The Central Coast is a peri-urban region in the Australian state of New South Wales (NSW), lying on the Tasman Sea coast to the north of Sydney and south of Lake Macquarie.
The local government area of the Central Coast Council has an estimated population of 333,627 as of June 2018, growing at 1% annually. Comprising localities such as Gosford, Wyong and Terrigal, the area is the third-largest urban area in New South Wales and the ninth-largest urban area in Australia. Geographically, the Central Coast is generally considered to include the region bounded by the Hawkesbury River in the south, the Watagan Mountains in the west and the southern end of Lake Macquarie, lying 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 an urban area, along with Wollongong and the Hunter Region. As of April 2015
Despite local opposition and concerns over Wyong Shire, in effect, being subsumed within the Gosford Council, and claims of councillors being bullied into the merger, as part of the process, amalgamation into a single Central Coast local government area passed all administrative and legislative requirements and came into effect in 2016. As of mid-2020, the amalgamation process had cost $49 million.
The newly amalgamated Central Coast Council held elections in September 2017.
, 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 following a NSW Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal assessment which found the Gosford and Wyong Shire Councils did not meet the stand-alone operating criteria for the NSW State government’s “Fit for the Future” plans for the Local Area Councils within the state.