CABONNE mayor Ian Gosper and deputy Lachie MacSmith will focus on anti-amalgamation and strengthening the Wellington, Blayney and Cabonne Alliance (WBC) over the next 12 months after retaining their positions yesterday.
The pair were elected for second terms unopposed and their mission is supported by the majority of councillors.
The Central Western Daily contacted all councillors by email and phone to ask what they believed were the council’s achievements for the year and their goals for the next 12 months.
For councillors Kevin Walker, Sharon Wilcox, Geoff Dean, Anthony Durkin and Ian Davidson, keeping Cabonne autonomous was high on the agenda.
While they all said they had nothing against Orange as a neighbour, they believed Cabonne should remain its own council.
“We have an emphasis on agriculture and our small towns and we want to keep that,” Cr Davidson said.
Unlike neighbour Orange City Council, Cabonne councillors said the most effective part of their council was the team work, the lack of factions and alliances, the unity and respect they had for their mayor and deputy and how well the council staff worked.
“I am proud to be a part of a united council having calmed the previous rough seas of the past four-year term,” Cr Wilcox said.
Another hot topic was roads.
Cr MacSmith said he wanted to see Cargo Road brought up to scratch so that eventually the speed limit could be returned to 100 km/h.
Others said they were pleased with the budget allocation for roads and infrastructure but more could be done and it was a project they would push for in the next 12 months.
Cr Davidson was focused on the rights of farmers. As Cabonne developed, residential housing closed in on agricultural land which was a natural progression, he said.
But his goal over the next 12 months is to stand up for the farmers who need to make hay for two nights a year or operate lighting while their neighbours try to sleep.
He said people need to be aware that a farmer who has operated his business, in some cases for generations, has a right to continue to do so.
“It’s something we’re looking at,” he said.
“We haven’t got a problem here yet but we want to have talks with local landholders and residents.”
The Canowindra swimming pool construction was a project councillors were proud of, as was the fitness park.
Based on aims for the future, Cabonne residents should expect to see a more fierce fight against amalgamation, better roads and service sharing with “like” councils to help Cabonne get a better deal .
Cr Michael Hayes said he had no “big plans for the future” and said he had no comment on any achievements.
Janelle Culverson, Marlene Nash, Greg Treavors and Graham Smith did not comment in time for publication.