As at today Monday 17 April 2016 I have received no response from our Local Member Hon Paul Toole in relation to my repeated requests for a meeting to address council and explain why a proposed merger with Bathurst Regional Council is justified and what benefits he sees for Oberon in this process. I sent a further letter on Friday 15 April. I also felt compelled to write to Premier Mike Baird and Leader of The National Party Hon Troy Grant to advise them of this unsatisfactory state of affairs. This is a bizarre situation, I can only assume that as Mr Toole has shown such reticence to visit Oberon, that he has no answer to the questions he knows your Council will ask. Therefore adding further fuel to the supposition that this whole process has been nothing but a political “game of thrones” bearing in mind that Mr Toole whilst Mayor of Bathurst Council presided over a resolution that Bathurst Regional Council would pursue a merger with Oberon Council, I am of the understanding that the resolution still stands. I am very conscious of the fact that at all levels of Government there is a constant risk of becoming insular within the political world therefore losing touch with the populace who elect us to represent them. Government, at any level, is not a private business but has a definite representative responsibility. I fear the current Coalition has lost touch with this premise.
Disappointing that Oberon did not receive any of the recently announced Federal Black Spot Funding. Calare Representative John Cobb announced large funding grants for Orange, Bathurst, Lithgow and Cabonne. Council applied for two funding grants both for Abercrombie Rd. We still see Abercrombie Rd as a real “Black Spot” issue and as such I am seeking a meeting with John to ascertain how Oberon can progress this during the next round of funding which is now open.
You will read elsewhere in this publication or on social media that Oberon Councillors made two significant decisions last week. To join Walcha and Cabonne in its legal action and to not as requested by Minister Toole, at this point in time submit an expression of interest for a position on a transitional council should a merger between Oberon and Bathurst Regional Council proceed. Both these issues have potential ramifications and I can assure you much thought and soul searching went into reaching the decisions that we did. I feel we have maintained our integrity and not enabled the bullying attitude of the NSW State Government.
On a lighter note: more awards for our local farmers, congratulations to Glengarry for taking prestigious awards at the Royal Easter Show this year.
It’s back to school early next week. Don’t forget Waste to Art is only a few weeks away. St Joseph’s School has kindly allowed the organisers use of their school hall for this year’s competition which due to ever increasing community participation has outgrown the Community Centre Function Room.
Cameras at the ready for the OBTA photo competition, more information on OBTA website.
The long suffering “Aide de Mayor” feels I should mention the Oberon RSL Bowling Club Men’s Pennant team, who had their first win in the 2016 competition last Saturday 101 – 40. Well done.
Mayor Kathy Sajowitz