Premier Gladys Berejiklian's election promise to build a $25 million sporting precinct in North Orange might be still alive despite her condition that Nationals candidate Kate Hazelton be elected.
Mrs Hazelton lost her bid for the seat of Orange on Saturday night following a massive swing to the standing member for Orange Phil Donato (pictured above with supporters).
The Central Western Daily asked the premier's office on Sunday whether the government would honour the premier's conditional promise to provide $25 million for the sporting precinct even though Mrs Hazelton lost.
It replied: "The government will continue working with Orange City Council on local infrastructure needs, which will be considered in the context of this year's Budget."
While hardly a commitment to build the stadium it does suggest a shift in the Premier's position as the government did not rule out building the complex.
This year's state budget will be delivered in June.
Mr Donato said he would push the government to build the stadium.
I will be holding them to account on that for sure.Member for Orange Phil Donato.
"I will be holding them to account on that for sure," he said.
Mr Donato said providing the stadium would help restore the government's credibility in Orange.
And he said deputy premier John Barilaro had later indicated during the election campaign the government would honour its promises.
"I think John Barilaro, a few days later, he contradicted what the Premier said," Mr Donato said.
Mayor Reg Kidd said the council would be talking to the government about a range of funding plans including the proposed stadium.
"We have had no further discussions since the Premier was in Orange," he said.
"[However] there will be ongoing discussions with the government. That [the stadium] is one of our priorities as is the mountain bike trails."
Cr Kidd said that if Mr Donato ended up holding the balance of power in the lower house of parliament they would also be asking him to put pressure on the government to get funding for Orange.
This will only happen if Kate [Hazelton] is the member, and I want to make that clear.Premier Gladys Berejiklian, February 6
He said the council would also seek to speak to whoever became the new Minister for the Environment about getting the management plan for the mountain bike park on Mount Canobolas approved.
Cr Kidd said, for him, the mountain bike park was a higher priority than the sporting stadium.
"But it will be up to all the councillors," he said.
Premier Berejiklian came to Orange on February 6 to announce the sporting stadium and made it clear it was conditional on Mrs Hazelton winning.
"This will only happen if Kate [Hazelton] is the member, and I want to make that clear because we've worked our guts out to build a strong budget and we want to make sure Orange gets its fair share," she said.
Council's sporting precinct plan features seven multi-purposes playing fields, an AFL, cricket and multi-purpose oval, an athletic track and field and a rugby league/rugby union field capable of holding 8500 people including a 1500-seat grandstand.
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