There was a big agenda (590 pages) for Tuesday night’s (15 December) Council meeting, the last for the year. Here’s a wrap of some key decisions.
Low-interest loan to Waratahs
Tuesday night’s meeting voted to make a $100,000 low-interest loan to the Waratahs Sports Club.
According to a report to the meeting the loan would be repaid by quarterly repayments over five years at an interest rate of 1.5%. The loan would be used to build an amenities building adjacent to the existing sports shed, that is used as an administration and marshalling area for sports such as little athletics and touch football.
Long grass report
The set of procedures Orange City Council uses to decide how often different parks and other spaces are mown, was outlined in a report to Tuesday night’s council meeting.
The report was prompted by a question at a recent meeting from Cr Kevin Duffy and recent delays to mowing schedules caused by heavy rain.
The meeting heard that council maintains an estimated 4 million square metres of open space in Orange. Council staff are responsible for 70% of the open space while contractors are engaged to service the remaining 30%.
As well as mowing, the service level provided deals with:
- Weed control
- Care of trees and shrubs
- Gravel footpath repairs
- Open space litter collection
- Open space graffiti removal
Council to ask for approval for new 40km/hr CBD speed limit
Tuesday night’s meeting decided to ask the NSW Government’s Transport for NSW department to consider lowering the speed limit within the CBD (Hill to Peisley Streets, Byng to Kite Streets.)
The reduction of the speed limit to 40km/h is an integral part of the FutureCity plan and it is recommended that Council ask TfNSW to consider lowering the speed limit within the CBD to 40km/h.
Of the more than 1100 people who visited the Your Say Orange site, 20 per cent (198 people) participated in completing the survey or leaving a comment. 54 per cent of survey respondents opposed the change, 40 per cent supported the change and six per cent were unsure.
Modelling of current CBD speeds found that the average speed AM speed was 40.87km/h and the PM speed 42.5km/h.
Tuesday night’s meeting decided to approve a DA for a $1.6 million five-dwelling subdivision opposite Newman Park in March St. Council had received 18 submission from the community about an earlier DA which proposed seven dwelling on the block. The amended proposal was re-exhibited to neighbours and original submitters, and nine submissions were received.
Council to develop policy to reduce single-use plastics
Tuesday night’s meeting decided to develop a Single-Use Plastics Policy that addresses the reduction of single-use plastics in Council operations and events, and supports the 2025 National Packaging targets.
Staff will now prepare an implementation plan which identifies actions, suitable alternatives and timeframes, to implement objectives of a Single-Use Plastics Policy for Council operations.
Council adopts Child safe policy
Council staff have developed a new Child Safe policy and are taking proactive steps to become a recognised Child Safe organisation that adopts strategies and acts to prevent harm to children whilst on Council premises and when utilising Council services.
By adopting this policy, Council are demonstrating commitment to the Child Safe standards identified in the 2017 Royal Commission. It sets out the obligations of staff in relation to child protection, steps to be taken should an allegation be received and mandatory reporting requirements under the policy.
Council donates funds to aid community Christmas
Tuesday night’s meeting voted to allocate some of the remaining funds from a community donations program to assist community groups hosting Christmas events.
The meeting decide to donate:
- $1,000.00 to Anglicare Orange’s Foster Care Children’s Christmas Party
- $10,000.00 to Orange Uniting Church’s Hot Meals Outreach for the provision of meals to the vulnerable
- $300.00 to Spring Hill Activities Group Village Christmas Party
Support for new Orange Jazz Festival
Tuesday night’s meeting decided to support Orange’s newest festival, an annual jazz festival planned to begin on the June long weekend in 2022.
The festival will be managed by JAM Orange. The proposal is to underwrite the event by the sum of $50,000 to cover the first three years of the event. Due to the nature of the events held as a part of the festival, the funds are required upfront to secure headline acts at a reasonable cost.
The proposal program will consist of a concert at the Civic Theatre and six other locations within walking distance of the Civic Theatre. There will be a headline act on each of Friday and Saturday nights.
Job creation program for Day Care educators
Tuesday night’s meeting agreed to approve the use of funds from the Council’s Job Creation budget for a loans program to encourage new Day Care Educators.
The proposal will be on public exhibition for community comment for a period of 6 weeks. If successful the program would operate through the 2021/2022 financial year.
According to report to the meeting, while some potential new educators may not require the financial assistance, the program would be available for those people who would otherwise be unable to participate.
Council staff will provide some training and mentoring assistance and the educators can access additional business assistance from BizHQ, but the financial hurdle is the hardest to overcome. Building changes to a new educator’s home will likely cost more than $2,000 but even small items like car seats, toys, insurance etc. all add up very quickly.
Tuesday night’s meeting:
- decided to allow free admission to the Aquatic Centre on Australia Day. The meeting heard the decision would cost around $5,000 in lost revenue.
- decided to approve the application for Orange Fun fair hosted by Ace Attractions, at the Orange Showground on 6 & 7 and 13 & 14 February 2021