Latest News from Mayor Kathy Sajowitz - Thursday 10 November 2016

As at the time of writing this column there has been no determination handed down by the Supreme Court on the Woollahra appeal.  As you recall the Minister granted an extension to Oberon re deciding on an appeal in its own matter until seven days after the Woollahra matter is determined. Council continues to consult its legal advisors so we are ready to make the decision when required.

Council has been successful in obtaining some grant funding towards installing drinking water stations around our sporting facilities and public spaces. The aim is to promote the healthy water option as against that of sugary sports or soft drinks. Installation will be scheduled in the near future.

Work has commenced on stage one of the Common Development Plan, this entails the construction of a carpark located off Curtis St and a barbeque picnic shelter in close proximity. It was a resolution of council that the new shelter will be dedicated to the memory of John McMahon to mark his service to the Oberon Community. The development of the Common is an ongoing concept that was widely canvassed through the Community Strategic Plan public consultation process during early/mid 2016. A committee of council has been set up to ensure The Common is developed in a measured way benefiting residents of all ages. Council will be calling for community input as to what they would like to see in the space, as projects are put forward for consideration and funding, community members supporting that project will be invited to workshop with the council committee with the specific project going out on exhibition to the broader community for comment before any council action ensues.

I would like to extend congratulations to Lynne Butterfield who was successfully nominated earlier this year for inclusion into the Rural Women’s Network Honour Roll.  The role has been published and will be launched at the Network’s Annual Conference later this month. It is great to see rural women who volunteer through the community and service organisations recognised. Well done Lynne. The Honour Roll can be viewed at the Council Office and the Library next week.

It was pleasing to see that through the NSW Regional and Waste Program, Oberon has been awarded $4.95 million towards the upgrading of the town water and sewerage plant. This grant was applied for over eight years ago but the initiative was stalled for various reasons at State Government level. Last year Oberon was approached to ascertain if there was still interest in the funding. An expression of interest was submitted which has resulted in this $4.95 million allocation. The funding is conditional on a dollar for dollar contribution by Council. Extensive work has been undertaken at the plant over the past eight years and the facility exceeds license requirements but an upgrade will definitely improve capacity for future growth. No decision on accepting this grant allocation has been considered with further reporting required from experts prior to being provided to Council for deliberation. Consideration would need to be given as to where council would source the $4.95million to meet the dollar for dollar criteria of the grant allocation and also to the current constraints of the NSW Government legislation.

Mayor Kathy Sajowitz