Two separate Public Service Association (PSA) emergency meetings yesterday to protest government job cuts and loss of services attracted only small interest despite claims these cuts have caused more than 200 Orange residents to lose their jobs.
Despite only 20 people attending the first meeting, and three the second, organisers said they were pleased with the turnout and “numbers were not the most important factor and not a true indication of how badly the cuts affected people in Orange”.
"We were very happy with the first turnout and we know a lot of other members would have come to the meeting but they couldn't afford the time off because they were working," PSA industrial officer Ian Lambert said.
"We still think it was a good success and we cater for a lot more of our members in other ways," Kylie McKelvie, PSA acting regional organiser for the central west added.
Mrs McKelvie said the overwhelming feedback from the meeting was that acting member for Orange Andrew Gee was not doing enough to stop job cuts. She said 6000 jobs would be lost in regional NSW, 732 in the central west and 200 in Orange, if they had not been cut already.
"We've spent the day discussing the PSA's response to the attack on the public sector by this government," she said.
"The members have discussed that we need to hold Andrew Gee accountable for essentially ripping out the backbone of this electorate.
"He was elected to represent Orange and to ensure that services are maintained and what we're seeing is huge job loss."
Mr Lambert said PSA members would now put together a delegation to go and speak to Mr Gee about better representing his electorate.
Mr Gee welcomed the opportunity to speak with the new delegates but also accused the PSA of being short-sighted.
"I haven't been blessed with a copy of the union's modelling, but the first question I would ask is why they have failed to mention the 130 new positions on the Orange health campus over the last two years. There is a flaw straight away that they need to explain," he said.
"With a new second linear accelerator, 24 hour rescue helicopter, big capital spending on roads, TAFE and school buildings and also hospital upgrades around the electorate, I think we're travelling pretty well.
"But ultimately it's not the union which gets to pass judgment on whether I've looked after this seat. The whole electorate gets to decide that on March 28, 2015."