I write this as the majority of the state comes out of lockdown, which does not mean a return to normal.
There are certain restrictions lifted with having reached the 70 per cent double vaccination rate, which Orange did at least a week, before the average across the state. I am confident Orange will be over the 80 per cent mark by the end of this week.
Yesterday was a major milestone in our quest to live with COVID but it is by no means the end.
Doctors, nurses, psychologists, councillors, teachers, businesses and of course parents will be dealing with the lasting impact of the COVID-19 pandemic for years.
It is so important that we follow up-to-date public health advice regularly as things change.
The information is also on council's website and the local media have been excellent in keeping us all informed.
Everyone vaccinated and not vaccinated is urged to get tested (being vaccinated and/or having no symptoms) does not necessarily mean you can not get COVID-19.
We will have to manage COVID-19 as council is doing right now with our first staff case. Contact tracing, testing, cleaning etc... all managing and living with the problem.
Orange is still booming with development with approximately 136 DAs at present with a value of over $74 million.Orange mayor Reg Kidd
No good playing the "blame game", this is a community issue we all have to play our part in going forward.
I will do whatever it takes to see my grandchildren in Dubbo as soon as possible and to keep them safe, as well as their parents and ourselves.
Orange is still booming with development with approximately 136 DAs at present with a value of over $74 million.
There are a couple of very interesting businesses possibly relocating to Orange (great for increased employment opportunities for our region) and adding to Orange's diversification of industry and commerce.
A couple on developments of interest are:
The Australia Cinema in Lords Place (built by the Dalton family to entertain and meet with Irish politicians visiting Orange to raise awareness and funds for their cause).
I remember so well the many times I visited the cinema (remember going to the 4 o'clock session when you 'were old enough', the midday sessions.... cartoons, two movies and a visit to Alcorn's nextdoor for an ice cream and lollies. Those were the days my friends, we thought they would never end! But they do. It will be refitted to become 31 accommodation units with a hotel reception, kiosk and cafe at approximately $4.35 million.
Then we have 68-70 Peisley Street (which many would remember as the Billard manufacturing business which will be refitted as 22 serviced apartments and 4 offices.
The North Orange Woolworths is also undergoing a $3.7 million extension. Council is also working through issues with NSW Health on the now defunct nurse quarters 129-133 Sale Street. I am sure this site would make an excellent location for something like inner-city housing (units).
Just a comment on Mount Canobolas.... many of the comments made are disingenuous to say the least. "Does Orange council know it is in Cabonne LGA?"
"Council is not being transparent in the environmental assessments being undertaken at present", etc, etc.
But not one comment on how Cabonne and Orange council supported very strongly getting NPWS $2 million for much needed maintenance work needed on the mountain. How many folk have taken the time to find out what is planned or is in the process of being undertaken?
Council and I are very committed to "ground truth in" about what exists on the mountain.
It is not in anyone's interest to "guess" or "suppose" what or what does not exist.
Recently I came across a comment that the pandemic could be predisposed by work on the mountain. I do know that the mountain needs serious input of resources to control the invasive flora and fauna (blackberry, ivy, St John's wort.... to name a few invasive weeds) and (pigs, rabbits and possibly deer and dogs). It is obvious to visitors that upgrades and ongoing maintenance is needed to the road and the parking at the top and to the walking trails.
The Scout Camp is a great example (and the Lake) of what can be done when there is co-operation between councils and user groups. Millions are being spent on both but no disingenuous comments.
The coming weeks will see meetings with several state ministers to progress a number of important city projects including the art gallery extension, the sports precinct, water infrastructure projects, Mount Canobolas and our push for a health precinct declaration of the Bloomfield grounds/area.
Finally, the parks and gardens in Orange are a picture at the moment after a second excellent year of rainfall. Take the time to enjoy it!