Well, the festive season is approaching quickly and the festivities got off to a wonderful start in Orange with the Orange City Centre welcoming Santa and Mrs Claus with a parade in the Main Street last Saturday.
There was a very big crowd and the children obviously enjoyed seeing 'real' reindeers for the very first time (I suspect).
I am sure any fair-minded person would not begrudge the closing of part of Summer Street for a short while to have such a popular event, which I hope becomes an annual event.
Christmas lights are starting to appear all around Orange, and I am looking forward to seeing some fairy lights in trees in the CBD and Council decorations this week.
It's been a busy week with State and Federal politicians.
Firstly State Minister Melinda Pavey was in Orange to hand over $5 million dollars for Orange water infrastructure, which includes stage ll of Blackmans Creek Stormwater harvesting and a pipeline from Spring Creek Dam to Suma.
Our continued diligence and planning is certainly paying dividends with the State Government. Incidentally our current combined storage levels are approximately 27 per cent. The average daily residential water consumption is 134 litres per person, per day.
Staff are helping businesses complete water saving action plans, undertaking leak detection across the city and our water is tested regularly to make sure it meets Health NSW requirements. Our water has also regularly been judged amongst the best tasting in the state.
The Orange Australia Day awards are seeking nominations. Forms can be obtained from Council or online and close December 18.
The categories are Citizen of the Year, Young Citizen of the year, Community Group, Community Event, Local Legend and Business philanthropy.
The sporting precinct funding we received from the State Government early this year will be debated at Council this Tuesday with a report to Council recommending the site be the Bloomfield site currently used by Orange Ex-Services Golf Club, if it becomes available (if not the Northern Distributor Road site will remain).
The report should be of interest to all the Orange community with a number of concept plans for various sporting recreation fields and a 10,000 seat stadium/grandstand.
This grant of $25 million guaranteed for a sporting precinct will bring much relief to all the community who feel we have fallen behind our neighbours in this aspect.
The Day on the Green in early February is booked out at around 10,000 tickets with 40 per cent of tickets going to 2800 postal code, 15 per cent Blayney, 11 per cent day-trippers, Central West beyond Blayney, Cabonne and Orange and 34 per cent overnight stays. This will generate approximately $1.8 million to the local economy, in very trying times.
Council will also debate a report on a strategic policy: purchasing and buy local.
I am very keen to see some adjustments made in this policy as the two per cent agreed to when I brought the issue (a local procurement policy) to Council several years ago certainly needed a review on its operation and any refinement that can support local businesses whilst maintaining Governance is to be commended.
The Regional Museum's current exhibition is a must see, as is the new exhibitions at The Regional Art Gallery. Exhibitions are by locals Ros Auld and Bill Mosley.
Last Saturday there was a big crowd turn out in the Tyre Power Orange to meet racing legend Craig Lowndes. There were lots of activities for the kids.
A brick bat to the person/s that may have poisoned the large Plane tree in Lords Place.
Council will investigate thoroughly any suspected poisoning of community trees and take appropriate legal action. If anyone witnesses any vandalism to community assets,including trees, please contact Council or the police.
Last week they had a "topping ceremony" at the developing DPI, with Minister Pavey in attendance along with a number of senior staff from the department.
The views are breathtaking from the top, and now full steam ahead to finish the building for habitation in the second half of 2020. Plans were also released for the redevelopment of the old ambulance station.
The CEO and myself were kept busy in Canberra late last week meeting with a number of key Federal Ministers, with a follow visit on Sunday. A nice place to visit, but not live.
Orange mayor Reg Kidd
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