There’s been strong signs of public support from candidates in this months’ state election for Orange’s proposed new Life Sciences precinct.
Part of the Activate Orange blue-print developed by Orange City Council, the Life Sciences precinct proposed for south Orange would include the existing hospital site, the new private hospital, the DPI‘s agribusiness support work, education and research facilities as well as clinical media trials run by the Health Service.
The current assets on the site would be used to leverage investment attraction for associated developments, industrial manufacturing and services companies.
Orange City Council has lodged an expression of interest with the NSW Government to have the Life Sciences Precinct designated as a Special Activation Zone*.
The council is also seeking $70 million government funding for infrastructure plus $3 million for the costs of detailed planning.
When questioned at the council’s 1 March community forum, all candidates present backed the project.
(These remarks are presented in speaking order on the night.)
Member for Orange Phil Donato welcomed the plan.
“We’ve got a fantastic facility out there on the southern side of town. We’ve got a world class hospital, and new private hospital facility going in across the road, the Bloomfield precinct as well,” Phil Donato said.
“We really are a medical hub for not only regional NSW but regional Australia.”
Australian Conservatives’ candidate, Gary McMahon backed the project.
“I’m really excited by the prospect of the health and the sciences precinct,” Gary McMahon said.
“If I was elected I’d be fighting to get that $70 million. It’s a big ask but it would be worth it because Orange can do amazing things.”
Greens’ candidate Stephen Nugent said the project had the potential to attract jobs to Orange.
“When the Activate Orange document came out I got very excited about it,” Stephen Nugent said.
”The Life Sciences precinct is one of the parts of that, that really resonates with me and particularly the education side of things, the medical school.”
“This will help with attracting more small to medium enterprises such as Phocas, a data analytics company which has already come to Orange”
The ALP’s Luke Sanger backed the proposal.
“You have my 100% support for this if am elected and if Labor does get government,” ALP’s Luke Sanger said.
“I congratulate all councillors that are here tonight on the Activate Orange plan.”
Nationals’ candidate Kate Hazelton told the forum :
“I was really impressed by it because this can bring so much employment and initiative to our city.”
“Parkes has already got an activation hub that is going to be so big and I do believe that this will make a difference to Orange and our whole area so I would fully support it, “
Kate Hazelton said. “At $70 million, yes I would support that.”
The Christian Democratic Party’s Maurice Davey and independent Terri Ann Baxter both backed the project.
There’s more information about the Life Sciences precinct here
Special Activation Precincts * are a NSW Government initiative being set up in regional areas (Parkes & Wagga Wagga) which are given targeted support to become a thriving business hub. The support includes :
- Fast track planning
- Infrastructure investment
- Governmentt-led studies and development
- Business concierge
- Re-location support for businesses