Council News 13 June 2013

Media Release - Council News
Release: Thursday 13 June 2013

Council held the first of their scheduled Community Information Sessions at the Black Springs Community Hall last Thursday evening to review the Draft Community Strategic Plan, Draft Delivery Program, Operational Plan and Resourcing Strategy, which are now on public exhibition. It was disappointing to note however that the meeting was not well attended. Council also held an information session in Burraga on Wednesday evening.

Further Community Information Sessions will be held at the St Thomas Anglican Church Hall in O’Connell today, Thursday 13 June 2013 and at the Robert Hooper Community Centre in Oberon on Wednesday 19 June. Members of the public are invited to attend each session, which will commence at 5.30pm.

The period of public exhibition is from Monday 27 May 2013 to Monday 24 June 2013 with written submissions closing on 24 June 2013.

A Special Meeting will be held on Thursday 27 June 2013 to consider submissions received and to adopt the Community Strategic Plan, Delivery Program and Operational Plans.

The Independent Local Government Review Panel conducted consultation with Council’s from Oberon, Bathurst, Lithgow and Mid-Western Regional Council last Wednesday.   Panel Member, Glenn Inglis first met with the General Manager’s and Directors from the four Local Government Areas.  During this session the General Manager’s of Mid-Western, Lithgow and Oberon all expressed the view that they were not in favour of the proposed County Council model and in the case of Lithgow and Oberon had a strong and effective relationship with the existing Central West Region of Council’s (CENTROC).  

Following this a Councillor Session was held and was attended by several Councillors for Bathurst, Lithgow and Mid-Western and a greater number from Oberon.  It was pleasing to hear that not all Councillors from Bathurst agree with the position put forward by their Mayor and General Manager. Lithgow also don’t favour the County Council model with Bathurst as a Regional Centre.  There were positive comments and strong opinions from Councillors at Lithgow and Bathurst supporting the view that a “merger” of Oberon and Bathurst would not be beneficial for Oberon or Bathurst.  Mid-Western again stated their opposition to being included in a County Council with Bathurst as the Regional Centre.

The Community Session was then held with around 50 people present.  At the commencement of the meeting Bathurst Mayor, Monica Morse asked for a show of hands for representatives from each Local Government Area and the overwhelming majority were from Oberon with only a few attendees from Lithgow, Bathurst and Mid-Western LGA’s.  It was great to see such a large number of rugby league fans turn up to a public meeting held in Bathurst when NSW had such a great win over Queensland. The Mayors of Bathurst and Lithgow were both there to hear the overwhelming opinion that Oberon Council is in a sound position, provides effective Local Government services, and that the community is fiercely opposed to proposals to merge with Bathurst.  

I was profoundly disappointed that Bathurst seems to be pushing down the path of pursuing amalgamations, particularly given that there seemed to be a consensus at the briefing that amalgamation was of no benefit to the communities.

Tickets are now on sale for the Official Sesquicentenary Dinner which will be held at the Oberon RSL Auditorium on Saturday 6 July. All Oberon residents are invited to come along to the dinner with special guest of honour, Her Excellency Professor Marie Bashir AC CVO Governor of New South Wales.

The celebration will include a three course meal and great entertainment from the Bay Rum Band. Tickets can be purchased for $50 per person from Oberon Council. I hope you can join us to help celebrate this special milestone in Oberon’s history. For further information please contact Council on 6329 8100.

Works on the replacement of a major culvert at the Oberon Mount on O’Connell Road are almost complete. It is expected that the road will be opened to traffic by the end of the week and the side track will be demolished, and reinstated to pre-construction conditions.

Councillor John McMahon