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The Central Coast is a peri-urban region in the Australian state of New South Wales, located on the coast north of Sydney and south of Lake Macquarie.
The Central Coast has an estimated population of 323,079 as at June 2014, growing at 1% p.a. 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 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 in the north.
Politically, it is administered by the Central Coast Council as of 12 May 2016. In September 2006, the New South Wales Government released a revised long term plan for the region that sees the Central Coast classified as a regional city, along with Wollongong and the Hunter Region. Subsequently a new junior Ministerial post was created in State Parliament, this was downgraded to a joint Parliamentary Secretary position in March 2015. As of April 2015, the Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter and Central Coast is Scot MacDonald. In November 2015 both Gosford and Wyong councils controversially voted to merge under allegations of bullying as part of the state government's Fit for the Future plans. Amalgamation into a single Central Coast local government area has now passed all administrative and legislative requirements.