Council asks community to have say on Housing Strategy

A laser show, sculpture park, wetland fishing and more. Here are some highlights of decisions from the 19 October council meeting.

Council supports laser show New Year’s Eve event

Council unanimously supported to sponsor a laser show New Year’s Eve event to be held every year to celebrate New Year’s Eve in the city. Council will provide funding for the event to be delivered by an event organiser who could also seek further sponsorship.

BRIGHT LIGHTS: Council voted to support a New Year’s Eve laser show.

Support for Mayor’s proposed sculpture park

Council supported the investigation into the establishment of a sculpture park in Orange.

Council to investigate stocking wetlands with fish

Council will look into stocking Orange’s stormwater harvesting wetlands with fish.

Last night’s meeting supported a motion from Cr Sam Romano for Council to investigate the suggestion and report back to a further meeting.

The report to last night’s meeting heard that staff would look into whether stocking the wetlands with trout, silver perch and golden perch was permitted by NSW regulations. Staff would also look into factors such as access points for fishing, impact on water quality and vegetation management as well as the practicalities of releasing water from wetlands which are stocked with fish.

New draft Housing Strategy on exhibition for comment

Last night’s meeting decided to place a new Housing Strategy on exhibition for community comment. The strategy aims to guide the future of housing in Orange for the next twenty years. Among a range of measures, the draft strategy identifies the location of future growth areas for housing and floats suggestions for addressing a shortage of affordable housing.

The draft strategy has found there’s a need for more diverse types of housing in Orange. While 62 per cent of Orange ‘families’ have only one or two people in them, only 17.4 per cent of the existing houses are 1 and 2 bedrooms. This gap is predicted to grow as the population ages.

The draft strategy is up for community comment until 21 February 2022.

Last night’s meeting considered a motion from Cr Stephen Nugent to take action on affordable housing by opting into a set of NSW Government development controls (SEPP 70) which aim to develop a contributions scheme.

Report charts long list of road upgrades

Orange City Council has completed more than $31 million worth of new roads and infrastructure and $17 million worth of road upgrades over the last four years, according to a report to last night’s Council meeting.

The report listed a range of road and footpath projects completed during the 4 years of the term of the current council from 2017/18 to 2020/21.

The largest projects were the latest two stages of the southern feeder road from Forest Rd to Elsham Ave (including the new rail overpass), and from Elsham Ave along Blowes Road and Dairy Creek Road.

During the term, 8.6km of new footpaths were built and 9.1km of old footpaths were renewed.

Fees set for new retail pods

With the first of two container-based retail pods set to be installed this week, last night’s meeting has set draft fees for hiring the pods to new businesses.

Orange City Council is buying two re-furbished containers to act as short-term shopfronts for new start-up businesses.

The first of the containers will be installed in the car park in McNamara Street.

The draft fee from $168 a week ($24 a day) will be on exhibition for community comment. The system for choosing new businesses which will use the pods, is being handled by Biz HQ, which offers a range of government-funded support to new microbusinesses.

The purpose of the retail pods is to encourage home-based micro-business to test the CBD market and to understand if their business will transfer to a full commercial retail environment without the risk of signing on to a six month lease and paying for an extensive shop fit-out .

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