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Meeting adopts draft budget

Last night’s Council meeting voted to adopt the draft budget for the next financial year.

The adopted budget includes:

  • An operating deficit of $2.2 million for the general fund
  • $61.9 million in capital expenditure
  • $1.9 million deficit in the overall cost to Council

During the community consultation stage, 605 people visited the YourSay Orange website, reading articles about aspects of the budget, completing surveys or leaving a comment.

83 people completed a survey about general responses to the budget. Among survey participants:

  • 74% supported continuing with the next stages of the FutureCity CBD upgrade
  • 60% supported the construction of the sporting precinct
  • 90% believed increased spending on footpaths was worthwhile
  • 65% believed spending on upgrading the sewage treatment plant should be a priority

If you’d like to have your say in any future consultation. Please register with YourSay Orange. 

Council aims to increase use of renewable electricity

RENEWABLES: Solar Panels at the pound

Last night’s meeting voted to try to increase the amount of electricity it can buy from renewable sources.

While Council decided in 2019 to try and buy up to 20% of its electricity needs from renewable sources, it was unable to reach that target.

Since then market changes have made it easier to buy renewable energy.

Last night’s meeting decided to try and buy up to 50% of power from renewable sources, as long as the price is lower than existing prices. The process of buying renewable power is being facilitated among member councils of the Central West Joint Organisation by the Department of Industry, Environment and Planning (DPIE).

Community to be asked about single-use plastics

Last night’s meeting decided to out a new draft policy on exhibition for community comment about ‘single-use plastics’.

The new draft policy provides a framework for the phasing out of single-use plastics at Council events and in council operations. The framework would be implemented gradually over the next five years.

Support approved for  CBD upgrades

Drone picture of the CBD

UPGRADES: Last night’s meeting approved plans to financially support local businesses to upgrade the facades of CBD buildings from the FutureCity Assistance Fund.

Last night’s meeting approved plans to financially support local businesses to upgrade the facades of CBD buildings from the Future City Assistance Fund. There were no community comments during the public exhibition period.

The meeting decided to :

  • provide financial assistance of $4,622.40 to Glenmace Pty Ltd (Refurbishment of Façade Bensons Café and vacant site next door – 240-242 Summer Street, Orange).
  • provide financial assistance of $3,387.76 to Ian MacLean and Elizabeth MacLean(Refurbishment of Façade – Sheer Radiance- – 169 Summer Street, Orange).
  • provide financial assistance of $5,000.00 to Anson Street Plaza Owners Corporation (Refurbishment of Façade – 212 Anson Street, Orange).
  • provide financial assistance of $3,945.00 to Graham Brindle and Judith Brindle (Refurbishment of Façade – Signature Travel –  197 Summer Street, Orange).

Code of Conduct report

Last night’s council meeting noted details of recent Code of Conduct complaints.

The council receives regular reports about the number of complaints without disclosing details.

The report showed that in the ten months from 1 July last year to 30 April this year there had been two complaints in the category of ‘complaints made about Councillors or the CEO’. An investigation found there were no breaches of the Code of Conduct.

Council to support music festival, jousting titles

Last night’s meeting voted to support two entertainment events to be held next year.

The meeting decided to provide $10,000 plus around $2,000 Showground hire fees to the operators of the 2022 Squeeze Music Festival.

The event is proposed for 24 April 2022 with the headline act to be Lime Cordiale, and 4 touring bands as support act and one locally-sourced support act.

Last night’s meeting also voted to provide $20,000 a year for two years so that Orange can host the 2022 ands 2023 World Jousting Championships. The funding would consist of $10,000 a year cash and $10,000 in-kind of Council services.

The World Jousting Championships is an international solid lance jousting tournament featuring 8-10 of the best jousters on the globe. Jousters are expected from countries such as Australia, Russia, United States, Germany, Netherlands, France, United Kingdom, Canada, Belgium, New Zealand, Sweden, Norway, and Poland.

Plans to be developed for arboretum

SITE: Cr Jason Hamling visits the site alongside the bypass.

Last night’s meeting decided to develop plans and cost estimates to establish a native regeneration zone together with walking/cycling trails.

Following a mayoral minute passed in April, the plans will be developed for a 44 hectare site on the bypass that was originally bought as the site for a new sporting precinct.

The plans will be developed for undulating land on the eastern side of the site.

IN BRIEF:

Last night’s meeting decided to :

  • Make $5,000 including the hire of council facilities available to the Rotary Club of Orange for the Sustainable Living Expo
  • Put on exhibition for community a proposal to provide $1,000 to Dairy Hill Designs for the Artwork Orange Pop Up Exhibition event.
  • Defer a decision on  a DA for a new 52-place $1.3 million child care centre in Kearney’s Drive, pending a site visit and more information about traffic impacts.

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