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Community discuss ideas about revitalising Lords Place south

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The first part of community consultation for Lords Place south is well underway.

Orange Mayor Reg Kidd said a revamp of Lords Place south was one of the next projects on the list as part of phase two of Council’s FutureCity plan to revitalise the central business district and encourage more people to spend time in the inner city.

Lords Pl/Kite St roudabout

UP NEXT: Members of the community have their say on the future of Lords Place, between Summer and Kite streets.

“We have made great progress on the FutureCity upgrades so far, and are already enjoying many of the projects completed in phase one, including improved footpaths and lighting, public art, outdoor entertainment events and the popular Summer Street fairy lights,” Cr Kidd said.

“But FutureCity is about much more than appearances, it’s about supporting our businesses, improving traffic flow and pedestrian safety, and making the CBD a place where people want to be.

“It’s important to remember that we’re not starting from scratch. The SJB urban designers did a lot of research across the community already and they’ve given us a great starting point that’s about making the CBD more attractive and more walkable. It’s up to the community to take that vision on and work out what it means for this section of Lords Place.

Two community forums have been held simultaneously to an online YourSay site that gave community members and Lords Place businesses the chance to share their ideas about what they think  Lords Place south could look like.

Orange City Council staff are working towards a concept design, based on the community’s feedback that will then be brought back to the community for further discussion.

FutureCity upgrade reaches next ‘steps’

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The next phase of the FutureCity upgrade to Lords Place and Byng Street continues with an upgrade of the steps and ramp in front of the entrance to the Orange Civic Theatre.

The area was demolished in two stages to ensure access to the theatre foyer is available during construction.

The pebble surface on the steps and ramp has been replaced by a concrete path way, in line with the look of the existing surface of the cultural precinct near the Orange Regional Museum.

The upgrade is designed to enhance the appearance of the area, create a safer, less slippery walkway and reduce the incline of the existing ramp. This has made access for people using wheelchairs and mobility scooters easier.

The upgrade was completed just in time for the first  Eisteddfod event which began on August 2.

Work has now begun on the entrance to the Civic Centre (customer service).

People with mobility concerns should use either the Orange Civic Theatre box office entrance, or the entrance from the rear Council car park.

Demolition

WORK UNDERWAY: Contractors continue to upgrade the front entrance to the Civic Centre

Indigenous artist creates latest McNamara Street mural

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Local artist Sandon Gibbs-O’Neill is the latest artist to create a mural in McNamara Street as part of Orange City Council’s FutureCity upgrade of the area.

Sandon Gibbs-O’Neill is a proud Nhunngabarra man who is inspired by the legacy of his Grandfather, Tex Skuthorpe, a highly respected Nhunggal man, artist, teacher and author.

Sandon’s Future City Public Art Project mural ‘Community’ is a contemporary design that draws on aspects of traditional Aboriginal art. The mural has been created on the Canobolas Hotel garage in the McNamara Street carpark.

Mural

COMMUNITY: Sandon Gibbs-O’Neill’s work near the McNamara Street carpark.

Three rivers, painted in blue, reflect the Wiradjuri people, the ‘people of the three rivers’ the Wambool (Macquarie), Kalari (Lachlan) and Murrumbidgee.

Two circular designs joined by a pathway illustrate past, present and future communities and the importance of sharing knowledge and showing respect. A circle in the background  illustrates the land and how everything is connected.

The use of dots within a circular pattern reflect community with each dot having an important role in the overall circle. Just as each person plays a vital role in our community.

‘Community’ reflects a connection to the land on which we walk and its traditional custodians, the Wiradjuri people.

Orange Mayor Reg Kidd said the response from the community about the first two murals in the area had been diverse.

“Good art invokes a response from people and that’s certainly been the case with the two murals completed in the area by Canberra artist Yanni Pounartzis and Orange artist Tully Moore,” Cr Kidd said.

“One mural is still incomplete but I encourage everyone to take a stroll over to McNamara Street and check out what has been created.”

Orange City Council’s Employment and Economic Development Policy Committee Chair Tony Mileto said Council had invested in public art to encourage people to visit the area.

“Public art creates a great atmosphere, creates talking points and encourages foot traffic in an area,” he said.

“It’s designed to give the businesses in McNamara Street an economic boost.”

Sandon said he had received a great response from the community as people watched his artwork take form.

“People have loved it so far and they stopped to have in depth conversations about it,” he said.

“I love that, I love people asking me questions and engaging with the art and learning about its meaning.

“It’s not just a pretty picture, there’s value.

He said it was a “big deal” for him to be chosen to create a mural in the city of his birth.

“It’s really good and important to see Aboriginal art out in public,” Sandon said.

Of the four artists involved in the first instalment of the project, two are locals:

  • Yanni Pounartzis – Canberra, ACT
  • Tully Moore – Orange, NSW
  • Catherine O’Donnell – Blue Mountains, NSW
  • Sandon Gibbs-O’Neill – Orange, NSW

Sandon spent his early years in Goodooga, NSW on Nhunngall country before moving to Orange where he has lived on Wiradjuri land for over 20 years.

Sandon didn’t plan to be an artist. He grew up with dreams of a football career and then went on to study a Bachelor of Community and Social Development at University. It was only recently that he fully committed himself to his art-practice through the development of his business Burruguu Art.

Sandon is inspired by the traditional Nhunggabarra stories and uses this knowledge to create contemporary Aboriginal art. He is inspired by the land, his culture and community.

Through his artwork Sandon hopes to challenge stereotypes, educate others and continue to learn more about his culture.

Lords Place median strip the next step in FutureCity upgrade

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Work on construction of a new median strip in Lords Place, between Summer and Byng streets has begun.

The works are part of Orange City Council’s FutureCity project to make the central business district more pedestrian-friendly, as well as providing better connections for people walking from Summer Street to Robertson Park and the Civic Precinct.

Orange Mayor Reg Kidd said the installation of the median strip was the next step in upgrades to this block of Lords Place, with new kerb and guttering on both sides of the street completed, and new footpaths on both sides of the street all but finished.

Lords Place street view

WORK IN PROGRESS: Contractors move on to the centre median.

“The 2.6-metre-wide median strip will assist with traffic flow in Lords Place, which will make it easier for someone on foot to cross the road safely,” Cr Kidd said.

“A pedestrian crossing will be installed halfway along the block, outside 241 Lords Place.”

“Once complete, the wider median strip will be the centrepiece of this street, with plantings of shrubs and trees.”

Contractor Awcon started work from the Summer Street end of the block. The road will still be open to traffic, but parking on the western side will be affected as the work progresses towards Byng Street.

Eventually there will be no parking available on the western side of the block while the work is happening. Drivers will still be able to park on the Robertson Park side of the street.

Barriers and signage are in place, but motorists are urged to slow down, pay attention and follow the directions of traffic controllers when driving in the area, as contractors are working in the middle of the road.

Lords Place montage

CENTREPIECE: An impression of how the street will look when upgrades are complete.