ORANGE mayor John Davis has hailed a meeting between Centroc members and federal government ministers a success following discussions on Wednesday.
Centroc’s 13 mayors and general managers met with Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss, Minister for Industry Ian Macfarlane, Minister for Agriculture Barnaby Joyce, Assistant Minister for Health Fiona Nash and parliamentary secretary for communications Paul Fletcher.
Member for Calare John Cobb, member for Parkes Mark Coulton and member for Hume Angus Taylor were also in attendance.
Water security, health, the national broadband network (NBN) and mobile black spot funding, infrastructure and manufacturing were among the issues discussed.
Cr Davis said general manager Garry Styles asked when Orange could expect the full benefit of new mobile phone towers and the NBN.
“In Orange, we’ve found in the last six months, the mobile service has improved immensely,” he said.
“You’ll never get it 100 per cent, but certainly it’s going to be nearly total coverage in the next few years.
“With the NBN situation, we’re about a year or two away from having it come online.”
Cr Davis said there was some discussion to prioritise industrial and commercial areas in the rollout, and working in partnership with the federal government to have new estates connected to the NBN.
He said the Bells Line Expressway was again raised.
“I think it’s the sort of thing that will happen in the next couple of years - as they get control of the finances, then we’ll have the opportunity,” he said.
With council applying for funding for programs to offset employment losses at Electrolux, Cr Davis said he felt encouraged by Mr Truss’s advice to ensure the jobs proposed in funding applications were sustainable.
“The council is financially viable and growth is positive,” he said.
Cr Davis said he would support an annual meeting between Centroc members and the federal government ministers.