OUR SAY: Let’s turn debate from cults to compliance

PLAN: An artist's impression of part of the new complex. Photo: Supplied
PLAN: An artist's impression of part of the new complex. Photo: Supplied

Some building applications to go before Orange City Council spark debate.

But usually it’s about the suitability of the building for the site and whether it complies with council and government regulations.

Not so Orange Evangelical Church’s [OEC] application to build a $3 million church and office complex on land it owns on Ploughmans Lane.

The church’s plans were revealed in the Central Western Daily this week.

It is proposing a 347-seat auditorium with enough car parking for 112 vehicles.

Apart from four services on Sunday the complex would be used by various groups within the church during the week.

The peak anticipated usage of the building would be on Sunday morning when two services would have 210 and 200 people respectively.

It is proposed that the existing dwelling on the property would be converted into offices.

There would also be a new road into the complex.

These are the sorts of things that should be getting people fired up for debate.

Does it comply with building standards, is there enough car parking, what will the building look like, does it create excess traffic at a busy intersection?

But a fair chunk of the comments on Facebook and on the Central Western Daily website have been anything but discussion about buildings.

One comment made allegations of the church being “cult-like” in its business and funding arrangements.

Others have questioned whether the $3 million would be better spent on welfare rather than buildings.

Whereas others, like OEC churchgoer Theodore Crane, have called for calm.

The church has stated that it will be using its own funds to build the complex and Mr Crane has outlined that the funding methods offered to parishioners are “transparent.”

The OEC is not seeking to use council or government grants or asking the public for donations.

There is community support for the mosque in Orange so why can’t people extend that support to a Christian church?

Let’s have a sensible debate about a development application.

This is Australia, let’s play the ball and not the man.