I find it interesting to read or hear commentary on what is wrong with Orange but have to say, whilst I agree that Orange can always be better, there is no other place I would rather live.
My family goes back several generations in Orange and have had the opportunity of going elsewhere ... why haven't they?
I have always believed in the old saying "be part of the solution, not part of the problem" and I have the honour of interacting with a wide range of community-minded people involved in so many activities to progress their community.
They are the people carrying on a great legacy our forebears established Orange on ... sense of community, charity and volunteerism.
It's been an exciting week, with the first sod turned on the $25 million sports precinct adjoining Brabham Park.
This is a reality but still there will be naysayers and sceptics and even the odd keyboard experts. It will happen, and in years to come it will be an important aspect of our community.
Water projects - the pipeline from Spring Creek reservoir to Suma Park Dam (and thus the water filtration plant) and the Blackmans Creek stormwater harvesting (different from the very successful Ploughmans Creek scheme) - are well and truly underway, with the pipeline a week ahead of budget and time.
I acknowledge Minister Melinda Pavey being in Orange to see the projects and give us the opportunity to discuss other projects we have on the drawing board.
Also Qantas' first flight into Orange was certainly a momentous occasion and it did take much negotiation by Council, as did our relationships with Corporate Air Sevice and Rex airlines.
This gives people a range of options to fit in with business or private needs. But we must be cognisant of another old saying "use it or lose it".
As with retail businesses, if the community do not support the business it will close. Council can lobby or help in some ways, but at the end of the day "business is for business".
Amateur sporting clubs have been very much impacted by the COVID-19 restrictions but there are two sources of support that may help.
One is a small grant available from State Government and Council has $50,000 available as small grants. For further information contact council.
Council is intent, in conjunction with our neighbouring councils, to advance active management of the Mount Canobolas precinct. Millions of dollars are being spent by OCC on Lake Canobolas, the Scout Camp area and the bike park area.
It is critical we maintain and manage the Mountain and surrounds for all. It can be done if we work together and stop the silo mentality some have.
We can enhance the environmental assets that exist and with strategic management see an icon of our region enjoyed by our community and visitors alike.
That will require adequate resources, cooperation from councils, government agencies and the community at large.
I encourage the community to drive to the top of the mountain, observe what they believe needs attention (note the road going up, the guard railing and the carpark at the top). Go to the Federal Falls carpark and walk down to Federal Falls and observe the track, any unwanted vegetation or signs of feral animal damage. Try some of the other trails, walks and look-out spots and draw your own conclusions. It is truly a beautiful area, but it needs our's and government's support now.
The big roundabout project on the NDR near the Botanic Gardens is getting towards the pointy end and I am sure it will make a huge difference to traffic flow.
The Ten4Ten initiative by Regional Development Central West is underway and I have the privilege of being one of the mentors - my year 11 student is from Molong Central School - and I was most impressed by his enthusiasm and certainly look forward to our continued time together.
I spent time with all the students (representing the majority of High Schools) and I can tell you our future is in good hands.
Finally, it was strategically advantageous for us to have three government ministers in Orange this week in Melinda Pavey, John Barilaro and Paul Toole.
Council's responsibility is to lobby as much as we can,and get support and funding for projects that will forward our great City.
Hopefully in the near future will have Minister Keen here to discuss Mount Canobolas.
Orange Mayor Reg Kidd
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