Council adopts next budget

Orange Council

The passing of the Council budget for the next financial year was among the highlights of the 23 June Council meeting. Here is a brief summary of key decisions.

Council adopts budget

Orange City Council has adopted its annual budget for the next financial year.

The new 2022/23 budget includes a capital spend of $68.3 million in 2022/2023 and $196.3M over the four-year period 2022/2023 to 2025/2026.

The 23 June meeting heard Council is intending to go through a September mini-budget process to align the budget with the newly-adopted Community Strategic Plan (CSP).

When the budget was on exhibition for community comment during April & May, 295 people visited the Budget/YourSay Orange site, 88 People downloaded budget and/or CSP documents, 45 people completed an online survey. There was significant support for features of the draft budget including continued spending on the FutureCity CBD upgrade, the sports precinct, Shiralee area water infrastructure, and the next stage of the southern feeder road.

There was very strong support for extra footpath spending and approximately 50/50 support/opposition to Council increasing Fees & Charges in line with the CPI.

Council adopts Community Strategic Plan

The 23 June meeting adopted the draft Community Strategic Plan (CSP), a blue-print aimed at guiding the city’s development for the next ten years.

After the plan was assembled, the draft plan was exhibited for community comment and an online community survey was open to be completed.

The survey questions on the CSP asked for a response to several key new directions included in the draft CSP.

  • There was 75% support for Council tackling shortage of affordable and social housing and seeking more diversity in housing.
  • There was 59% support for Council seeking to provide more recreation options for young people in Orange.
  • There was 59% support for Council taking action to address problems of poverty and social inequity in Orange

Council to look into access barriers in Cook, Robertson parks

Staff who maintain Cook and Robertson Parks will be asked to look for options to modify current structures that are barriers to people with a disability or the elderly.

Due to the traditional design of Cook and Robertson parks, many grass areas have been built to be around 10-15 cms higher than the surrounding paths.

A motion, passed at the 23 June meeting from Cr Steve Peterson said the Council’s Ageing and Access Community Committee would like to investigate possibilities to overcome these barriers.

Cr Peterson told the meeting the concrete edge can be a barrier for prams, wheelchairs and walking frames.

Council approves small grants

The 23 June council meeting approved a number of small grants to assist the community.

The meeting approved:

  • $2500 in funding for Glenroi Heights Public School’s Swimming Program to provide the school with a pool of swimwear and towels that students can borrow as needed.
  • $1500 (plus GST) in funding for Regional Development Australia Central West’s Ten-for-Ten Leadership program to cover some of the costs of the program.

Council resolved to exhibit a new tourism blue-print

The 23 June Council meeting resolved to exhibit a new management plan aimed at providing a guide to the long-term growth and sustainability of the Orange region’s visitor economy for the next four years.

Orange City Council has worked collaboratively with Blayney and Cabonne Councils and engaged actively with the tourism industry, key stakeholders and an expert consultant (Urban Enterprise) to develop the plan.

The new plan will be placed on exhibition for community comment by the three councils for 28 days.

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