2024-2025 Budget and Orange Food and Wine Trail on Council agenda

Orange Council

Last night’s Council meeting discussed the 2024-2025 draft budget, Councillors supported a motion to endorse the Orange Food and Wine Trail, and 6 small donations.

2024-2025 Budget

Last night’s council meeting agreed to put the draft budget for the 2024/2025 financial year on exhibition for community comment.

The meeting decided to put the following documents on exhibition for 28 days:

Draft Operational Plan – Actions on Principal Activity 2024/2025

Draft Budget 2024/2025

Draft Fees and Charges 2024/2025

Draft Long Term Financial Plan 2024/2025 (2025-2034)

Draft Workforce Management Strategy 2024/2025 (2025-2034)

Draft Asset Management Strategy 2024/2025 (2025-2044)

Draft Strategic Policy ST27 – Statement of Revenue

Draft Strategic Policy ST28 – Asset Management.

The meeting heard the draft budget showed strong evidence of the Council’s sound fiscal management while delivering the resources and infrastructure needed to meet the demands of a growing regional city, while acknowledging financial challenges such as increasing costs, inflation and ageing Council assets.

As well as a capital works budget of $84 million for major projects, the budget will:

• continue to invest in road infrastructure to the tune of $4.2m

• continue a solid spending on footpaths construction and renewals at $610k

• continue Huntley Road Rehabilitation with $4.1m

• continue its social programs in aged-care support and childcare

• continue to enrich the city’s cultural life through the museum, art gallery, theatre and library.

The draft budget will be on exhibition for community comment until 5 June. Members of the public can view the draft budget and infographics, leave a comment and complete a short survey at https://yoursay.orange.nsw.gov.au/budget-2024

Orange Food and Wine Trail

Councillors supported a motion by Cr Steve Peterson to endorse the Orange Food and Wine Trail Business Case at last night’s meeting.

The meeting heard a food and wine cycle trail would be an additional tourist and recreation activity for Orange and would take advantage of Orange’s beautiful cool climate wines and specialised foods that could be linked by trail areas of natural beauty.

A report to Council said similar infrastructure has proven very successful in other parts of Australia and would link in with the thriving cycling community that already exists in this town and utilises existing facilities at Lake Canobolas, the mountain bike park and elsewhere.

The meeting also agreed to pursue grants and back the project as a priority tourism infrastructure project.

Orange Regional Conservatorium and Planetarium update

Councillors received an update on progress of the Orange Regional Conservatorium and Planetarium project at last night’s meeting.

A report to Council said the $33.5 million project was tracking well, with initial remediation works completed and detailed earthworks underway. The rainwater tank and on-site detention tank have been installed and work has commenced on the sewer connection to the site.

Councillors heard the next steps in the project would be the installation of footings the construction of the ground-floor slab. The project is on track to be completed in late 2025.

Fishing at Spring Creek Dam

Last night’s council meeting agreed to seek community comment on a proposal to permit recreational fishing at Spring Creek Dam.

The decision comes after Council resolved to investigate the potential for recreational fishing in the reservoir at its 18 April 2023 meeting.

The proposal has now been placed on exhibition for 28 days.

Sports precinct update

Last night’s meeting heard an update on the Sports Precinct project. The meeting heard the project would proceed in stages to ensure it is delivered on budget and in the best interests of the community. The first stage will be the eight multi-purpose playing fields together with supporting infrastructure to allow their use.

The tender for the establishment of fields, drainage and irrigation is currently under assessment. The fields are expected to be competed by the end of 2024.projected program of works sees the fields completed by the end of 2024.

Council staff are also undertaking work to finalise the design and deliver the rectangular field and stadium which will support sporting events across the region, particularly men and women’s soccer, rugby union, touch football and rugby league.

The final stage of work will see the delivery of an athletics facility which is also under further design development. Earthworks have been completed.

Small donations

Last night’s meeting decided to donate:

  • $1494.99 to the United Social Club Incoporated to purchase a defibrillator.
  • $266.50 to the Orange District Antique Motor Club (ODAMC) for the reimbursement of the cost of maintaining the defibrillator.
  • $2500 to Orange Girl Guides to contribute to the running costs of the Guide Hall.
  • $1500 to the Canobolas Highland Pipe Band Inc to contribute to the operational expenses for the band.
  • $2000 to assist Spring Hill Public School with the increased cost of accessing and engaging students in swimming lessons
  • $2500 to the Young Leaders of the Central West Summit through Canobolas Rural Technology High School, to contribute to the costs to hold the Young Leaders of the Central West Summit event.

/Public Release. View in full here.