CCBR Business Review

6 intend to service the Central Coast and northern Sydney. (See story on Page 7). Mr Singleton is enthusiastic about the opportunities that will open up once the NorthConnex opens. He sees the region as being the one that will benefit most from NorthConnex. Having said that, will the local business community see those opportunities and take advantage, or will it be like the broadband? Our story on McConaghy Boats on Page 9 is an indicator of the importance of our diverse manufacturing sector. McConaghy’s is a long-established build- er of performance sail boats and relocated from Mona Vale to North Gosford three years ago. Since then they have increased their staff to 40 people and are looking to put on two apprentices in the new year. Its businesses like these two, who have seen the Central Coast as a good place to invest that are our future. There will always be businesses closing up for all sorts of rea- sons but we need to have a pipeline on new ones coming in. Broadband for our region – an opportunity lost SO, HAVING BEEN dragged into admitting that copper, as lauded by the wonderful former Minister for Communications and Broadband, Malcolm Turnbull, our Federal Government has finally conceded that fibre optic cable is actually faster. The result being that the Government will now spend billions more completing a job that should have been done properly in the first place. One of the lasting legacies of the Abbott/ Turnbull era will be how our country went from potentially being a world leader in tel- ecommunications to winding up as a third world country. It’s ten years since the Rudd Labor Government came out with the idea of a national broadband network that would see fibre to the premises across the nation. It was without doubt the most forward thinking move since the Snowy River Scheme. Trouble was Telstra with their ancient cop- per network and no intention of modernis- ing did all they could to kill it off and they were supported by the cable TV networks and some media companies who were stuck with this ancient technology. Together, these dinosaurs managed to convince Malcolm Turnbull who was Minister for Communications to bastardise the roll-out by claiming “He” could do it quicker and cheaper using a mix of technologies. Of course we can’t exclude Tony Abbott who played his usual Liberal/Labor Labor/ Liberal politics as well. In the end Central Coast businesses and residents were the losers. The people who knew better said it would not work and now we know it hasn’t. At that time CCBR was instrumental in get- ting a local leadership group together, along with international communications guru and broadband champion Paul Budde, and make a bid to have fibre optic cable rolled out across the whole Central Coast region with fibre-to-the-premises. We were to be the first to get it and it would have put this region ahead of the cities – Sydney included. In the end, it turns out, NBNCo had no idea where the Central Coast was and while Gosford to West Gosford got FttP, Erina a major business district got FttN. The other Point of Interconnect was Long Jetty, to service the northern areas of the region! This didn’t work and had to be moved to the Berkeley Vale Exchange which services Long Jetty and surrounds. So, in the end the northern areas were initially left out. Having said that, one of the most disap- pointing aspects of bringing high speed broadband to the Coast was that most busi- ness people had no idea of its value and weren’t interested in finding out. Meanwhile, this month we welcome to the Central Coast, Roses Only. An online flo- rist founded by Jack Singleton some fifteen years ago and now in all the capital cities, the Gold Coast and Newcastle. He sees the Central Coast as their ninth largest market. From their facility at West Gosford they E D I T O R I A L Edgar Adams discusses local issues Advice to get you personally & financially well organised. Dream. Plan. Do. (02) 4367 3122 Riverside Park, Moneywise Building Level 1, Suite 9, 69 Central Coast Hwy, West Gosford 2250 Edgar Adams Editor CENTRAL COAST BUSINESS REVIEW OCTOBER 2020