Latest News from Mayor Kathy Sajowitz - 23 February 2017

A great day was had by all at the Oberon Show last weekend. The weather was kind and the events entertaining. It was with pleasure that I presented Ian Gordon and John Brotchie with Life Membership Awards for service to the organisation over many years. I cannot say too often how volunteers are valued and respected within our community and it is rewarding to see their contribution acknowledged. Both Federal Member Andrew Gee and Local Member Paul Toole visited the show through the morning. 

I can report that Oberon has received Natural Disaster Funding of $250,000 to assist with road repair after the rain event experienced late last year. This will go a long way to getting the damaged road network back in good repair. 

Back to Business Week – a project to promote and celebrate the success of small and medium sized businesses and the critical role they play in local communities across the State. Councils in NSW each received $5,000 in funding to host an event in their community.  Oberon Council would like to invite current or prospective business operators including retail, agricultural/farming, tourism and hospitality to join us at Mayfield Gardens on Friday March 3 from 6pm.  Our keynote speaker is Peter McMillan. Peter is the CEO of Regional Development (RDA) Central West which is an organisation responsible for the economic development and long term sustainability of the NSW Central West region. The RDA work in partnership with governments, local communities and other stakeholders to develop initiatives that enable the Central West Region to grow sustainably. Key activities include; promoting investment and economic development opportunities, providing advice and information on regional development issues and priorities, raising awareness of programs and services available to regional communities. The organisation can advise on funding opportunities (which are out there waiting) and organisational support to help you grow your business. RDA Central West aims to drive business growth, new jobs, skills development and business investment across the eleven local government areas of Bathurst, Blayney, Cabonne, Cowra, Forbes, Lachlan, Lithgow, Oberon, Orange, Parkes and Weddin. So if you are looking to Grow, Start or Innovate your business don’t miss this. This is a fully catered free event for Oberon business operators or prospective business operators trying to get their business off the ground. Please contact Kathy Beesley at Oberon Council 6329 8156 to reserve your place.

I have been advised that Oberon along with other councils whose merger proposals have been discontinued, will go to a Local Government Election on September 9 2017, the term of office will be three years with another election to be held in 2020 which will bring us back in line with the prescribed electoral cycle. We have not as at the time of writing this column been officially advised of the recent decision not to amalgamate Oberon and Bathurst RC and until that point in time we are still working under sect 23a guidelines (merger proposal).  A community celebration is planned after we have received that notification. 

It saddens me to advise that Burraga Public School is now officially closed. Resources and infrastructure have been distributed to other schools in the area. The actual school building will be sold. This is devastating for Burraga residents but with the potential of just one student in 2017 and no predicted enrolments until 2020 and then only two. Despite several meetings with the department and correspondence with the Minister, I was unsuccessful at mount no credible argument against this course of action. 

It is proposed to temporarily close the current worksite on Edith Road from February 27 – March 31 and detour traffic via Titania and Duckmaloi Roads with the exception of managing local resident movements within the worksite area. Council apologises for any inconvenience this action may cause. 

Mayor Kathy Sajowitz