An update on the Woollahra Council legal challenge in relation to their proposed forced merger. Woollahra filed in the High Court last Friday and two other councils have also filed an action. Oberon Council will now seeking advice on its options.

As at today Monday 4/4/16 I have received no response from our Local Member Paul Toole in relation to my request 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.  Should the Minister agree to the meeting I will also be seeking clarification around the intent of the letter all councillors recently received requesting them to submit an expression of interest if they wish to apply for a position on any interim council established as a result of a merger. This is despite any decision on the proposed mergers allegedly already being made.

I am pleased to note Oberon has received $42,790 in grant funding from the NSW Governments Waste Less Recycle More initiative, this will assist councils environmental program. It was however disappointing not to see the Minister in town to announce the success of the application.

Ex PM Tony Abbott is getting back on his bike for the annual Pollie Pedal fundraising event. He will be joined by some of his fellow Ministers for the fundraiser he started nineteen years ago. It has raised more than $4.5 million for organisations such as Carers Australia. This is a one thousand km eight day ride from Canberra through regional NSW towns. The pedal will visit Oberon on Friday 8 April on the way back to Canberra; the group will be at the Oberon Common Friday afternoon to meet the community.

As part of Seniors Week I will be visiting Burraga today for lunch hosted by the Burraga Ag Bureau for their local community, on Friday I will be attending the Seniors Lunch and Concert featuring Lonnie Lee (a blast from the past) at the Oberon RSL, tickets are still available from the RSL $15 including lunch.

I understand the strong reaction to the plan to remove some of the poplar trees around the intersection of Dudley St and Edith Rd. The trees designated for removal are the ones closest to the corner on both sides of the road and dependant on the result, possibly a third one close to the bus stop. There is a record of accidents and near misses at this intersection. Various safety strategies have been implemented over the past year or so, such as improved, larger give way signage, with little impact. 

Through the Local Traffic Advisory Committee, council has explored the possibility of installing stop signs and/or traffic calming devices but the intersection does not meet RMS guidelines in this instance. The RMS recommended five trees be removed as a safety measure but council approved the removal of up to three, recognising that this avenue of trees forms part of the spectacular entrance to the town - especially in Autumn. We do however have a responsibility to ensure safety and heed the advice of the RMS. Once the new bus shelter is installed it is possible we could look at some landscaping around the site to lessen the impact of the removal of the poplars. It is council’s policy to look carefully at any tree removal and this decision was given much thought, weighing safety issues and aesthetic preferences before coming to a decision.

Mayor Kathy Sajowitz