Latest News from Mayor Kathy Sajowitz Thursday 16 August 2018

Libraries are an incredible community resource and on August 1 the "Renew our Libraries" campaign was launched. This campaign will run up to the State Elections next year to raise awareness that NSW has the lowest per capita library funding model in Australia with our state government contributing just 7.8% of total funding, comparing this with Victoria 18% and Queensland 12% it is abysmal. Funding was cut yet again in the 2018 budget; the NSW Government now contributes just $23.5 million a year to support more than 360 libraries across the state. This compares with a local government contribution of over $314 million per annum. This is an unsustainable burden to place on local government, whose budgets are already stretched and is blatant cost shifting. Each year NSW public libraries receive over 35 million visits. They support over 3,000 full-time equivalent jobs and make a $330 million contribution to the NSW economy. Libraries are community hubs, provide a warm safe space for its community to gather, read a newspaper, use a computer join the book club or children’s programs. Community organisations meet there and holiday workshops are held there, and guess what – it’s all free. Libraries are places of social inclusion, no matter where or who you are, you can have access to books, services and information. This empowers people, to support the campaign for increased funding for these wonderful places called libraries please sign the petition at our own library. I remind our political leaders "Library Lovers Vote Too".

Community support for Oberon’s "Farmers Aid Month" has been overwhelming…..donations of nonperishables have been flooding in. Drop off points are located at Supa IGA, Foodworks and Reliance Bank. We are collaborating with "Aussie Helpers" who are playing a major role in the relief effort across the state, half the donations will be picked up by this group and half will be distributed to our local folk. If you would prefer to make a cash donation this can be done through Oberon Rotary Club.

You may notice council staff line marking the disabled parking spots in the Main Street of town this week, This will better delineate the existing parking spaces and assist in preventing able bodied motorists from encroaching into these area’s which only makes it difficult for less mobile people who need that extra bit of space.

Ex seeker Keith Potger will be in town for a concert at the Oberon RSL on Sunday Aug 25. This is a fundraiser for Oberon Rotary Club and certainly not to be missed. Tickets are available at the RSL.

As part of the 2018/19 budget council allocated approximately $90000 in Community donations. Presentation of this funding is scheduled for Tuesday Aug 28 commencing 5.30pm and the Robert Hooper Community Centre. Council takes seriously its responsibility to support our local schools, sporting groups and other organisations who contribute so much to the fabric of our town.

Well done to the Oberon Tigers who raised a record breaking $18,000 for Can Assist at the recent charity game against Blayney. Oberon is certainly a small town with a big heart

The annual Burraga Sheep Show takes place on Saturday August 25, one of the few remaining shows of its kind left in NSW it is well worth a visit.

I note the Oberon Dam level was down to around 55% last week. The General Manager Gary Wallace is monitoring the situation carefully and has the authority to implement level one restrictions when the levels reach between 40/50% of capacity. A hot dry summer is predicted but I know Oberon folk are very responsible when it comes to water usage.

Last week, despite poor weather Mayfield Garden opened their new Camellia Walk before a large crowd of supporters. The new walk provides wider paths for wheelchairs and other mobility travellers and will also be welcomed by families with youngsters relying on prams and strollers to navigate the garden. The walk starts at the Garden Centre and gives access to the Water Garden and further to the Hawkins’ Family Garden when it is open for the seasonal festivals.