Orange is a real hub, for all its social problems, so can be a good base if you are trying to work in the rest of NSW outside the coastal area.
There are tons of major food stores and department stores unlike the smaller towns around the area. 100,000 people in the greater area come here to shop and do business. If you have the money and the connections, life can be very good out here. On the other hand, if things are in struggle street, forget it. You can spend a lot of money on accommodation here - it is dearer than other cities and towns nearby like Bathurst.
The main problem is getting known locally. It seems like you have to be born here to get any credibility. Hence I chose to get
customers outside the area in Sydney and Brisbane and work via the Internet, fax and phone. The locals are cliquey. People are very frugal here (tight, mean). There are a lot of very rich people living here - mainly landowners - who tend to be snobby and very arrogant. It makes life very hard here. The town
is incredibly insular - may be its Celtic roots. They are very musical so that is a bonus.
One small light at end of the tunnel: Orange PCYC. It gets the kids off the street and out of mischief and gives them a chance to learn a sport or skill to get them connected and going in life. I even wrote a letter to the Central Western Daily in 2003 praising the PCYC getting new PCs for after-school activities which people all over read and commented on! That goes down to my strong belief in community efforts doing wonders to rebuild the lost youth etc. PCYC at Orange (Byng St) hold a computer fair there about every 3 months. Orange PCYC is running a purpose built centre at Anzac Park in Orange built by the Orange City Council, using the money from the sale of their Byng St premises to pay for the new facilities. This opened in July 2009, 3 years late.
Also getting safe and quality premises is very hard. Most real estates rent rather low quality premises. There is a lot of bureaucracy here. Locals take tons of liberties and youth are very abusive if you get street rats. Security is very important as there are plenty of drug addicts breaking into houses.
The Post Office is a stickler for detail which makes things harder.
The Commonwealth Bank is very stuffy.
The train and bus services are OK to Sydney or Dubbo. Do not take anything over 2 bags or they rouse on you. Appearances seem to matter out here - if you look casual they are hard on you, if you look professional and well-dressed you are respected. Book Transport NSW TrainLink - ex Countrylink - tickets online to save money and save the congestion and hassle of buying a ticket at Lithgow between bus and train connections. There is a little airport on the way to Bathurst - 40 mins to Sydney Mascot Airport.
Rex Airlines fly here from Sydney and other parts of NSW, South Australia, Victoria and Tasmania. In June 2006, Orange would not rename their reduction in landing fees partnership but called it subsidy so Rex refused to do business with Orange till they called the reduction in fees a partnership! Talk about a weird council. A dollar is a dollar in Orange - very tight - not strategic, just tragic.
In October 2012, Orange announced airport expansion of $17.75M with state funding and federal funding ($4.9M). See 4 stages and details.
If you don't have a car, there is very little you can do outside the city limits. Cycling is OK up to Mt Canobolas but the roads have bad edges and are well worn and narrow. The views are good though on the Cargo Rd out towards Nashdale orchards on the foothills of Mt Canobolas.
The weather is very harsh - they get storms, snow, hail, sleet and frosts in winter. There are some scenic spots like Mt Canobolas (1395m above sea level) and Lake Canobolas plus connections to national parks near Cowra including Ben Hall the bushranger's cave near Eugowra and Grenfell. There are two western roads: one to Forbes and one to Parkes. V8 Supercar race is only 45 kms east at Mt Panorama, Bathurst each October Long Weekend. At Easter, there is the Bathurst International Motor Festival. Orange gets the overflow of people from Bathurst rev-heads from NSW, Queensland and Victoria. Orange is also on the overland route from Broken Hill and Port Augusta en route to the Northern Territory. The Great Southern Railway from Sydney to Perth goes through Orange. You can also catch the XPT to Dubbo on the Newell Hwy, a major truck route connecting Melbourne with Brisbane. The road to Dubbo is called the Mitchell Hwy after Major Mitchell who discovered Victoria by going overland from Sydney to Portland Victoria and discovering the Henty Brothers had already got there before him from Tasmania in 1836! Dwight, our manager, has Mitchells in his forebears explaining the incredible desire to travel and explore! The Mitchells were great travellers. Major Mitchell has left cairns all over country Victoria and NSW telling where he had been!
Yuranigh's grave, the Wiradjuri aboriginal accompanying explorer Thomas Mitchell in 1846, and aboriginal carved tree are 6km south of Molong NSW near Printhie Wines on Yuranigh Rd! This was a great find on Twitter in May 2016! Also a historian Michael Bennett contacted me via Twitter re aboriginal history I had listed on this page re Thomas Mitchell near Orange.
