Parkes Shire Council to distribute priority list to Orange by-election candidates

Parkes Shire Council.
Parkes Shire Council.

As Parkes residents prepare to go to the polls for a third time in four months, Parkes Shire Council is making preparations of its own for the Orange state by-election.

The council is compiling a comprehensive dossier of projects and proposals flagged as a priority for the Parkes Shire, with plans to distribute it to the seven candidates contesting the state seat of Orange.

It’s something the council has done in the lead up to previous state elections.

“We want to put together an information sheet for the candidates, just to get a response from them,” Parkes general manager Kent Boyd said.

A preliminary priority list was tabled at Parkes Council’s October 11 meeting.

It listed the Parkes Heavy Vehicle By-Pass and the Southern Ring Road project, a new NSW Fire Brigade Station and a new Parkes Headquarters Rural Fire Service (RFS) station among the priorities.

The list also included an increase in education standards, funding for Parkes Regional Airport, increase in short-term funding for roads following the extreme weather conditions and increased access to resources for regions.

“These are the priorities we’ve suggested,” Mr Boyd told the meeting.

“We need a new NSW Fire Brigade Station because the one in Court Street is outdated and the RFS has largely outgrown their station in Matthew Street.

“[We’re looking] at an increase in education standards at university.”

Cr Barbara Newton added she’d also like to see TAFE education included.

Following the impacts the latest flooding has had on Parkes roads, Cr Bill Jayet told the meeting he wanted Eugowra Road made a priority.

“Eugowra Road was closed for about six weeks [during all the flooding],” he said.

Cr Alan Ward said he wanted to know who would be “batting for us” during the Orange by-election.

“We’ve got a lot to offer," he said.

The by-election for the state electorate of Orange will be on November 12 after Nationals MP and then State Member for Orange, Andrew Gee, resigned from the state parliament to successfully run for the federal seat of Calare at the 2016 federal election. Residents living in Parkes, Forbes, Cabonne and Orange will be required to vote on November 12.