Mayoral Column Media Release - 28 February 2019

It was good to hear the announcement from our Local Member Paul Toole last week in relation to an extra Bathurst Bullet Service to commence in 2020. It was even better to hear that the Bullet Mark 2 will stop at Tarana. This is something that Oberon residents have had on their wish list for many years. Several campaigns have been undertaken to lobby various ministers, it is great to see a decision being made on the issue. New Opal Card facilities will be installed on the station. The second train will leave Bathurst at 7.30am each weekday and depart Central Station for the return trip at 3pm. Perhaps it’s now time to think about a bus service from Oberon to Tarana to link with the train…!!!

In response to a request from a section of the Oberon Community the submission period for the draft Community Strategic Plan (CSP) 2019-2040 has been extended until March 15 2019. Council are currently working on the draft Delivery Plan which incorporates the actions required by staff to deliver outcomes identified in the CSP. The Delivery Plan sits under the overarching CSP document and it is envisioned that this document will go to council in April for public submission prior to adoption at the May Council Meeting. The draft CSP can be viewed on council’s website. 

It was nice to hear that the residents of O’Connell through the O’Connell Valley Community Group have passed on their appreciation to council work crews for recent work undertaken in the village, especially along the avenue of trees and the RFS Shed. It is great to see good work positively acknowledged within the community.

Council was pleased to allocate funds to Oberon Arts Council to support the wonderful Arts in Health Program, a very positive project happening within our community. Volunteers visit the MPS on a weekly basis to engage with infirm residents and day care participants through art. Older people who have never painted before are joining the workshops with brilliant results. Being part of a group like this is powerful, fostering awareness, sociability and purpose where this may be lacking. Volunteers are always needed to assist with the project, if this interests you please contact Fran Charge – Chair of OAC.

Another exciting project Oberon is involved with is the proposed Great Western Walk, I attended a meeting with representatives from amongst others the Department of Premier and Cabinet, Bathurst, Lithgow and Blue Mountains Councils recently to progress this project. With planning already well underway the proposed one hundred and sixty kilometre walk starts at Emu Ford Crossing at Penrith and progresses through six stages ending at the Bathurst Flagstaff on the Macquarie River. The proposed walk transverses the Oberon LGA at stage five. A definite heritage and cultural and possibly a spiritual experience perhaps likened to a “pilgrimage walk” in the style of some of the great walks in Europe. So watch this space…. you can see more on the Great Western Walk Facebook page. 

I believe all sixty tickets available for the International Women’s Day Lunch have all been taken up; however there is a waiting list. I look forward to seeing everyone at what is always a lovely event. 

Last Thursday saw the start of the Tech Savvy Seniors Program supported by Telstra and the state government through the State Library of NSW. This program aims to bring seniors up to date with in formation technology. Sessions will be run on the internet, smartphones, tablets and iPads and the NSW Seniors card website. Sessions are free and run for 2 hours every second Friday until May. If you are interested please contact Oberon Library on 63298220. There are still some places left in most sessions.

You can now apply for a postal vote application for the NSW State Election on March 23 2019. Information available on NSWEC Website. Some electors including those who live more than 20kms from their closest polling booth may be eligible to vote online or over the telephone using IVote.  For more information you can ring 1300135736