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21 January 2023 Posted by 

A safer Central Coast for women and girls with Safer Cities

GOING out on the Central Coast has sadly become a risky business, especially for women and gender diverse residents.
In the “good old days” you could wander anywhere in relative safety but unfortunately, times have changed in 2023.
Now, Central Coast Council is to participate in the NSW Government’s $30M Safer Cities program, aimed at improving the safety of women, girls and gender diverse people in public spaces around transport precincts.
Council will receive $1M to develop and pilot safety boosting initiatives so that women and girls experience improved perception of safety on our streets, in parklands and at public transport hubs, in partnership with Transport for NSW (TfNSW).
Executive Director Cities Revitalisation and Place Transport for NSW Caroline Butler-Bowdon said the 
‘Safer Cities: Her Way program’ was an incredible opportunity to partner with councils across NSW and deliver improvements that addressed local experiences and needs.
“We’re excited to be working closely with Central Coast Council to listen to the voices of local women, girls and gender diverse people and trial initiatives that help them feel they can move freely and comfortably through their local public spaces,” she said.
Council’s Director Community and Recreation Services Melanie Smith said Council didn’t hesitate to participate when invited by TfNSW.
“Women and girls across the Central Coast actively use and depend on public transport, public spaces and the streets and paths that connect them, to access essential services and opportunities as part of their everyday lives. Yet, women and girls face more gender-based harassment and safety issues when using public spaces than men do.
“This program will run over the next 18 months to trial place-based approaches to improve women’s perception of safety travelling to, through and within public spaces and transport hubs.
“Gosford is being investigated as a potential trial location, as many women and girls use, and depend on, public transport and hence the transport hubs, to travel to and from Gosford hospital in particular, as well as for other work or education reasons in Gosford.”
Council Administrator Rik Hart said the initiative was crucial to ensure women and girls felt they were not constrained in how they moved about Gosford in their day-to-day lives.
“We want women and girls to feel safe as they move around the city, using public transport, public spaces or walking along streets and paths that connect transport hubs to work and social areas,” Mr Hart said.
“As Gosford CBD and the waterfront precinct expands, ultimately offering higher order jobs in health and education while expanding study opportunities, programs like this one can help set us up for the future.”
People across NSW are being asked to share their experiences in public spaces via a survey.
Until 8 February 2023 to take the survey.


Michael Walls
0407 783 413

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