All Councillors are back at work after the Christmas New Year break and ready for what will be a fairly challenging year for our Council. Some very positive things about to happen though and you will hear more about this over the next week or two.
Oberon’s Australia Day celebrations were enjoyed by all and I would like to congratulate all award recipients for not only their personal achievements but their wonderful contribution to the social fabric of this community. My thanks to Council staff who go “above and beyond” every year to ensure this day is a success and to the Oberon Men’s Shed who literally did some of the “heavy lifting”.
Back to school this week, for many it will be the last few months of their senior school education and for some the start of their education experience. I wish them all a happy and productive year.
In mid December I made representations to NSW Transport Minister Andrew Constance and our Local Member Paul Toole in reference to the availability of an Opal Card outlet in Oberon or at the very least at Mt Victoria Station. As of Jan 1 2016 you cannot purchase a paper ticket, you must have an Opal Card to travel by train. Unless the card is applied for and topped up online the closest Opal Card Kiosks are located in Lithgow, Blackheath or Bathurst. For pensioners or any other person who relies on public transport and are unable or unwilling to have their credit card details recorded online this can be difficult. I have received no response from either Minister at this stage.
In September 2015 I met with the Hon Niall Blair MLC, Minister for Primary Industries Lands and Water and our Local Member Hon Paul Toole. The meeting provided a valuable opportunity to discuss ongoing concerns about the impact of haulage of Forestry products on our local road network and the issue of non rateable land in the LGA. Minister Blair and Minister Toole claimed to understand the issues and committed to organising a round table with stakeholders to discuss the matter. Despite following this up on two separate occasions nothing has eventuated so far. I know this is a huge area of concern to the ratepayers of Oberon and I will continue to pursue this meeting and encouraging our Local Member Paul Toole to assist with its facilitation.
After a meeting today – Jan 28 with Renata Brookes the appointed Boundaries Commission Delegate who will conduct the public enquiry process for the proposed merger between Oberon and Bathurst Councils to be held February 4, Council will be clearer on the process and I will inform the community accordingly. Registration to attend/speak at either of the two meetings closes at 5pm today.
Coming events you are sure to enjoy – The annual Heritage Steam & Vintage Fair Feb 13 and the Oberon Show Feb 20.
Council will be moving ahead this year with amongst other things a concept plan to govern the development of the Oberon Common, the Oberon Youth Council Skate Park project and the Community Precinct extension. Council will also be signing an MOU with the newly merged OBTA group resulting in a positive partnership to move economic development and tourism forward in 2016 and beyond.
Mayor Kathy Sajowitz