I hope you have all had a restful and relaxed Christmas and New Year period and are ready for the coming year.
Following on from the State Government’s decision in late December 2015 to send to the Boundaries Commission a merger proposal between Oberon and Bathurst, Council has been actively working in preparation for this process to commence. Oberon Council is resolute in its position that Oberon should remain a stand alone Local Government Authority and this will be reiterated during the Boundaries Commission process.
Acting General Manager Gary Wallace attended a briefing session in Sydney last Thursday to gather information about the Boundaries Commission process in the NSW State Government’s reform agenda. Renata Brooks has been appointed as the delegate to carry out the Public Inquiry for the Bathurst-Oberon merger proposal.
It is expected that delegates will meet with Councils during late January, early February. The delegates will then arrange public enquiries for each Council, the dates, times and locations will be made available mid-January. Written submissions are invited from Councils and communities, closing Sunday 28 February.
Following the close of submissions the delegates will then provide reports to the Boundaries Commission for comment and the final delegates report will then be sent to the Minister for Local Government for a decision. The final announcement, which will be an announced by proclamation of the Governor is not expected until mid-2016.
Further information regarding the Boundaries Commission process and the Bathurst-Oberon merger proposal can be found on the Oberon Council website oberon.nsw.gov.au or at https://www.councilboundaryreview.nsw.gov.au/#merger-proposals. I encourage all members of the Oberon community to review the proposal and put forward your comments in a submission. Please contact Council or myself if you would like to discuss any aspect of what has been proposed and the review process.
Some Councillors, Oberon Council Management Staff and I will also be attending a Workshop being held in Dubbo later in January. The Workshop will be hosted by Local Government NSW and seeks to guide Councils through the process of responding to the State Government through the Boundaries Commission review.
In other news I am looking forward to this year’s Australia Day Celebrations. This years Australia Day Ambassador is Mr Bob Turner. Bob is widely known for his association with the Sydney Kings Basketball Team in the role of both coach and manager. We look forward to welcoming Bob to our celebrations. The Australia Day Official Ceremony will be held at the Oberon Showground Hall, commencing with morning tea at 9.00am on 26 January. The official awards presentation will commence at 10.00am. I hope you will join us to celebrate the outstanding achievements of our award nominees and recipients.