Way out west of Orange (350km due west as the crow files) is Cobar where the CSA Mine is situated where they mine underground for copper. They have no maternity services, being 3 hours from Dubbo, the nearest hospital with a maternity unit, but are quite wealthy due to the mine.
Storage units are the best deal out here. Storage King Orange was bought by Alarmed Self Storage 500m south along Forest Rd in January 2006.
The farmers are more civil than the town people.
Orange Women's Netball team has won Central West competitions 10 years running! What a legend!
Wireless communications are flakey so one requires a land line to get cheap Internet access. CDMA is getting better but was replaced by much faster Next G.
Drivers in Orange speed and are VERY impatient. Be very careful if you are a pedestian. They do not look out for you! Orange is very dangerous if you are a pedestian. The cars race at the lights - lunatics. I hate going to the Post Office because of all the fierce round-abouts and traffic lights or shopping centre entries I have to cross to get from point A to point B. Drivers here are bitches when it comes to watching out for people outside their car! They even shout back at you if you shout at them! Drivers in Orange are totally arrogant bastards!
In 2003, Orange Council refused to put in a zebra-crossing opposite the Metro Hotel to K-Mart on Anson St, that's how pro-car this council is, all ego-maniacs. The council won't put in lights because it will slow-down traffic so everyone has to put up with dangerous traffic conditions to let the shopping centre grow in the middle of town.
In late 2007, the Orange City Council approved Woolworths building a new shopping centre near Waratahs in North Orange where all the growth is. They eventually saw reason! We are heading for a disaster or grid-lock in Orange in the next 5 or so years when traffic is so chaotic that the council have to start fixing up the traffic madness and getting rid of the massive congestion of traffic out of the main street and parallel back-streets. It's like 'take, take, take' and not giving back. What do you expect when the mayor John Davis is a used car salesman!
In January 2014, because Woolworths now has 2 supermarkets in Orange (CBD and North Orange), Coles is doubling in size in the CBD Metro Mall, resuming smaller shops nearby and installing a Liquor Land right next door opposite K-Mart.
A pedestrian crossing was put in near Woolworths in Anson St after a 9 year old girl was pulled under a car at corner of Summer and Anson Sts in 2008. Citizens had to petition the council to get them to act and they enacted long-overdue plans to build the crossing. In 2009, taxi drivers thought there were not enough spaces in the cab rank outside Woolworths because the pedestrian crossing takes up room, but the crossing has stayed to the benefit of pedestrians.
RMS (RTA) ran focus groups on Summer St Orange traffic accidents and traffic problems in August 2012. Parking is a big problem. Better crossings would reduce accidents:
The local NRMA (road assistance and maps) has shrunk to about 1/3 of its size in a little shop in Sale St as of about June 2006. People in Orange though driving many expensive cars, 4WDs, utes and tons of trucks, semi-trailers (live cattle and sheep and groceries and freight) and heavy equipment vehicles (huge mining borers) do not seem to care about paying for insurance so the local NRMA has had to scale back to cut costs. It may be a sign of the drought. I met a farmer once in late 2005 with a flat-bed truck with a transmission problem in Peisley St around 8pm at night stuck on an incline with no power in the vehicle to move it off the road. He just wanted someone to push his vehicle off the road and to scab someone to give him a tow. It's a bit sad how poor farmers are. They can't even afford a tow-truck or insurance. The previous person to rent the PO Box I have now used to run a towing business but it went broke. May be there is no money in cars and trucks out here. People just use them till they wear out (30-40 years). There is very little spent on infrastructure unless the local council pays for it in terms of roads and traffic lights. The RMS (ex RTA) seems to focus on large jobs like the Sydney Cross City Tunnel or Lane Cove Tunnel but do not put much emphasis on the rural areas where cars and trucks get their transmissions and shock-absorbers hammered through bad roads. Everyone is always getting their car washed here or getting new tyres or shock-absorbers or wheel-alignments done to try and eek more use out of their ageing fleet. I just use the train and bus - State Government infrastructure - slow but cheaper and no on-going costs.
