The City of Central Coast has an estimated population of 333,627 as of June 2018, growing at 1% pa. making it the third-largest urban area in New South Wales and the ninth-largest urban area in Australia. Geographically, the Central Coast is generally considered[by whom?] to include the region bounded by the Hawkesbury River in the south, the Watagan Mountains in the west and the northern end of Lake Macquarie spreading to the coast through charlestown, and it lies on the Sydney basin.
Politically, the Central Coast Council has administered the area since 12 May 2016, when the Gosford City Council and the Wyong Shire Council merged. In September 2006, the New South Wales government released a revised long-term plan for the region that saw the Central Coast classified as a regional city, along with Wollongong and the Hunter Region. Subsequently, a new junior ministerial post was established in the NSW State Parliament; this was downgraded[by whom?] to a joint parliamentary secretary position in March 2015. As of April 2015, Scot MacDonald served as the parliamentary secretary for the Hunter and Central Coast. In November 2015 both Gosford and Wyong councils controversially voted to merge after allegations[by whom?] of bullying[by whom?] as part of the state government's "Fit for the Future" plans. Amalgamation into a single Central Coast local government area has now[when?] passed all administrative and legislative requirements. The new Central Coast Council held elections in September 2017.
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