An Orange council mayoral candidate has called for a one-year freeze on all rates and charges to give residents relief from rising costs.
Cr Kevin Duffy, who is standing at the September 9 election for both mayor and as a councillor, said people deserved a fair go.
“Our residents and ratepayers and in the business development area in the CBD have been hammered with huge increases in electricity prices, in power prices,” he said.
“We’ve had huge increases over the last four of five years of water charges.
“That is one of the reason why we need that freeze, we cannot just keep taking and taking and taking.”
He said council had subsidised direct flights from Orange to Brisbane and Melbourne to promote the city.
“It’s about time we started supporting our own people and getting a bit of life back in the CBD.
“There are a lot of empty shops up and down this street.”
Cr Duffy also called for a major upgrade for Wade Park saying it was the prime sporting venue west of the Blue Mountains.
He said it was not a friendly venue for people with prams, walking sticks or disabilities.
“It is not user friendly any more, it is out of date, and with the current state government giving out money left, right and centre we want to get our share.”
Cr Duffy said he wanted more transparency in the council and if elected mayor he would keep everyone fully aware of his movements.
“I want councillors and the general public to know where I go, what I do and who I see.”
Cr Duffy has also called for an immediate planning review – particularly into the proposed airport industrial park and in heritage areas.
We’ve had huge increases over the last four of five years of water charges. That is one of the reason why we need that freeze, we cannot just keep taking and taking and taking.
He said he wanted more research into the aquifer near the airport.
“We’re against that planning process and we’ll stop it as soon as possible,” he said.
The former mayor of Cabonne council launched his campaign on Monday – which was also his birthday.
His number two on the ticket, grandmother Jane Patteson, said she wanted an upgrade of sporting facilities and children’s playgrounds.
“I want to see playgrounds for children are safer, CCTV, things like that,” she said.
She said extra security was needed around the toilet block at Elephant Park.
Graeme Judge, Richard Clifford, Darren Johnson and Peter Martin are also on Cr Duffy’s ticket.