ON the final day before Orange City Council revisits controversial plans to build a domestic violence crisis centre in a residential area, supporters turned out at Cook Park to support the proposal while opponents have lobbied councillors to remove themselves from the vote.
More than 60 people gathered at the rotunda to sign the petition.
Meeting convener Julie Proctor, who has worked in mental health, drug and alcohol services for the past 15 years, said she believed it was not an issue of access as residents in George Weily Place had argued.
Housing Plus has since ruled out accessing the development from the Northern Distributor Road over George Weily Place to ensure clients’ safety and privacy.
It is clear that you will not be able to act impartially and objectively to reach a fair and balanced decision.Email to councillors Tony Mileto and Joanne McRae
“There were seven people opposing the [DA two weeks ago] – each said Orange desperately needs a facility, but they invariably qualified the statement with ‘not in my neighbourhood’,” Ms Proctor said.
She said the possibility of Housing Plus losing funding if the project was delayed was real as she had also worked with government departments on strict timelines for service delivery.
“It depends on who’s the contact manager and their relationship with the minister and their relationship with the [leader],” she said.
Meanwhile, a Ploughmans Valley resident opposing the development has written to councillors Tony Mileto and Joanne McRae asking they remove themselves from Tuesday night’s vote due to their “evident bias and demonstrated lack of ability to be objective”.
MAP: Where is the proposed site …
Cr Mileto spoke at the meeting two weeks ago about contact he had with a domestic violence victim during his time as a private investigator, while Cr McRae spoke about her personal experience in a violent relationship.
The email, provided to the Central Western Daily, said, “it is clear that you are understandably deeply affected by your experiences and demonstrate that you are not able to fairly assess process and make clear objective decisions due to your respective traumas”.
“This is compromising your duty of care and diligence as a councillor,” the email said.
“It is clear that you will not be able to act impartially and objectively to reach a fair and balanced decision.”
Cr Mileto said he would take part in the vote.
Councillors will vote on a rescission motion on Tuesday night to reverse approval for the development application, the surrounding planned subdivision and a land sale for the intersection of 313 Ploughmans Road, opposite the development on the other side of the Escort Way.
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