Group 3: The John Davis team
John Davis, Jason Hamling, Michael Gray, Jan Savage, Dave Cleal and Justin Johnson
Where do you stand on:
Rates: Council rates are always going to be seen as too high, however we believe the best result for the ratepayer is for the council to give the best value for money for the rates, e.g. infrastructure and facilities that are first class and well maintained.
Would you ever vote for a special rate increase above the cap set by the state government? We believe the council should only increase the rates by the state government regulated CPI, about 2.5 per cent annually. Under no circumstances should they increase by larger amounts for the general running of the council.
Conservation versus development: We believe the council and staff are working within the rules set by the state government and the development of Orange is growing at a steady, sustainable rate. We need development to continue to grow as a thriving regional centre and to be able to provide the following generations with employment and living opportunities within Orange.
Macquarie pipeline: Would you vote to halt the pipeline project? (yes or no) No, my team is passionate about securing Orange’s water supply and it is the best option, especially as it already has funding secured from the state and federal governments. We are not experts on water security but we are being guided by the independent professionals that have been engaged to find the best solution.
What major capital works do you think Orange needs?
Our priorities are several 4-8 year works programs for: City streets to be hot mixed; upgrade of footpaths around Orange; the completion of the distributor road with major works in the Peisley Street/Forest Road areas.
What projects or facilities would you forego to fund them if necessary? We have the ability as council to raise extra monies from the sale of land/assets, e.g. old saleyards. These funds would then be used to fund new projects or facilities as needed. Competing projects have great challenges but with a financially responsible council and the continuing support of the federal and state governments it should be our goal to achieve all projects that would benefit the community.
Successes of the previous council? (list no more than four) No special rates increases - having a balanced budget with the council living within its means. Building numerous facilities for the community, e.g. Anzac Park, distributor road, indoor pool. Securing funding from state and federal governments, e.g. received $110 million over last four years for community projects that otherwise wouldn’t have been possible. Taking vital measures to secure Orange’s water supply, including water harvesting scheme, water bores and Macquarie pipeline.
Failures of the previous council? (list no more than four)
Not being able to complete negotiations with showground users for their current facility. Not being successful thus far in bringing museum project to realisation. Not be able to maintain condition of previous sections of the distributor road.
What are your policy priorities? Securing Orange’s Water Supply. Expansion of Adventure Playground. Toilet facilities for some parks. Extra car parks within CBD and hospital. Review of traffic flows. New museum. Expansion of airport runway and increased competition.
Are you in favour of: (yes or no)
A full-time mayor: No
Direct election of the mayor by voters: No. We believe the mayor should be elected firstly as a councillor and then by the councillors for the position of mayor.