It was great to welcome Wiradjuri Woman and Elder Nyree (Ngari) to Oberon last Friday to Celebrate National Reconciliation Week, the students of Oberon High School and community members joined us on Friday June 2 for a flag raising ceremony. Nyree is a wonderful artist and she has accepted my invitation to come back to Oberon and speak with us at the Library about her work. I advise you not to miss this when arrangements are complete.
Work continues to install the NBN nodes in the town. I have been advised the network is scheduled to go live in Oberon in October. When this happens you will need to contact your service provider for connection availability and plan options, this is not done through NBN Co.
You would no doubt have heard by now that the NSW Government has deferred implementation of the Fire and Emergency Service Levy which was due to be collected alongside your rate notice effective July 1. To comply with the State Governments directive that local councils collect the levy on their behalf, a great deal of time and cost has already been expended by us and other councils across the state. This work will now need to be reversed. It is hoped this financial impost will be reimbursed by the NSW Government.
The RMS are conducting a winter weather campaign across the state, this is particularly relevant for Oberon with snow and icy conditions quite normal during the colder months. Electronic message signs will be in place alerting motorists of prevailing conditions and the emergency hotline number will also be displayed should incident occur or traffic conditions need reporting. Radio alerts will be available through 2BS and 2LT. This is a time of year we all need to be aware of the road conditions and drive accordingly.
The NSW Police Force has introduced a new customer service facility for communities to access. An online portal is now available enabling community members to create non-emergency police reports online. This is an easy to use, confidential and secure way of reporting incidents where an emergency situation does not exist and an immediate police response is not required. As an example in matters of lost property, intentional damage, graffiti or theft. The link is www.police.nsw.gov.au/community_portal.home
There has been interest in the upcoming auction of Hathaway Cottages. I have received several enquiries as to why the facility cannot be used for things such as a respite centre or independent living accommodation for disabled community members. Council does not hold the necessary legislative licences to enable any form of health/medical related use of the facility. Previously administration of the cottages was under the auspice of Greater Western Health, this administration ceased when Hathaway residents transferred to the Oberon Village Aged Care Facility. It is however proposed that proceeds from the sale will be used for seniors within our community - the funds will not be absorbed into general revenue.
Nominations are open for the 2017 NSW Hidden Treasures Honour Roll, this project is in recognition of rural women who volunteer and contribute to their communities. In 2016 Lynne Butterfield was successfully nominated for inclusion on the Roll. Please contact me if you have any suggestions to offer.