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Cook Park aviary, Uluru Statement and record airport passenger numbers on Council meeting agenda

Plans for the Cook Park aviary, the Uluru Statement from the Heart and record passenger numbers at Orange airport were all on the agenda of last night’s Orange City Council meeting.

Concept plans to explore changes for Cook Park

Last night’s meeting decided to develop new concept plans for Cook Park, however a proposal to remove the aviary will not be progressed.

The meeting supported a recommendation from the Parks, Trees and Waterways community committee which recommended 3-stage plan for introducing changes, as part of a new long-term masterplan for the park.

Cook Park in Summer time

PARK PLANS: New concept plans to be draft next year for Cook Park will include an aviary for birds.

The meeting heard that are no funds available in this year’s budget a for a consultant to develop the concept plan, and that funding for the consultant and any future projects would be considered as part of the budget for the 2023/24 financial year.

Phase 1 of the proposed changes would see the relocation of the current staff works compound, a re-alignment of paths to connect Sampson Street to the centre of the park and improved drainage throughout the park.

It’s expected once the concept plans were completed, they would be put on exhibition for community comment before any final decision was taken.


Council debates future of mountain bike proposal

Last night’s meeting rejected a motion to not progress proposals to build a network of mountain bike trails on Mount Canobolas.

A motion from three councillors (Crs Gerald Power, David Mallard and Melanie McDonell) asked the Council not to take the further steps needed to gain the required state government approvals for the project.

Plans to build a network of mountain bike tracks have reached the stage of having a preliminary environmental impact assessment completed and the state government has provided the criteria needed for the next stage of investigation.

According to a report to the meeting, no funds had been allocated for future development of the project. It’s expected the next steps would depend on future Council budget deliberations and councillor briefings.


Airport passenger numbers set new record

The growing number of airline passengers using Orange Regional Airport has set a new record, according to a report to last night’s Council meeting.

The new record came in October when 8250 passengers flew in or out of the airport, just higher than the previously highest ever figure of 8240 set in May this year.

The growth has come with three airlines (Fly Corporate, Regional Express and Qantas) now using the airport.

The October passenger numbers this year (8250) compare starkly with the same month in the pandemic affected 2021 of 493. The tally of passenger numbers doesn’t include passengers on charter flights. A number of large charter jets are now using the airport to transfer FIFO mining crews.


Extra info with rates notices

Orange ratepayers will receive extra information about Council spending in their rates notices from next year, following a decision at last night’s meeting.

Cr Steve Peterson put a motion to the meeting asking for a breakdown of Council spending to be added to rate notices.

While a pie-chart breakdown of spending has been part of the draft budget community consultation for a number of years, this information will now be also added to the rates notices which are sent ratepayers each quarter.


Council decides to take a stand on Uluru Statement from the Heart referendum

Last night’s meeting decided to take a stand on the Uluru Statement from the Heart referendum.

The decision came after a motion from Cr Gerald Power calling on Council to support the ‘Yes’ campaign in the referendum and write to Federal Member for Calare seeking his support. (Mr Gee has recently publicly supported the change).

The supported motion also called on the Council to promote and support the campaign for a ‘Yes’ vote in a referendum on a Voice.


Clifton Grove Masterplan adopted after community consultation

Last night’s meeting adopted a new Clifton Grove Masterplan.

Following community consultation and a face-to-face community meeting, last night’s meeting adopted the Clifton Grove Community Committee’s recommendation to remove a proposal to install a firepit at the Clifton Grove mud hut  community meeting place from the list of projects.

The committee also recommended a new set of priorities for action including:

  • Replanting and weed removal along Summer Hill Creek
  • Revegetation of bridle paths
  • Removal of fences between the end of the bridle paths and road verges
  • Installing exotic trees along Banjo Patterson Way and Mud Hut
  • Installing Banjo Patterson Way visitor parking area/pull-in, and
  • Installing furniture at the Mud Hut including seating at play area

Earlier this year when the draft Masterplan was on exhibition for community comment, there were 437 visits to the YourSay Orange site and 65 people completed an online survey.


Development decisions

Last night’s meeting gave approval for:

  • A development application for a $14.8 million development on the site of the former Kurim shops in Callawa Street, Glenroi. The proposal includes three four storey buildings to include shop-top housing, seniors housing and business retail premises.
  • A Development Application for a $2.9 million proposal to build a two-storey building including 282 self-storage units in Gateway Crescent.

The meeting also supported a staff recommendation to refuse consent for a Development Application to demolish a garage and 2-storey studio in Anson Street and erect a new building. The recommendation stated the proposal would have “adverse impacts on the significance of the heritage conservation area” and would have an “adverse impact on residential amenity caused by visual bulk encroachment”.


  • Last night’s meeting decided to ask the NSW Electoral Commission to run the next local Council election, expected to be in December 2024. The meeting heard, the Commission charged $354K, thousand to run the 2021 election.
  • Council has installed new wheelchair accessible parking spaces outside Bowen Public School in Park Street, according to a report to the meeting.
  • 22 trees have been installed in Lords Place as part of the latest Future City CBD upgrade. A report to last night’s meeting heard plans to install new dining decks were postponed until February to minimise impact during the Christmas shopping period.

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