What a difference a day can make.
We had our own successful lockdown only to see an increase in cases in Sydney and regional areas including Dubbo and Walgett, with reported traces found in sewage samples in Parkes, Broken Hill and Bourke - so it seemed inevitable another lockdown would come again.
I understand the frustration and just how difficult it is for business, families and loved ones, but remember we are all in this together.
Let's make sure we get those vaccination rates up, and if you know of any individuals or groups that need help let us know.
A meeting recently with the Governor was most enlightening and we certainly welcome a later visit when things improve.
This week we had zoom meetings with the Deputy Premier, Minister Paul Toole, Minister Melinda Pavey, Minister Dr Geoff Lee and Minister Matt Kean - it was a very exhausting day with the main issues discussed health, particularly all things COVID; testing, vaccine availability and vaccination rates, effect on businesses and future support, training and skills updating in areas like water and sewage management, water infrastructure and management, road Infrastructure, the tunnel proposals and of course road repairs (with the increased damage due to the very wet winter to date).
There was mention made of some of our city's major infrastructure projects, including the Southern Distributor, the Art Gallery extension, the Conservatorium and Planetarium, the sports precinct and regional collaboration with the eleven surrounding LGAs.
We are hosting a regional housing forum this week following on from the successful local one we had a few weeks back. This is a statewide initiative to look at the present crisis that is evident in affordable housing, social housing, housing finance and eligibility, right through to land availability for development and ways Councils may be more pro active.
Last week we had a meeting with a good cross section of builders and developers to firstly discuss the roll out of the electronic development application process and to seek input into ways Councils can improve our service delivery in this area. This is the second one we have had in the last 10 months and I thank those who took the time to have constructive input in their industry.
The first drafts of the master plans for the sports precinct are out for the community to see, and feedback I have already received from some recognised industry experts is very encouraging.
I am still endeavouring to get more people supporting the concept of the Bloomfield Hospital ground becoming a designated Health Precinct. Unfortunately some people have assumed that the area is protected and is already a Health Precinct, ensuring the vast land around the main buildings is preserved - wrong!
We want to protect the Bloomfield Hospital land and ensure it becomes a medical related development and the grounds and gardens are properly maintained and enhanced, and brought back to former glory.
I would also like to see those objectors to a sports complex become pro active in the Health Precinct proposal, and the further environmental development and restoration work being done at Gosling Creek, Bloomfield Park and at the back of the hospital - and what about the idea of a Sculpture Park in the Bloomfield Grounds on the old nine holes between the sports complex and the hospital?
Council meets this Tuesday evening (I guess by zoom now) and Council and councillors will undoubtedly be under their own stress of work, family and council commitments during this horrid COVID pandemic.
We are all under stress, frustrated and tired but working together, all of us, as a community can beat this. Certainly Orange celebrating its 75 years as a city and 175 years as a town has faded into insignificance to what we are facing right now.
Keep vigilant, keep safe, keep smiling and help each other.
HAVE YOUR SAY
- Send us a letter to the editor using the form below ...