Feds chip in $100,000 towards designing new CBD
Orange City Council is about to take the first steps towards a revitalised CBD, with a little help from the Australian Government.
On Wednesday morning, Federal Member for Calare, Andrew Gee announced that Orange City Council had been successful for a $100,000 Australian Government grant through the Building Better Regions Fund – Community Investment stream.
The $100,000 grant will go towards developing a design strategy for the revitalisation project of the Orange CBD. The total cost of the design work will be $400,000, with Council contributing the rest of the money.
In total, Council has set aside $10 million for the CBD revitalisation project over two years and is seeking grants for an additional $20 million.
“This is going to be a huge project,” said Mr Gee, as he announced the funding outside Orange Post Office. “We are talking about tens of millions of dollars, but the first step is to undertake public consultation and actually get a design strategy and put it together and sort it out. I think it is really important because I think if you are looking at a project of this scale, you really need to have the whole community behind you and you really do need to make sure that you have got all of those aspects and bases covered.”
Orange Deputy Mayor Cr Joanne McRae said it’s a sign of how complex and multi-layered the project is that $400,000 will be spent on the initial design strategy.
“Orange is a fantastic growing regional city and this funding provides an opportunity for us to plan the best CBD that we can possibly have,” said Cr McRae
“In my opinion, the CBD is the heart of a city and we need to get it beating again and this is the way we can get that started with a fantastic design, community consultation and blending our existing buildings, our heritage, our tree-lined streets, so we can actually make sure we've got the fantastic city of the future with a brilliant CBD.”
Orange City Council General Manager Garry Styles said Council’s approach to consultation process would be much the same at with the recent Community Strategic Plan.
“We are going to have a variety of channels with pop ups, internet consultation, possibly a public forum, we'll probably also go after some particular stakeholder groups that might have views, like the business sector for arguments sake, and we will feed that all into the consultancy that is doing the design,” Mr Styles said.
He said Council would call for expressions of interest next month and hopefully appoint the design consultant soon after.
Mr Styles said he expects initial construction to begin in the second half of this financial year and with the bulk of the work taking place in 2019/2020 financial year.
It’s been this way at Aldi for ages, it certainly doesn’t seem like a big step for it to become universal practice in Orange and I agree, Orange could lead the way on this. It will happen, so why not be first on board.