At the time of writing this column 31/1/17 no official notification has been received in relation to the strongly worded statement made recently by John Barilaro that “unresolved mergers in rural areas are off the table”. As we are all aware Premier Gladys Berejiklian has named her new cabinet and the new Minister for Local Government is the previous NSW Attorney General, The Hon Gabriella Upton. We are looking to Deputy Premier John Barilaro to now deliver on his public commitment. I see some positives in our Local Member Paul Toole being appointed to the portfolio of Forestry, Lands and Racing. The Minister is familiar with the fact that council has over many years lobbied the NSW Government to acknowledge that the Oberon LGA is disadvantaged by the vast amount of state owned forest in the LGA therefore deeming that land unrateable. However council still has to bear the cost of maintaining the local roads used by logging trucks. Whilst we appreciate and acknowledge the high importance of the forestry industry to our economic viability, a more equitable share of the cost of that industry needs to be considered. With the obvious plans to privatise Forestry NSW in the future, I look forward to meeting the Mr. Toole to discuss these issues.
The recent Australia Day celebrations held in Oberon were a huge success with approximately two hundred people coming along to the showground. Ambassador Peter Greste was extremely well received by the community. We welcomed five new citizens this year which was an absolute pleasure. I offer my congratulations to the well-deserved recipients of Australia Day Awards. I would also like to acknowledge and congratulate Rosemary Harris who was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for service to the community of Oberon. Rosemary lived in Oberon for over twenty years and during that time worked tirelessly for the Hospital Auxiliary serving many years on the Health Council and working with hearing impaired children. Rosemary now lives in the Blue Mtns close to her children. So congratulations Rosemary, a well-deserved award.
I am delighted to announce that the Service NSW Oberon Agency will open its doors to customers from 8:30am on Friday 10 March 2017, providing easier access to NSW Government transactions for residents and businesses. As a result of the partnership between Oberon Council and Service NSW, a number of government transactions will be available to customers at the new agency. These include vehicle and boating registration and licence renewals, learner driver and knowledge testing, owner builder permits and contractor licences, applications for birth death and marriage certificates, Senior’s Cards and much more. The Oberon Agency will be located at Oberon Council, 137-139 Oberon Street and will be open Monday to Friday 8.30am to 4.30pm. For more information about Service NSW or the Oberon Agency, visit service.nsw.gov.au, call 13 77 88 or download the mobile app.
Have you reserved your tickets yet for the inaugural Mayors International Women’s Day Lunch to be held on IWD March 8 at the Community Centre? This is a free event for Oberon Women. Contact Sharon Swannell at council on 6329 8151 if you would like to join me.
Mayor Kathy Sajowitz