Mayor goes in to bat for electorate

STATE OF PLAY: A dam for the region leads the wish list for Orange mayor John Davis in the lead up to the state election in March.

STATE OF PLAY: A dam for the region leads the wish list for Orange mayor John Davis in the lead up to the state election in March.

CANDIDATES standing for the seat of Orange at the next election need to deliver a dam and the region’s fair share of the electricity sell-off proceeds if they are successful, according to Orange mayor John Davis.

Speaking about what he would like to see from Orange’s state candidates in the lead-up to the March poll, Cr Davis said he expected the Coalition to win government for a second term, irrespective of the result in the electorate.

“I believe it will stay the same, maybe with a shorter majority,” he said.

“I think the main thing is probably a recognition of the deeds we do in regional country NSW.

“The opposition, when they come up with their policies, need to be competitive. They’ve got to make sure they can offer the same opportunities for Orange and for our region.”

Cr Davis said his wish list was a simple one, listing a dam as the main piece of infrastructure needed in the region. The state government has already allocated $4.5 million over the next two years for a scoping feasibility study and cost analysis for a $150 million dam at Needles Gap.

“There’s got to be another water supply for the long-term viability of industries in our area,” he said.

Cr Davis said it was important for the central west to share in the proceeds from the sale of the state’s poles and wires and for the state government to invest more in employment.

“There should be a serious look at moving some of the government offices out of the Sydney area,” he said.

“One of the success stories has been the agriculture department in Orange.”

Despite missing out on a pollution grant and two grants for work at the showground, Cr Davis did not believe the Orange electorate was missing out on grant funding and said further applications had been made.

“You can’t be successful on everything and we have been very successful over the years,” he said.

Member for Orange Andrew Gee has already announced his intention to stand again for the Nationals, while Orange Country Labor has started its search for candidates.

danielle.cetinski@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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