Latest News from Mayor Kathy Sajowitz - 30 May 2019

I would like to acknowledge the Indigenous members of our community during National Reconciliation Week which runs from 27 May to 3 June.  This year’s theme is “Grounded in Truth – Walk Together with Courage”. Local Government supports initiatives to bring about reconciliation and respect. 

Electric Vehicles - Two Tesla Destination Charging stations each providing a three - four hour charge were installed at the Visitor Information Centre (VIC) last week. Destination chargers are designed for leisure and tourism purposes and are generally found along touring routes. As a result of the installation we hope to attract the electric vehicle touring market, particularly from the ACT via the Tablelands Way. The VIC will develop signage at the charging station with tourism information and four hour charging itineraries to encourage patronage of local business and attractions. 

Herb David Park - Work has been completed on the construction of the soft fall surface under the recently installed playground at Herb David Park. Staff will shortly install two new gates and reinstate the fencing. Parks and Gardens staff will then construct a garden inside the fencing to visually enhance the park as well as replace some of the border shrubs. This will complete the project.
Draft Oberon Community Branding Strategy - The first draft of the Community Branding Strategy is now on Public Exhibition until 14 June 2019. Copies have been placed on Council’s website and a link on the Facebook page, hard copies are also available for viewing at the Council Administration Office, Visitor Information Centre, and Oberon Library. The draft document includes a number of preliminary concepts, which will form the basis for feedback and further development. Facilitators of the consultation process Brijid Media plan to undertake ongoing feedback sessions in parallel to the exhibition period. This will include school visits, on street consultations; digital surveys and promotion with local media partners to ensure a broad section of the community can comment. There has been a diverse reaction to the initial designs as we expected there would be.  If you are not keen, your positive input on what you see as the Oberon Brand would be valuable. If you like the concept designs please let us know. A brand is notoriously difficult to develop as everyone has a different view of what it should be, please read the “story” behind how the designs were developed; this could make a difference to your opinion. 

Burraga Dam – Work is well underway to complete the Burraga Dam Upgrade. The road entrance is complete and construction of the new toilet and BBQ shelters are underway. It is envisioned that the project will be completed by June 30. The Burraga Dam is a very pleasant place to visit and the upgrade will enhance that experience. 

Fee Increase Councillors – At the last council meeting it was determined that councillors would receive a 2.5% fee increase for 2019/20. Each year the Office of Local Government sets the maximum fee increase for Elected Members. Oberon Councillors have declined to take an increase for the previous three years, the last increase being for the 2015/16 Financial Year. In comparison with other councils in the remuneration category “Rural” (designated by population numbers under twenty thousand), Oberon Council sits at the lower end of the scale when it comes to councillor fees. It has been my experience that in rural areas remuneration is seldom a motivating factor when people put themselves forward to stand as an Elected Representative. The motivation is rather - contributing positively to the community in which they live.

Farmers Markets are on this Saturday – a social as well as a shopping experience.