast waters.
Here are some of the key promises made by the major parties for the electorate of Robertson.
In the area of education, Labor has promised an extra $40m over three years from 2020 for Central Coast public schools and an end to the cap on Commonwealth supported university places, possibly benefiting over 2,200 Coast students.
It has promised $133m to promote a University of Newcastle presence on the Central Coast, and a $10m investment at Gosford TAFE for student accommodation for at-risk young people.
The Liberals have promised spending of an extra $37b on Government, Catholic and independent schools over the next decade, signalling big funding increases for schools in the Robertson electorate.
Young people looking to move from school to the workplace will also benefit from the siting in Robertson of one of 10 training hubs to be provided under a $50.6m industry training program.
In the area of health, Labor has pledged $20m for a new standalone public palliative care facility on the Central Coast, a $2.3b national plan to dramatically slash out of pocket costs for cancer patients and a new metastatic cancer nurse for the Central Coast.
It will also introduce a dental plan enabling 48,000 eligible older people on the Coast to access $1,000 worth of dental services every two years.
The Liberals have announced a $2m GP Central Coast General Practice Incentive fund, to be managed by the Primary Health Network and deliver incentives to attract GPs to the area, such as providing accommodation.
They have also pledged to make medicines more affordable by lowering scripts for pensioners and concession card holders and the equivalent of two scripts for non-concession card holders.
They will also provide $3.8m for an additional linear accelerator for the Gosford Cancer Centre at Gosford Hospital, an additional $520,000 for Headspace, Gosford and Lake Haven, and a fully funded NDIS with no increase in the Medicare levy.
On the transport front, Labor will deliver a $60m Central Coast Roads Rescue Package to target the maintenance backlog affecting the Coast and has pledged to expand parking facilities, including at Woy Woy and Gosford.
It will fund $15m to improve access for cyclists and pedestrians on the Avoca Kincumber Loop and pathways in the Dobell electorate, and has pledged a $1b investment to begin securing the corridor required to build a high speed rail link from Brisbane to Melbourne via Sydney.
The Liberals have countered with a $70m roads package set to deliver 29 road upgrades in the electorates of Robertson and Dobell.
They will also provide $4.3m to construct vital roads and much-needed footpaths in North Avoca.
With unemployment a major concern in Robertson, Labor has pledged creation of 100 new permanent, full-time Department of Human Services jobs on the Coast to help cut Centrelink wait times, while the Liberals point to 530 jobs recently created at the Gosford ATO office, with more on the way.
The Liberals also promise better mobile coverage for Coast commuters, with a $16m project to improve reception along 68km of railway corridor between Wyong and Hornsby stations.
Labor will invest over $7m in community projects on the Central Coast, including: $900,000 towards a dementia inclusive park; $1m to improve facilities for the Terrigal Wamberal JRLFC; $5m to clean up Terrigal and Wamberal waterways and Tuggerah Lakes; funding for the Marine Discovery Centre in Terrigal to deliver for a school and community program; better NBN coverage for residents in Terrigal, Copacabana, Erina and Avoca Beach, among other locations; improved reliability and speeds for up to 10,600 Fibre to the Node households in Robertson; and childcare savings of up to $2,100 per child per annum for eligible Coast families.
The Liberals will provide: $160,000 support to the Because We Care Boutique Central Coast program to help disadvantaged women trying to enter or re-enter the workforce; more than $750,000 to upgrade multiple sporting facilities across the Central Coast; $600,000 to remove litter from Coast waterways and restore the lagoon systems; $400,000 to secure the future of Pluim Park by funding a synthetic field; relief to more than 6,500 families in Robertson through its new child care package; $300,000 to Clean4Shore to continue cleaning up our waterways; $300,000 to help restore tidal lagoons at Avoca and Wamberal; and, $90,000 to restore playground equipment at Pinyari Park, Kincumber.
They will also provide $12,500 each to Gosford City Basketball, Green Point Community Centre, Central Coast Marine Discovery Centre and Copacabana Surf Life Saving Club; $14,000 to resurface Macmasters Beach SLSC carpark; $20,000 to Gosford City Basketball and Sports Stadium; $2,700 to Terrigal-Wamberal ESL Sub-branch; and $20,000 to Fairhaven to buy a new bus.
Various media releases
Anne Charlton, Candidate for Robertson
Various media releases
Member for Robertson, Lucy Wicks