Future Orange: adapt, protect, advance

Orange City Council has started a community engagement program to guide the future of the city through the development of the city’s Community Strategic Plan (CSP), which will be tabled for adoption with the new Council in June 2022.

The CSP is the highest level of strategic planning undertaken by a council and is part of Council’s Integrated Planning & Reporting requirements. The Plan aims to capture the views

of the community to provide a blueprint for Orange over the next four years.

The theme for the CSP engagement is Future Orange: adapt, protect, advance.

Orange Mayor Reg Kidd said the CSP was about exploring what sort of place our community wants Orange to live, work and play in.

“What do you love about Orange? What can we do better? What would you change? What do you wish was here? We want to know,” Cr Kidd said. “In an ever-changing world we need to be adaptable, flexible and ready to meet challenges.”

“We need to protect what is great about Orange; that’s the environment and heritage but it’s also about preserving the sense of community that makes Orange a place where people want

to live and work.

“We also need to be ambitious, which doesn’t mean growth at any cost but understanding that we need to keep creating opportunities for the next generation.”

Cr Kidd said the Future Orange engagement was a real discussion that would drive what Council delivers for the community.

The last time Orange City Council staged a community-wide conversation about the city’s future was in 2017 and a call to develop sport and recreation facilities topped the list together with giving a high priority to:

  • protecting the environment,
  • enhancing parks and open spaces, and
  • improving roads and transport

Now, four years later, Council has delivered a cricket centre of excellence, advanced the new $25 million sports precinct, continued to develop the aquatic centre, and delivered new

playgrounds across the city.

The Council has installed solar arrays on major council buildings and is adding electric cars to the Council fleet. The next stages of the southern feeder road have been built and spending

on improving roads and footpaths has increased.

Cr Kidd said community views lead to tangible change.

“If you look at the community views aired during the CSP engagement in 2011 it was all about water. The adoption of that CSP led to a more than $100 million investment in water security,”

he said.

Cr Kidd is urging as many people as possible to have their say and encouraging community groups and organisations to send in their plans so they can be incorporated in the

engagement process.

“Now, it’s time to start a new conversation,” he said.

The initial consultation, will take place online using the YourSay Orange community engagement website. Council is also writing to community groups to invite them to submit

their plans and ideas.

Beginning in February 2022, a series of face-to-face opportunities and engagement forums will be advertised.

A draft CSP will be compiled and placed on exhibition for further community comment before it is considered and adopted by a new council during the first half of next year. The new

Council will also have an important role in informing the draft CSP.

That document and its priorities will help shape next year’s budget and budgets in years to come.

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