One sad thing are the local teenager hoons here. One was killed in a car crash and there was a big funeral at the Catholic Church opposite my house in May 2006. His organs were donated to about 5 people I think, so his life was not totally wasted. May be they need more care using Free2Go from the NRMA with maps and car assistance, driver training for such young, inexperienced drivers eager to get out and about with all their noisy mates and do squeelies in the main streets of Orange at 1am in the morning and reduction in drink-driving that is rife out here. The youth get all boozed up and kill themselves. It happens quite regularly, about once every month or 2. Alcohol is a big killer of young people out here on the country roads in and around Orange and for that matter right across the rural areas of Australia I would say. It's madness. There is too much testosterone and madness let loose and the young people kill themselves quite regularly. They need grounding or using the Internet or CDs to save having to hoon around. It's chaos for youth in rural areas, believe me! See:
Young people with P plates are 6 times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash between 10pm and 5am than other drivers, especially on Friday and Saturday nights when they are on the town. Skills raising by getting youth to learn to drive on speedways near Bathurst is being trialled in July 2009. This is a good idea. I did rally-driving near Stanwell Tops in my Suzuki Hatch and it helped me handle bad conditions such as dirt roads or losing control on corners.
Put lights on your bike as drivers will knock you down at night otherwise. Car drivers in Orange drive at full speed through roundabouts making exceedingly dangerous unless you stop at every intersection and look before crossing to save a massive accident. This is a form of bullying.
In early March 2013, Orange and District Ministers' Association including Fusion Australia, Cornerstone and Orange Presbyterian Church youth workers is trying to get midnight closing for 3 hotels from 28/3/13 to 28/4/13, including Easter, school and holiday university holidays and Youth Week, to reduce excessive drinking amongst young people - great idea!:
(original PDF gone - copy below)
Orange City Council seems to be pretty proactive. The current Mayor John Davis is pretty positive and gets things done. He and his staff are making the place more hospitable to newcomers with good
signage on the main streets and improvements to kerb and guttering and intersections in the past 2 years. They are investing in the local showground with the ELF - Environmental Learning Facility - where sustainable energy use is demonstrated e.g. solar panels, rain tanks, cladding.
They are very 'green', trying to get the facade of the new $5M Police Station that is to be built over the next 2 years made more aesthetically pleasing to fit in with the heritage law courts and CBD area as a whole (100+ years old area) but caving in in the end because they realised most Government buildings are designed like boxes!
The Showgrounds was saved from being moved to Towac Park by people power in July 2009. This Showgrounds was used in the 1940s film '40,000 Horsemen' starring Chips Rafferty. I am so glad the council now pour $250,000/year to upgrading the facilities and seeing some of these landmark buildings fixed not let rot.
Orange Business is a Orange City Council and Orange Business Chamber business directory initiative - free listing if in the Orange area.
Orange has grown quickly in the past 2 years. There are 100s of new houses on the Molong Rd and out towards the new botanical gardens. Newcrest Mining at Cadia,
Friskies at Blayney and local wineries and orchards seem to make the area very productive. There are also many government departments with the NSW Dept of Primary Industries having its state headquarters here outside Sydney! Nick Greiner did this when he was in power in the 1980s.
They also have a TAFE, 2 hospitals (a new general opened in 2010 next to the psychiatric) and CSU Orange Campus (Agriculture College). The local councils in this area are always trying to attract doctors away from the big cities to take up practice in a rural setting with all its pressures and side-lights. They are also trying to attract manufacturers to setup shop here to create jobs for the many people in the area. If the jobs fail, families often have to move to another town to get more work. This was the case when the drought ate into farmers' money and put them on the rocks. Orange has a stockyards and the abattoirs shut due to bad smell.
Electrolux whitegoods factory is here - they make refrigerators and vacuum cleaners. They are going quite well with extra orders over Christmas 2008 requiring casual labour. ALP government intervened to prop them up and it worked. They are foreign owned, based in Sweden. Similar firms like Electrolux are closing down in Queensland but the Orange factory is going great, good news in the recession of 2009.
By 2015, Electrolux plant may close and cost 800 jobs due to Asian imports (CWD 7/2/13).
In October 2013 500 jobs are at risk despite state $3M bailout. $41M federal bailout is on hold and in 2/12/13 no funds from Federal Govt:
Myer being redeveloped 7/17
In July 2015, NSW Industry was formed which includes: Primary Industries, Skills & Economic Development, Lands and Forestry, Liquor and Gaming, Office of Racing.
