ROADS emerged as the key issue in the lead-up to last year’s Orange City Council election, and almost six months later little appears to have changed.
Eight of the city’s 12 councillors have identified road upgrades as a key issue the council should be addressing.
The Central Western Daily asked each councillor to list their three top priorities for this year.
Similar to the election lead-up, the Macquarie Pipeline was a close second in the ranks, with seven councillors listing it as a focus.
Cr Reg Kidd placed the largest emphasis on roads, footpaths and kerb and guttering.
“Everyone’s still talking about it,” he said.
“Irrespective of the weather I want to see us march forward on that so in 12 months people are talking about something else.”
But it appears other election issues have dropped off the radar.
CWD readers named parking as a key issue in the lead-up to the election, yet only Cr Ash Brown listed it as a priority for this year.
Interestingly, two councillors, Scott Munro and Jason Hamling, thought the perception of a cohesive council was important.
Cr Munro said the public perception of the council over previous years had not been good, but things were starting to change.
“The councillors are working well together,” he said.
“We debate things but it’s healthy debate.
“We have respect for each other and we’ve got a group of people on the council that are fairly sensible,” he said.
Cr Kevin Duffy said council needed to embrace changing technology to communicate with a younger demographic.
Cr Brown wanted an emphasis on recreational facilities to give people a reason to visit Orange, naming bike tourism as a growth area.
Cr Jason Hamling said a stand-alone rectangular playing field should be a priority so Orange could keep up with its regional neighbours.
Deputy mayor Jeff Whitton was initially reluctant to identify his priorities for fear of pigeonholing himself.
Cr Russell Turner also found it difficult to narrow his priorities down to three, saying it was also time council made decisions on the Anson Street car park and continued to acquire properties to secure a route for the southern feeder road.
Both Cr Whitton and Cr Duffy believed it was important council listened to the people.
The ongoing museum and airport projects were also at the forefront of councillors’ minds.
Cr Neil Jones shied away from the popular water security and road priorities, saying they were fundamental issues all councillors were elected to address.
Instead he wants a focus on solving social issues for young and old, with ongoing discussion about a youth centre and the need to attract a privately operated seniors’ village to Orange.
Cr Glenn Taylor wants more youth programs in a bid to tackle crime before it begins.
Community services were also on Cr Ron Gander’s mind, but more than anything he saw his first year on council as a chance to learn the ropes and “do the job properly”.