Not Richmond or Holbrook: no chance of defence force base in Orange

NOT HERE: A member of the NSW Parliament’s Standing Committee on State Development says there's no chance Orange will house a large-scale defence force base. Photo: CANBERRA TIMES
NOT HERE: A member of the NSW Parliament’s Standing Committee on State Development says there's no chance Orange will house a large-scale defence force base. Photo: CANBERRA TIMES

ORANGE will not be home to a large-scale defence force base, with a submission from Orange City Council more likely to lead to a military supply or manufacturing facility being housed in the city.

In response to the NSW Parliament’s Standing Committee on State Development’s inquiry into ways to grow NSW’s defence presence, council on Wednesday offered up a number of industrial zones – including the former Electrolux factory and the airport business park – as potential homes for armed forces facilities.

Western NSW parliamentary secretary and committee member Rick Colless said relocating defence bases was not on the agenda.

“It’s mainly industries that support the defence force,” Mr Colless said.

The committee will hold a hearing in Orange on August 14, and among the discussion points will be the defence industry and regional development.

But with 27 other NSW locations lodging their own submissions for military expansion in their area, Mr Colless cautioned against premature celebration.

“You can’t jump to too many conclusions,” he said.

“There could be a number of winners from this.”

A number of areas across the state have also lodged submissions, some of which relate to existing defence activity in their regions.

In a statement, federal member for Calare Andrew Gee said he had been working with businesses interested in defence contracting.

“The firms I have been working with are local established firms who have no connection to the proposed airport development, which is a separate issue,” Mr Gee said.

“Our big advantage in the Central West is that we have a lot of engineering know-how tied up with mining services, manufacturing and food processing which lends itself easily to defence contracting.

“I’m hopeful of seeing our first success stories soon.”

Member for Orange Phil Donato said bringing the defence industry to the city would be beneficial.

“The right sort of industry in the right location be great for the town,” Mr Donato said.

“If they could find some sort of industry to go into the Electrolux factory, it would be positive.”

Mr Colless said from a defence perspective moving supporting industries around the state served a strategic purpose in the event of a conflict allowing the armed forces to maintain their capabilities.