From July 2009, the super department Trade & Investment (merger of Primary Industries, State and Regional Development, and Energy) is now based in Orange NSW to drive the NSW economy, an accolade that Orange is a growth area, or as Bobb Carr MP said, 'a boom town'. May NSW grow again by using Orange with its irrepressible Celtic roots to push on growth in a sadly lagging state with only 0.2% growth in 2009.
Trade & Investment is based in the old Department of Primary Industries building, Kite St, Orange (east of the railway line).
NSW Industry (ex State and Regional Development) are not interested in you in Orange if you are small and will not bring jobs to the region but the Parramatta office is great so go to Parramatta for support not Orange. BEC is better for small operators and is not interested in IT. Verto (ex Central West Community College) (@harvestlabour) had the best contacts. The other groups like OCTEC and Employment National either were not interested in your area or a bit slack. There are tons of seasonal jobs for experienced apple and cherry pickers and packers around December. Apply by driving out to the farm or go through a contractor. Queensland is easier to get seasonal work. Here it can be much harder as they are quite tough on staff and wages. They prefer not to train anyone but go through a contactor which I did in January 2009 quite successfully picking cherries out near Nashdale west of Orange.
In December 2011, Trade and Investment helped me contact Austrade Korea to make contact re exports of software to Korea. Bigger NSW tenders were no good.
The local paper is the Central Western Daily owned by Rural Press in Bathurst. I have written many letters to the Central Western Daily which seem to be making an impact as everyone reads the local paper! Regional Business Magazine was delivered to PO Boxes monthly from Dubbo across Western NSW and Northern Victoria till about 2010.
Banjo Paterson the famous poet came from the Orange area near Ophir. Orange City Library runs the Banjo Paterson Writing Awards every year. Words Out West, Central West Writers' Centre (Orange), is now an NBN provider (6/17). The $10 note has Banjo Paterson on it with the first lines of the 'Man from Snowy River'. There is a 2D metal statue of Banjo Paterson near the Council Chambers in Byng St with a recording of his poetry broadcast to those nearby.
Central West Libraries have good book reviews by authors on history, e.g. David Hill on explorers.
Orange Regional Conservatorium (ORC) is based here which holds orchestral and instrumental concerts and trains students in post-secondary musical studies. ORC got a $600,000 Ministry of the Arts grant in 2004 to rebuild their performing space in Hill St. They also got $300,000 from Orange City Council for the hall refurbishment in 2008. A local Orange Eisteddfod is held every September or so with a really good final concert with the winners performing - verse, singing, dancing, playing. The Orange Civic Centre has a very luxurious theatre as good as any in Sydney with tickets sold via Ticketek. There are numerous clubs like the Ex-Services Club and Bowls Club plus tons of local pubs. They hold Australian National Field Days here every October at Borenore where all the tractors, fence-building competitions, wireless communications displays, government aid etc are held to aid the local farming community. Orange Regional Gallery is a good local art gallery.
There is are several private schools here. Kinross Wolaroi is a K-12 run by the Uniting Church of Australia and scooped the pool for HSC graduates with scores over 90 in 2005 (34 in Kinross Wolaroi vs 4 in Orange High School). A new Anglican school will be built in Leeds Parade, Orange on undeveloped land near CSU Orange Campus starting in 2007. They hope to grow the school one year at a time till the they have a K-12 school over 12 years.
Orange Christian School on the southern edge of Orange is a K-12 growth school with children from across the area going there and where I worked as cleaner for a few months in 2009 - very friendly, polite children and staff. Rhema Orange (on Facebook), an FM Christian radio station, operates right next door.
An earlier attempt to get a Central West IT Cluster has been opposed by existing groups. Western Sydney IT Cluster in Parramatta was more viable. In late 2009, I went to Canberra which is heaps more open to change than Orange. I contacted an academic at CSU in November 2009 and tried to setup an initial meeting in February 2010 but it did not get going.
In December 2011, I saw a man for Exports at NSW Industry (ex Trade and Investment) and another man from Industry Capability Network in Orange who was interested in an IT cluster in Orange area and knew of several other software developers in the West of NSW to form an IT Cluster. This seems more positive. Orange City Council requires I present the idea of the Central West IT Cluster to the Council in 2012 before they will get behind it.
In January 2012, I contacted another CSU academic (CSU Management and Marketing) who was interested in business clusters and is running Graduate Certificate in Small Business Management re setting up a Central West IT Cluster. Gavin Priestley was interested from Orange City Council but Lan Snell was not interested and has left CSU as of June 2017.
CSU is not good for getting an IT Cluster to go.
