Lights, cameras and action are set to make the city safer

SAFER LIVING: Mayor Reg Kidd, Bowen Community Technology Centre co-ordinator Paula Townsend, Member for Calare Andrew Gee and the chairman of the Bowen Residents Action Group Ron Gander. Photo: JUDE KEOGH 0614jkfunding3
SAFER LIVING: Mayor Reg Kidd, Bowen Community Technology Centre co-ordinator Paula Townsend, Member for Calare Andrew Gee and the chairman of the Bowen Residents Action Group Ron Gander. Photo: JUDE KEOGH 0614jkfunding3

Orange will receive its first mobile CCTV cameras as part of widespread safety measures across the CBD, Glenroi and Bowen announced on Thursday.

Orange City Council has won a federal government grant of $471,681 to install improved lighting, security cameras and bollards on city streets and in parks, paths and laneways.

Sites to have security beefed up include Glenroi Community Centre, Glenroi Oval, Marang Gunya Community Centre, Eyde Park and Jindalee Avenue.

Margaret Stevenson Park in Bowen will receive improved lighting.

Chairman of the Bowen Residents Action Group Ron Gander said the community was entitled to feel safe.

He said the lighting would help improve the situation for local residents.

“If something does crop up, you’ve got it [the lighting] there, you can pin the bad guy,” he said.

Mr Gander said in the past the area had been subject to armed brawls, car firebombing and assaults.

“It was like little Soho, I’d say, for a while there,” he said.

Orange Mayor Reg Kidd said it was a “substantive” grant.

“Mobile CCTVs will be a first for Orange,” he said.

Cr Kidd said once people identified where fixed cameras were located they avoided them, but mobile cameras offered more flexibility to create safer areas.

“The project will install high level, standalone solar lighting, new CCTV and upgrades to existing cameras and bollards at strategically selected pathways, roads, park areas and laneways.”

He said a safety audit of Orange involving police, council committees, non-government organisations, business and the community had identified the areas of need.

Member for Calare Andrew Gee said the allocation was from round two of the government’s Safer Communities Fund.

“This is the biggest single grant in living memory for our area,” he said.

Mr Gee said a further $30 million had been allocated in the 2018-19 budget to continue the Safer Communities Fund’s work.

Round three applications are due to open later this year.

The Safer Communities Fund initially received $40 million to help local communities address crime and anti-social behaviour.

It also helps protect organisations which might face risks from racial or religious intolerance.

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