Orange City Council is encouraging residents to have their say on plans to install new lighting in Wirrabarra Walk, with three weeks to go before the deadline for completing an online survey.
In February, the NSW Government announced $200,000 from the Stronger Country Communities Fund to install motion-sensor lighting along Wirrabarra Walk, which runs along the western boundary of the Duntryleague golf course. After considering a report on the grant options, Council decided to give a priority to the Wirrabarra project and asked for further investigations.
Orange Deputy Mayor Gerald Power is pleased to see that lots of residents have engaged with the lighting project and are having already their say.
LIGHTING: Council is asking the community what it thinks about plans to add path lighting to Wirrabarra Walk
“Lighting on a popular walking path will improve safety both for walkers and people who live nearby, but it’s clear that nearby residents have concerns. The beauty of an online survey is that we can hear from as many people as possible and capture their views,” Cr Power said.
The survey asks if you support or don’t support for the Wirrabarra Walk lighting proposal and your preferences for the two different lighting options proposed for Wirrabarra Walk; one-metre-high bollard style lights or six-metre-high pole-mounted lights.
The survey is configured so people must register with their email address to complete the survey once.
A progress report on the survey results shows that 551 people have visited the YourSay Orange site and 158 people have completed the survey so far.
Asked ‘Do you support the proposal to install better lighting along Wirrabarra Walk to improve public safety in the area?’
- Yes – 64.2%
- No – 31.4%
- Unsure – 4.4%
Asked ‘Of the two lighting options, do you prefer 1-metre-high bollard-mounted lights, or 6-metre-high pole-mounted lights?’
- 6-metre-high lights – 36.6%
- 1-metre-high lights – 34.0%
- Neither – 29.4
Asked ‘We’re interested to find out if where you live affects your views on this topic. Which statement best describes where you live?
- ‘I live in the wider neighbourhood around Wirrabarra Walk – 58.4%
- I live in another area of Orange – 25.3%
- I live in a property which backs onto Wirrabara Walk 16.2%
Text responses show a range of views on whether extra lighting along the path will prevent crime or encourage crime.
Both lighting options are dimmed most of the time until a person approaches. They then emit full brightness for 30 seconds to light the way. These lights are designed so that they shine onto the footpath and can be turned off after midnight to minimise impact.
As part of the community consultation, Council has:
- sent 3000 letters to the community in the neighbourhoods around the walkway
- held a face-to-face session to look at similar lights in Matthews Park with an option to inspect alternative lights at Margaret Stevenson Park
- provided information to people using the walking path
“It’s always a challenge when Council has to weigh up the needs of residents in one neighbourhood, compared to the needs of residents in the wider Orange community. The best way of dealing with that dilemma is to be as informed as we can be by hearing from as many people as possible,” Cr Power said.
The community can view the lighting options and have their say by visiting the YourSay Orange site
The survey will close at 5pm, 19 April 2023. A report on the results will be prepared for a Council meeting in the coming months.