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Motorcade along Summer Street slated for Gnoo Blas

August 1, 2023

Google Street View/Gnoo Blas.

By David Fitzsimons

Councillors have called for an itemised breakdown of how Orange’s Lords Place rejuvenation project has blown 13 percent over budget.

It has been revealed the controversial works involving cutting parking spaces and providing

additional dining spaces and landscaping was about $180,000 over budget, costing $1,579,393.60 when the budget was $1.4 million.

At Tuesday night’s council meeting councillor Kevin Duffy said he “hoped” an itemised report was provided by staff.

He said a list of causes for the overspend did not go far enough.

“There’s no figures there for what each individual cost was,” he said.

“Like the flower pots or the seats or the decks or whatever the case may be. I would have thought we would have received a report that said what all these things cost. That would be a more informative report.”

Councillor Jack Evans backed the call for more information detailing costs of civil works and additional features provided in the street.

“It would be good to have an exact figure, if we can, of some of those items. What the big issues were,” he said.

Councillor Frances Kinghorne asked why the cost of the dining decks was listed as “unforeseen” in the staff explanation.

CEO David Waddell said it related to a safety audit showing a need for hand-railings, which was an extra cost.

Kinghorne said: “It is like well over 10 percent above the budget. So, I suppose when you add all those things into it, I can see where it goes. But when it said unforeseen. I thought it shouldn’t be unforeseen.”

In other council news one of Orange’s biggest events, the Gnoo Blas Car, Truck and Bike show, has received a $10,000 funding boost as part of its plans to expand to a three-day event.

Council approved the funding. A report said the event had not received any council funding going back to at least 2017.

Apart from the major display show at Sir Jack Brabham Park on Saturday February 10 next year and the regular dinner on Saturday night and a drive day on Sunday, new activities are planned for the Friday.

They include a midday motorcade of up to 100 show vehicles down Summer Street.

And it has also been revealed work on the Southern Feeder Road have been impacted by the

discovery of asbestos.

A report to council said it was under investigation.

“Of significance is the discovery of Naturally Occurring Asbestos (NOA),” it said. "Given the location of the road outside where NOA is typically found it was not anticipated.

“The material discovered was previously imported and used in the construction and repair of

Shiralee Road. At present council is attempting to quantify the extent of NOA, which will have an impact on project cost.”

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