GALLERY: Year in Review - October

October 3: Food lovers were promised they'd be spoilt for choice when it comes to shopping at the newly opened Supa IGA, taking Orange's supermarket tally to six. Nearly 18 months after Franklins closed its doors, the redevelopment of the Summer Centre and its 278 space carpark was finally complete. 

October 4: More than 35,000 flooded through the turnstiles of the Orange Aquatic Centre over autumn and winter while the outdoor pools were closed, vindicating Orange City Council's decision to invest millions of dollars in the indoor facility, according to councillor Jason Hamling. 

October 7: Data obtained from the Department of Family and Community Services shows the wait for homes in Orange with one or two bedrooms is five to ten years, and the wait for three and four bedroom properties is two to five years. Meanwhile unoccupied social housing properties have been burnt in suspicious circumstances.

October 8: The Commonwealth Bank froze several of the Bathurst Anglican diocese's accounts as it moves to recover as much of the $36 million debt owed as possible. 

October 9: Pool owners in Orange were warned they would risk a fine as high as $2200 if they don't register their pool online by the end of the month and will eventually pay a $150 fee when all pools are inspected to check they're fenced correctly. 

October 11: The long tradition of providing a hot lunch for staff in the canteen at Orange hospital was in jeopardy with staff told the service is loosing money and set to close. Staff were concerned about the limited options if they don't bring food to work or have to stay back to work an extra shift as they can not leave the hospital during the day. 

October 15: Authorities were warning people to stay away from synthetic drugs after a suspected fatal overdose. Police would not confirm if synthetic substances were the cause of the death, but Orange Health Service confirmed there had been several cases of people coming to the emergency department after taking synthetic drugs.

October 17: Emergency service crews were called to a Hill Street property after they received a triple-0 call that a man wielding a sword had set fire to his home. Police and fire crews were kept from the property as the man smashed windows, made threats and set numerous fires within the property, before he later escaped out the back door. It was a neighbour returning home after being evacuated who alerted police to the man in her backyard. 

October 18: A man pleaded guilty to a charge of possessing a prohibited weapon in Orange Local Court after police found a taser in his possession. Simon Anthony Osborne purchased the weapon in China, claiming he thought it was "something akin to an electric razor". 

October 21: Just over 4000 people flocked to the Orange Rodeo, including John Crasti who was seriously injured while competing in last year's event. Despite being left wheelchair-bound after an 680kg bull fell on him last year, Mr Crasti said he had no intention of missing this years event, and even tried his hand at competing. 

October 22: Emergency services battle three fires in Lithgow, Mount Victoria and Springwood areas to prevent them from joining up and creating the biggest fire emergency ever seen in the Blue Mountains. Fires that had already blackened 48,000 hectares and destroyed more than 200 houses needed to be stopped before they reached the more densely populated areas north and west of Sydney.

October 23: Police closed a section of Banjo Paterson Way for around 15 hours after establishing a crime scene following a single-vehicle accident. A vehicle heading west on Banjo Paterson way rolled into a ditch and hit a tree injuring all three of the vehicle's occupants

October 25: Cold and windy weather failed to deter a healthy crown flocking to the 63rd annual Australian National Field Days. One of the highlights of the day was the showcase of some of the state's best sheepdogs competing in the working dog championship trials. Orange's 2013 MasterChef winner Kate Bracks opened the field days with a reminder of the importance of primary producers to the local and national economy. 

October 29: Greens MLC Jeremy Buckingham lashed out at Tony Abbott and NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell's lack of action over the upcoming closure of the Orange Electrolux factory. Mr Buckingham said it was time the government worked wit Orange City Council and other stakeholders to device ways to stimulate economic development. 

October 30: The Land and Environment Court Commissioner cautioned about 50 objectors to behave during her visit to the site of the proposed north Orange McDonald's. Commissioner Sue Morris warned the group they were not to interject and they were to be respectful of the process. The objectors talked about what they believed to be a dangerous intersection at Farrell Road, the lack of parking available and the impact the proposed development would have on the amenity of the area.

October 31: A 49-year-old Orange builder underwent surgery after hi left arm was severed after his left arm was severed in an accident on a building site yesterday morning. The builder also sustained serious leg injuries. He was flown by the NSW Ambulance helicopter to Westmead Hospital for specialist treatment after initially being treated at Orange hospital.


1. Electrolux shuts Orange plant

2. Baby's death under investigation

3. Man critically injured after concrete boom collapses

4. Held up at knifepoint in supermarket carpark

5. Police claim Four Corners' report ignored detailed review into teenagers' deaths

6. Cross to bear: Anglican bank accounts frozen over debt

7. Snake in the grass as Peter mows lawn

8. Sheep killer jailed

9. Teen's fatal high: Synthetic drug blamed for death

10. Woman sustains serious injuries after car rolls and hits tree



OCTOBER was the month Orange was dealt perhaps its biggest blow of the year when Electrolux announced it would wind down from late 2015 and close forever in 2016.

The closure would end decades of manufacturing on the site that was a mainstay of Orange since it opened as a munitions factory in 1939.

Everyone knew the situation at Electrolux was bad in February when the company announced it was trying to shore up the factory to prove it could be as competitive as its international rivals.

But to many the closure was a surprise.

The thing that angered most people, especially politicians, was that it was only when the final decision was made that the public were told no amount of financial assistance could have kept the factory afloat.

Despite months of wrangling and planning, the company spurned the best efforts of Orange City Council and its offer of $1.1 million assistance over 10 years, and the state government's $4 million payroll tax rebate and $40,000 grant.

Although the federal government had not put an offer on the table, it had asked for more time to consider the plant's request for a $41 million bailout.

Electrolux's closure came on the back of a year of several major manufacturers abandoning Australia for cheaper plants overseas.

Unlike the other more high profile closures, Electrolux has not hit national headlines as frequently which is disappointing for Orange and the region.

The fear now is the plight for Orange, and other central west cities facing major changes to their economic landscape, will be lost in a sea of factory closures and downturns across the country.

For many, the closure of Electrolux was an inevitability as the entire Australian manufacturing industry deals with the seemingly impossible challenge of ongoing viability alongside countries that pay workers a tenth of the average Australian factory worker's wage.

But others believed the profitability of the Orange plant would have been enough to keep it open even in the short term.

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