Controversial planning portal listed in excellence awards
Central Coast Council has been listed as a finalist in the Local Government Excellence Awards for its Property and Rating Consolidation IT project, the project responsible for the council's controversial new planning portal.
The portal has been plagued with problems, including slow response times and timeouts, since its introduction over Christmas.
The project is listed as a finalist in the Partnerships and Collaboration category.
Peninsula residents have been critical that the portal represents a substantial reduction in service, both in terms of responsiveness and in content, compared to the former Gosford Council system it replaces.
Regular users say the portal no longer includes cost estimates for developments and that, often, necessary documents have not appeared with development applications.
It no longer displays start and closing dates for exhibition periods, meaning that residents are not aware how long they have to make a submission.
Residents say the new portal lacks transparency and procedural fairness and may not comply with legal requirements.
"The NSW Local Government Excellence Awards celebrate outstanding achievements across Local Government that promote innovation and improvement within the community," Council general manager Mr David Farmer said in a media release.
He appeared to be unaware of criticism of the IT project.
"The recognition as award finalists is validation of the commitment we have had in building a new Corporate Affairs Directorate focused on improving systems and processes to deliver better service for our ratepayers and residents."
The 2022 NSW Local Government Awards will be held on Thursday, May 26, at The Fullerton Hotel in Sydney.
Media release, 3 May 2022
David Farmer, Rik Hart, Central Coast Council