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Councillors have voted on funerals at botanic gardens; what now for Orange Function Centre?

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By David Fitzsimons

One funeral each weekday will be allowed at the Orange Botanic Gardens after extensive debate at Orange City Council on Tuesday night.

It followed strong community support for the open air funerals, with coffins on display, during a month-long public comment exhibition period, but also opposition from figures including former mayor Reg Kidd.

A move by councillor Kevin Duffy to limit the plan to a 12-month trial was defeated.

He said he had been contacted by “many people” who were opposed to allowing funerals in the gardens.

However, deputy mayor Gerald Power said the plan had strong public support.

“Community have spoken,” he said.

Other councillors said council had the ability to request a report into the progress of the funerals plan at any time.

Council was told signs would be in place to warn anyone walking by that a funeral was occurring.

Only one funeral a day will be allowed, at a cost of $300 each.

Meanwhile, council has endorsed plans to open an indoor winter playground from June 1.

The Indoor Tennis Centre is the preferred venue.

It will cost council about $5,000 a week to operate.

And council staff have been asked to prepare a report into the future of the Orange Function Centre after concerns it was not up to modern standards to host functions and conferences.

It is planned the report would go on public exhibition including details of the costs of potential upgrades.


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