Latest News from Mayor Kathy Sajowitz - Thursday 6 April 2017

I am pleased to see that all of the four bottled water refill stations are now installed; we now have one at the Recreation Ground, one at the Football Ground also in the Common and in the Main Street of town near Cook Park. I hope this will encourage everyone to fill up their drinking bottle with water instead of having sugary soft drink whilst walking or playing sport. 

During the next week or so you will notice speed limit changes on some local roads – Carlwood Rd from five kms east of O’Connell Road and Mayfield Road from O’Connell Rd to Sewell’s Creek Road, both changes will reduce the speed limit from the current 100kms to 80kms per hour. So watch out for the new signage and drive accordingly.

Gairloch Gardens will be open to the public on weekends  April 15/16, 22/23 and 29/30th  the Autumn colours are amazing so I urge you not to miss this. 

Oberon Community Markets appear to going from strength to strength with over forty stallholders attending the official opening last Saturday. The markets are held on the first Saturday of every month regardless of the weather at the Oberon Showground. I believe the Deputy Mayor felt honoured to arrive on the local firetruck to perform the opening…sounds like a fun day was had by all. 

Last week the NSW Parliament passed the Fire and Emergency Services Levy Bill 2017 (FESL - formerly the Emergency Services Property Levy that used to be paid as part of house insurance premiums. The new levy now to be paid by all householders from 1/7/2017 is now required to be collected by local councils on behalf of the NSW Government. This will undoubtedly have a financial impact on both councils and residents alike. The FESL is on top of the 11.7 per cent compulsory emergency services levy communities already pay to the NSW Government every year as part of their council rates. The Government made it patently clear this11.7% would also remain and is not on the table for negotiation. The 11.7 per cent is a hidden tax and appears to be double dipping by the State Government.  

Recent rain events and bursts of very warm weather have promoted grass growth in the drainage channels at the Common. This week staff will begin to clean out this growth; this is an ongoing issue that will require a long term solution. As a result of Councils commitment to the Common and the need to develop a strategy for its development, council staff are currently undertaking a risk assessment across all facets of the space to ensure community safety. This includes but is not limited to an infrastructure assessment, landscaping assessment, path and playground assessment and a hydrological assessment. It is expected that the complete report will be completed in the very near future.

Results of a recent survey to gauge interest in creating a temporary ice skating rink during the winter months at the Black Springs Hall showed that whereas the concept was well received the location was not. The survey showed that if a rink was located in Oberon more would be in favour. Council will now investigate possible locations closer to the town.

Mayor Kathy Sajowitz