Putting the issue of trees to one side for a moment, one extraordinary thing that stands out is Orange City Council's failure to account to the community as to why it has dumped the north Orange site for the proposed sports stadium.
Perhaps more intriguing is `how' it has done the dumping.
A couple of years ago when a site for the sports stadium was first considered, Orange City Council paid an undisclosed amount for a site in north Orange, which was heralded by the Council as the perfect location.
We were told that it was an ideal location as it was in the fast growing north Orange area and, being close to the Northern Distributor, it was highly suitable for the many cars and buses, which would attend the location.
Now Council is spruiking that the north Orange site is the worst possible.
We are told that the land is contaminated with asbestos, there is only a single access road, no water on-site, no electricity on-site, power lines go over the top and no internet access.
Council has to come clean with ratepayers, who footed the bill for the purchase of this apparent lemonBill Walsh
Well, why in the bloody hell purchase this block in the first place? Was this just on account of sheer incompetence on the part of councillors and staff?
Whoever sold the north Orange site to the Council must be laughing all the way to the bank.
If the land is so unsuitable for a sports stadium for the reasons now espoused by Council then surely it is unfit for any kind of use. Who would want to purchase it in the future?
Is the negativity being peddled about the north Orange site simply a smokescreen to enable the Council to promote its now preferred option of the Bloomfield site?
Council has to come clean with ratepayers, who footed the bill for the purchase of this apparent lemon.
Why did Council purchase and try and sell it to the community as the greatest thing since sliced bread when apparently any cursory investigation would have disclosed that this block was totally unsuitable?
If the block is as unsuitable as Council now tells us, then heads should roll in relation to the purchase of the north Orange site.
How could councillors and council staff have got it all so very wrong?
The 'how' of the dumping of the north Orange site was enhanced with the official turning of the sod on the Bloomfield site even before a Development Application has been lodged let alone approved.
Imagine the ramifications if a little old ratepayer of Orange had the audacity to act before a DA had been approved.
Orange City Council needs to offer the ratepayers a full and honest explanation. Council must act with accountability and integrity on this issue.
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