A JOBS summit organised in the wake of several announcements of major job losses will aim to safeguard the region from future crises as well as address the current situation, according to organisers.
The Central West Community Union Alliance began organising the free event in October when Electrolux announced the plant’s closure in 2016 and Simplot in Bathurst announced the redundancy of 110 workers.
Day one of the summit will be held on Tuesday, March 4, at the Orange Ex-Services’ Club and on day two the summit will continue at the Bathurst Memorial Entertainment Centre (BMEC) on Tuesday, March 11.
Organisers hope to bring together workers, unions, education, research and community organisations, and business representatives to campaign for the needs of the region and the workers affected.
“We don’t want to make it a partisan event, we want to make it a community event,” organiser Bernard Fitzsimon said.
“A lot of people we’re speaking to are from all shades of the political and industrial spectrum.
“We’re looking at trying to deal with the contemporary crisis, but we’re really focused on getting some visionary entrepreneurial ideas for the future.”
Organisers have invited Coalition politicians from the federal and state government including Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane, member for Calare John Cobb, member for Orange Andrew Gee, Deputy Premier Andrew Stoner and NSW Primary Industries Minister Katrina Hodgkinson.
From Labor they have invited federal Opposition Leader Bill Shorten and the state opposition spokespeople for trade and investment Mick Veitch, and primary industries Steve Whan.
Greens MLC Jeremy Buckingham has also been invited.
But organisers are concerned politicians may be reluctant to attend.
“We still haven’t got any confirmed... we don’t want people to think they’ll be speaking to a hostile audience,” Mr Fitzsimon said.
“We would really like to get as many members of the public to attend both meetings, this is their future we’re talking about.”
He hopes senior Orange City Council staff and at least one councillor will attend and is also inviting representatives from Charles Sturt University.
Each day of the summit will run from 9:30am to 4:30pm.
Attendees must register online at https://register.eventarc.com/20558/2014-central-west-jobs-summit-day-1-orange