THE business community will be front and centre of gathering ideas to revitalise the CBD.
Orange City Council supported a motion from councillor Stephen Nugent at Tuesday meeting to bring the council’s communication strategy for the project forward to the end of the year.
Cr Nugent had raised the priority during the election campaign due to public concerns about the impact of the Myer closure, empty shopfronts in the main street and the general need for street beautification.
“While there may be plans and funding for revitalisation of the CBD, many in the community seem to be unaware of those plans or are frustrated by the lack of action to date,” he said.
Deputy mayor Joanne McRae moved an amendment to include the Orange Business Chamber and Central West Business HQ in a forum.
“I’ve received a number of requests from retailers for the Christmas period and they are concerned already about the first Christmas without Myer and we can do more,” she said.
She said a forum would also allow councillors to familiarise themselves with the issues.
Councillor Russell Turner interpreted the motion as a slight against the previous council, emphasising the council had no control over Myer’s redevelopment, nor Post Office Lane, which was part of the Myer project.
The council is still waiting on more information to progress the development application.
However, Cr Nugent said he was not attributing blame.
“We’ve spoken about jobs and growth and the health of the CBD is integral in that growth,” he said.
Staff responded $15 million had been allocated for 2018-2021, subject to grant funding.
The council has been working on a traffic study with NSW Roads and Maritime Services for Summer Street and the CBD precinct, with the results due by the end of June.
CBD lighting improvements are also in the planning.