WITH membership built up to more than 80 and a new website, the Orange Ratepayers’ Association is gearing up for a busy 2013 and they’ve got a couple of Orange City Council projects firmly in their sights.
The “unfair” organics waste levy introduced last year, the poor state of the Northern Distributor Road and car parking in Orange are some of the group’s biggest concerns. As is the Macquarie pipeline project which the majority of members oppose.
Vice-president Cyril Smith said the group would remain active and uphold its charter of keeping the council accountable.
“I think the Orange community appreciates our efforts to be a voice for the community and keep a check on council,” he said.
“September’s local government election I don’t think reflected the community’s visions of what is happening in the community.
“I think it reflected the national political scene. People voted on party lines not on local political issues.”
Mr Smith said the group had over 38 new members join since June when they began a membership drive.
“We’ve got a diverse membership with professional people, tradespeople and retired people,” he said.
“We’ve got a good cross-section.”
Mr Smith said ratepayers were concerned about the $80 organic waste levy that started last year ahead of the green bins all residents would receive later this year.
“We already pay an organic waste charge and now we’re paying extra for a service that’s not currently available,” he said.
He said the additional bin was unlikely to please residents unhappy with the extra costs and believes a user-pays system at the gates of the tip would be more equitable.
“A lot of people would contend that they mulch a lot of their green waste and have worm farms,” he said.
“It means that everyone has to pay the charge irrespective of whether they use it or not.”