Most of you would know by now that Minister Paul Toole announced last Friday that his preferred option is that Oberon will merge with Bathurst. As neither council have indicated that this is their preference I have to say this decision is perplexing. Even more puzzling is the fact that other councils in our region who like Oberon did not meet the IPART Scale & Capacity criteria therefore deemed unfit, have been left unscathed and can stand alone. Why is Oberon being singled out and treated differently? I have submitted a response to the Oberon Community reiterating that our stand alone option is one we will continue to fight hard for. This is printed elsewhere in this publication and is available in full on the Oberon Website and an excerpt on the FaceBook page for comment. The Minister’s decision is apparently backed by a report commissioned by him from KPMG showing this forced amalgamation will financially benefit the newly merged entity to the tune of $31million dollars over twenty years. I wonder how much of that forecast saving will actually benefit Oberon and who will be monitoring these predicted savings. We will be requesting the Minister release this report for scrutiny by council to assist with our submission to the Boundaries Commission. The Minister has stated more information on the process from here on will be forthcoming mid January 2016.
The NSW Government’s Local Sports Grant Funding is now open. The aim of these grants is to encourage participation in sport and active recreational activities. The applications close on February 11 2016 so I encourage all sporting and recreational groups in Oberon to apply. You can visit recreation.nsw.gov.au for further information or check in with Council Grant’s Officer. Don’t wait - time is short especially with the holidays coming up.
It is disturbing to see the incidents of vandalism and break-ins increasing over the past week or so. Please be vigilant and report any suspicious behaviour. If you are going away these holidays think about notifying the local police who may be able to include surveillance of your property during normal patrols of the town. Be proactive in securing your property against unwanted intruders.
Congratulations to the winners of the Christmas lights competition and to all participants who put on a display for our enjoyment.
Our young people have by now received their HSC results and ATAR’s, well done to you all, I hope you achieved the results you aimed for and if you didn’t don’t despair there are multiple pathways to get you where you want to go in life.
As the end of 2015 draws near I reflect on a somewhat tumultuous year for our community some very sad losses balanced by much that has been positive for us. Fit for the Future and all that has entailed has had an impact and there have been administrative changes at our council. There are challenges for 2016 which with true Oberon spirit we will meet head on.
On behalf of council I wish you all a very Happy Christmas and a healthy and safe 2016.
No more sleeps till Santa........he’s on his way.
Mayor Kathy Sajowitz