Council News - Thursday 30 April 2015

I am filling in for Mayor John McMahon for a short period while he recovers from a hip operation. John is recovering well and we all wish him a speedy recovery.

Last weekend, I was pleased to be able to attend the majority of ANZAC commemorations held across the Shire. As was the case across the whole country, people turned out in record numbers for the Oberon, O’Connell, Burraga and Black Springs services. The 100 year commemorations were a great tribute to those who have served our country across all conflicts since the ANZAC landings in Gallipoli 100 years ago.

At the Dawn Service in Oberon a very quiet and reverent gathering were told of the origin of the Dawn Service and how troops would be woken to be alert prior to dawn as this was a time that they were considered to be most vulnerable to attack. During the day there was a special commemoration for the 34 Oberon Soldiers who lost their lives in World War 1 and in particular the four soldiers who lost their lives at Gallipoli. Descendants from these soldiers families were among those who gathered to mark the very special 100 year commemorations.

I was very pleased to see the involvement from our local Schools, who spent a great deal of time putting together power point presentations, researching local history, rehearsing in the choir and band and turning out to march with the Returned Servicemen and Women on the day. Through our youth the tradition of ANZAC will continue and we will remember them.

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Last Thursday evening the Councillors and Staff made a presentation to a small group of interested members of the community regarding the State Government’s Fit for the Future Program. The presentation outlined the Council’s current position and the submission which will be prepared and submitted by 30 June this year.

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I was very sad to hear of the passing of Father Adrian Horgan last Monday. Father Adrian spent many years in Oberon and will be remembered for his dedication and commitment to his parish.

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Oberon Council is currently in the process of applying to become the new Trustees of the Black Springs Community Hall.  We will be developing a management plan for the Hall and hope to make it more accessible to the community in the future. I hope the whole community will be able to make use of this fantastic community asset.

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I am very concerned for the future of the High School Department at St Joseph’s School. The number of students attending the High School has declined in recent years and concerned parents and citizens have recently attended meetings at the School in an attempt to address these issues.  I hope the community can get behind the School and we can do everything possible to ensure it can remain open into the future.

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The outdoor staff did a great job last week of clearing a number of trees and fixing up issues from the strong winds and rough weather we have experienced.

Deputy Mayor Kerry Gibbons