The Central Western Daily today features Amanda Spalding in the third of our profiles on the seven candidates standing for Orange mayor at the December 4 local government elections.
Name: Amanda Spalding
Occupation: Business owner
What is your family situation: My husband is Darrell Hair. We have a border collie called Jasper.
How long have you lived in Orange: 8 years, and Darrell was raised in Orange.
Most important issues: Serving the community as an upstander, I will see, hear and speak for all. Inclusive leadership to build trust and confidence in Council decisions. Services and grants delivered with value for money and maximum results in mind. Building upon our strengths as a city, growing the diversity of jobs and opportunities. A good employer that recognises the importance of supporting its most valuable resource.
Why should you vote for me: I will bring proven experience and know-how with international and local government experience in a diversity of communities at the highest levels of management. I am honest in my dealings with people - I am valued for my integrity in decision making, with transparency and process important to me. I believe in approachable leadership, I believe in reaching out to people and being available to hear the diversity of needs, aspirations and ideas that can create a great city.
Housing availability: My position is that Orange City Council should maximise opportunities to provide affordable housing and could have done so successfully on the former Orange Hospital site. We have an affordable housing crisis and it's getting worse with people who are homeless having to wait for at least two years to be housed. Our community is ageing and people's circumstances can change. Anyone can become vulnerable to unaffordable housing given an unexpected change in circumstances. Young families are affected by the growing AirBNB industry by taking many dwellings out of the long-term rental market. In tackling housing affordability, where there's a will there is a way. I am committed to social and affordable housing in accessible places close to services and facilities.
Sporting precinct: My position is that Orange City Council should refine the scoping process for the sports precinct to see whether a better result can be achieved for all. I love sport and was the vice president of WomensportNSW from 2011 - 2017. I am particularly happy to see that Orange will be getting an athletics stadium that has been a long time coming! The process pursued so far by Council to build the Sports Precinct at south Bloomfield has divided the community, including staff at the hospital. The community needs to be asked what it wants for the Crown Land at South Bloomfield having been handed back after 40 years. I am also concerned about the traffic challenges that the hospital will face if all of the elements of the sports precinct are built at south Bloomfield.
The redevelopment of Mount Canobolas: My position is that Orange City Council should work in partnership with Cabonne Council to fulfil the potential of Mount Canobolas for tourists and local people, within the existing environmental and cultural potential. I have worked in local government for many years and this is the first time I have heard of a Council acting as a developer in another Council area, which is what is happening here. The NSW Government should fulfil its responsibilities towards all state conservation areas. I am opposed to building mountain bike trails (MBT) in the state conservation area on Mount Canobolas with its unique flora, fauna and Aboriginal artifacts. I propose MBTs in the State Forest Area of Mount Canobolas, however, proper consultation with the local Aboriginal community is a prerequisite for any such proposal.
Water security: My position is that Orange City Council should be investigating an overall strategy to achieve water security for our community and not treat it as a commodity to be bought and sold. The community and businesses of Orange have done a great job over the last few years in reducing water consumption, but we need to work in partnership to find long term solutions. We need the three tiers of government to work together, not individual councils 'acquiring' water from other areas. As general manager of Hay Shire Council I ran a water and sewage business and found it extremely disturbing that Water NSW could empty the Murrumbidgee River without informing the council.
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