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BREAKING: Mayor Jason Hamling collapses at Orange City Council meeting

August 15, 2023

Orange City Council CEO David Waddell (left) appears concerned in the moments before mayor Hamling fell forward. YouTube.

By Peter Holmes

Mayor Jason Hamling has fainted during Tuesday night's Orange City Council meeting.

About 16 minutes into the meeting, as councillor Tony Mileto was talking about the Dolly Parton Imagination Library, Hamling slumped forward onto his desk.

CEO David Waddell, staff and councillors rushed to Hamling's aid.

Councillors at the meeting including nurse Melanie McDonell, pharmacist Frances Kinghorne and GP Dr Steve Peterson.

The video feed on the YouTube broadcast was then cut.

"Orange mayor Jason Hamling fainted during last night’s council meeting," CEO David Waddell said.

"He regained consciousness a short time later and was treated by medical staff.

"The meeting was adjourned and will be rescheduled but the priority now is the mayor’s health."

Councillors and staff rush to Hamling's aid.

It is believed an ambulance was called.

Hamling's family has been informed, and some members are thought to have attended the council chambers.

In the lead up to the incident, Waddell - who sits next to Hamling in the council chamber - appeared to be keeping an eye on Hamling. Further comment has been sought from Waddell.

One councillor told The Orange News Examiner in the minutes after the mayor slumped forward: "All under control."

The stress of undertaking mayoral duties alongside family and other work commitments has taken a toll on Hamling, who took time off earlier this year to spend time with his ailing father.

The meeting was adjourned and the video removed from YouTube.

UPDATE: Wednesday 12:03pm.

"Orange Mayor Jason Hamling is undergoing further tests in Orange Health Service today, after experiencing a medical episode at last night’s council meeting," said council in a statement..

"Jason and his family wish to thank fellow councillors and council staff for their care and support during this time.

"He hopes to be home from hospital in time to watch the Matildas play in their historic World Cup semi-final."

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