IT clusters have politics like any group.
Little brother of Orange about 20 mins towards Dubbo on the Mitchell Hwy. Suffered from gross floods in November 2005. Still getting over massive flood damage to tiny town.
We need a new mayor who is willing to tackle crime, reduce traffic congestion, fix the roads and reduce anti-social behaviour of youth and setup a Central West IT Cluster that is transparent and competitive not blocked by nepotism.
There seems to be a sense of covering up or hiding the facts from the general public by local and state authorities in Orange - cronyism. Twice I have tried to get a letter to the editor published in the Central Western Daily, once for bad kids vandalising my old block of flats in Margaret St in 2003 and once voicing my concern at building too close to a public park (Moulder Park - National Ave dual occupancy) in 2006 and the editor has pushed me to speak to the Police who asked me to leave Orange to stop causing problems or to tone down the letter about private land / public space clash by talking to Orange City Council to find out zoning which I did and deducted nothing could be done as it was privatised. The letter about the dual occupancy was printed in 1/06 after rewriting it re zoning. We need open government in Orange. Mum is the word in Orange.
The new Netwaste bins introduced in December 2005 are the only bins to be used to put out general waste and recycled waste.
"the ongoing upgrade of Police's Core Operational Policing System, the establishment of a Closed Circuit TV Database and the creation of an interface with the Attorney General's Department's JusticeLink on-line judicial network" - NSW Budget 2009-10 Budget Paper 4: Infrastructure Statement p.3-39 (PDF)
Crime is rife in Orange and the Police are barely keeping abreast of crime. Theft seems to be the order of the day, amazing given riches of people here - average wages are $41,000/year according to ATO. Police caught a 19 year old youth who broke into a shop in Sale and Summer St and set it alight and burnt down 4 shops in early July 2006. This is the first victory against idiots burning down shops! Only proactive, prayerful citizens can fight this kind of sleeze. The Devil has a foothold in Orange so far. Orange is a very tough, cold-hearted city. I hate the place! Money is paramount. Housing Commission areas periodically get trashed when tenants leave due to lax security and fear of reprisal (bullying). Keep away from these ghettos! In Dubbo the State Government gave up and bull-dozed the areas. Police are ignoring 'non-offical complaints' and there is anger in the area so in 2009-2012 a mobile CCTV will be installed by Orange City Council to cater for understaffed police stations as they are currently ignoring blatant break-and-enters and other basic crime.
Due to over 10 French Backpackers not paying camp fees in January 2009, Orange City Council in December 2009 onwards limits the numbers and mix of races in tent sites. The only alternative is the Canobolas Caravan Park, 166 Bathurst Rd, Orange. Ring Colour City Caravan Park on 02 6362 7254 before you try to book in to save disappointment like me on 1/12/09. I returned to Canberra instead after 1 night in the Canobolas Caravan Park, Bathurst Rd, Orange.
The Colour City Caravan Park will be full re tent sites till March 2010 when the fruitpicking season ends. Fruitpickers are taking up all available sites and are mainly backpackers. The Government Law that lets backpackers stay an extra year if they work 3 months on a farm is backfiring and driving Australians out of fruitpicking. I am now doing busking and Websites instead rather than fight for a fruitpicking job against backpackers who are younger and favoured by growers. some foreign fruitpickers characterise Australians as lazy dole bludgers which was offensive to me and made me not want to work with them either.
Working holiday visas have grown from 50,000 in 1996 to 200,000 in 2009! No wonder there is so little work for Australians now in fruitpicking! The countries with most working holiday visas are: UK (21%), Rep of Korea (21%), Ireland (11%) and Germany (12%) (40,000 down to 20,000 in 2008-09). Every year the number has grown by 6,000 down to 3,000! Amazing growth!
So the backpackers get all the wages from fruitpicking, the prize tent sites and the free wifi at the Orange City Library I fought for. I changed and used the wifi in 2010.
In Darwin in 2011, French Backpackers refused to pay rent at the caravan park and the park owner got angrier and angrier with no result till they left and did not pay. In Orange Colour City Caravan Park, the 20 French Backpackers are very noisy at night partying, messy in the kitchen and won't put full bins out as they are so lazy and arrogant.
