LETTER TO THE EDITOR: What we need to become a ‘modern, cosmopolitan’ city

CLEAR VISION: Philip Dodds' response to Charles Everett's letter outlines the areas Orange must develop to grow as a 'modern' city. photo: JUDE KEOGH
CLEAR VISION: Philip Dodds' response to Charles Everett's letter outlines the areas Orange must develop to grow as a 'modern' city. photo: JUDE KEOGH

I WOULD like to comment on some of the points made by Charles Everett in his letter opposing the new Post Office Lane plans, published in Wednesday’s Central Western Daily.

Mr Everett's comments go to the heart of what kind of city we want Orange to be in the 21st Century.

At Phocas we are relying on Orange to continue its current journey to becoming an amazing, modern, cosmopolitan, young, aspiring and interesting city. We need this in order to attract high-paying, new economy jobs for our children.

We have 50 IT professionals providing services to corporate customers from around the world. Almost all our customers are from outside of Orange.

In the coming years we would like to double our staff numbers in Orange. We are just one of many Orange businesses trying to do the same.

This creates great opportunities for the current generation to further a career that would previously have required them to move to Sydney, Melbourne or overseas.

In addition, we need to attract people to Orange that further the emergence of such businesses and industries. Orange is off to a great start with things like our food and wine reputation – thanks Brand Orange – our cafes and coffee culture, great little wine bars, modernised pubs, arts and theatre community, new hospital, great public and private schools and quality childcare.

But backward thinking that belongs in the 1980s could derail such progress. We need:

  • Heritage sympathetic but high quality modern architecture within the CBD.
  • The CBD to be just that, and not a residential precinct.
  • More high-quality hotel accommodation.
  • Longer shopping hours, particularly at weekends.
  • Vibrant new retail areas.
  • High quality transport to all major capitals – better trains, more planes and great roads.

And yes, Mr Everett, we need more and more cafes and interesting eateries.

Post Office Lane needs all the help it can get. We don't need caravans in the street to help local charities – we need a community growing in affluence to help local charities.

This is 2018, not 1980.

I know its a big change for many people who still want Orange to be a small country town. However, we have to decide if our children and grandchildren have to continue their migration to coastal cities or if we want to become a modern cosmopolitan city that, through careful and sympathetic planning, is the place which people, businesses and jobs want to move to.

Philip Dodds and the Phocas Team

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