Orange City Council has welcomed today’s announcement by NSW Primary Industries minister Niall Blair to locate the new Department of Primary Industries head office in Orange, on the site of the former base hospital. [VIDEO]
Orange City Council’s Employment and Economic Committee chair Cr Jeff Whitton said the announcement is a vote of confidence in the future of Orange.’
“The department’s head office has been a significant part of the Orange community for the last 25 years,” Cr Jeff Whitton said.
“The hundreds of staff who’ve worked there have been both a steady employment sector and factor in Orange’s growing professional expertise.”
“The government’s decision to construct a purpose-built new head office will be a boost for the Orange economy both during construction and in the long-term.
“Since the DPI head office opened in Orange in 1992, the staff have embraced living in a regional city and the services they provide enhance the quality of support offered to the farming sector. It’s another sign that Orange is steadily moving to become part of the ‘knowledge economy’, a community based on skills, information and technical depth.
“The site of the former base hospital is an ideal location for this new head office. The proposal is to sell most of the western end of the site to a developer who will construct the new building. It’s virtually a clean-slate, which gives architects room to be creative, but it’s also in an established area of Orange.
“The site is surrounded by a TAFE college campus and a succession of professional offices.
“Last year Orange City Council entered in an agreement to sell the eastern end of the block to a developer and that was one of a number of options the government considered. Now that the government has made its decision much more detailed planning can begin. In due course, the DA process will give space for more community consultation.
“A re-zoning for the eastern half of the block was completed in March this year. That zoning will let a large scale office be built with multi-level parking.