In November-December 2011, 30 French Backpackers in Colour City Caravan Park Orange NSW, here to pick cherries or apples or prune grapes, left rubbish repeatedly in the camp kitchen, refused to move very full bins to the curb for the garbage truck or put an empty one back near the camp kitchen and had noisy obnoxious intoxicated parties to after midnight several times in a row. I am glad they are leaving Australia. They are not welcome here. I had to verbally confront them several times to get the lazy French backpackers to clean up after their fellow countrymen. They fought me saying it was not their rubbish but I lost my temper and forced them to pick up rubbish. The French are an arrogant difficult race who will not bend to local customs. They nearly always spoke in French only to their countryman so cut off people like me who could only speak English leaving us to battle the ignorant behaviour or frequently go to another part of the caravan park or stay away till late every night to avoid dealing with the so and sos.
In December 2011, when I tried to report this matter twice to the Central Western Daily, the bad French backpackers had gone to Sydney for New Year's Eve and the Colour City Caravan Park was quiet, clean and tidy, the reporter never rang back when it was bad or the manager blocked the reporter doing a story on the situation which felt like censorship or coverup. The manager has blackbanned the vehicles of the bad French backpackers from ever coming back again and put a quota on the number of French sites so they cannot dominate again.
In March 2012, the French backpackers are still leaving rubbish all through the camp kitchen and the manager won't kick them out. After that I alienated myself from the backpackers and had peace and quiet after nearly being beaten up by them a few times when I crossed them re their atrocious ways. By May 2012 they had left due to the cold and end of season. Immigration said they would not remove them as they were doing nothing unlawful and that Police and the owner of the caravan park (Orange City Council) had to remedy the bad behaviour which they did not so I left for a few weeks and by the time I returned they'd left.
Curfew 10pm-5am remains on laundry and kitchen long after the backpackers who warranted the lockdown had left. This is totally unjust treatment of Australian travellers. Orange City Council is just after money not safety. They put up with very bad behaviour instead of evicting bad campers who mess up the park and are slow to pay rent in the name of being polite.
In December 2012, 50 French backpackers are still leaving rubbish flowing out of bins at Colour City Caravan Park and not putting them, cheating washing and drying machines with toothpicks and stealing food from the camp kitchen fridge. On 24/12/12, they played loud music after midnight so I fought them but lost and was assaulted and knocked to the ground with a crash-tackle. He was not caught. Another Australian had his jaw broken and put in Orange Hospital. 2 police paddy wagons could not stop the French backpacker noisy music and wild partying till 4am 25/12/12. 2 private contract cleaners quit cleaning the camp kitchen due to enormous waste left behind every day for weeks on end. No CCTV is installed due to budget being cut for an expensive fibre-optic cable instead of using WIFI CCTV which Orange City Council has already due to my free consulting in 2009.
On 27/12/12, I was interviewed by Central Western Daily re French backpacker problems and need for WIFI CCTV to crack down on crime and bad behaviour. This time Orange City Council did not block me talking to the CWD as it was outside their property. Their PR man will give their side of the poor management.
In February 2012, there are calls for a resident caretaker for Colour City Caravan Park:
This was due to my sticking my neck out and getting the 28/2/12 story into the CWD at risk to myself.
In January 2010, I had someone ring me up re my Orange page (here) which had been linked to on Somersoft Property Investors Forum as a source of information re investing in Orange. It was only intended as some general observations from my living in Orange since 2002. How the Web twists what one does! They even met me in Canberra to say hello!
On 27 Nov 2011, Macquarie Pipeline papers are in Orange Library. Macquarie River pump is 27.8km NE of Waratahs Orange NSW approximate lat/long -33.057882, 149.291439.
In 2012 over 15 years, Orange City Council intends to build a pipeline from the Macquarie River to Orange at a cost of $47M. This would solve the problem of water in drought when dam levels at Suma Park Dam got to 25% in 2010.
In May 2007, Orange City Council under John Davis as Mayor took the controversial position of selling drinking water to Cadia Valley Operations (Newcrest water supply) to keep the gold mine going when water was very low. Later the mine pumped water from closed mines in Lucknow and hired the town planner of Orange City Council as public relations manager re water usage at the mine which became very political. The Coalition Government in NSW will part fund the pipeline ($18.2M) so Orange City Council will be left to fund the remaining $29M from ratepayers' money. Efforts by Jeff Whitton to block Macquarie Pipeline were defeated in October 2011.
John Davis, the Lord Mayor, supported Macquarie Pipeline including running as an independent in the NSW State Election in March 2011 over this issue and having high public support (Orange Photo News March 2011).
Dubbo opposes Orange taking water out of the Macquarie River
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