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Orange hockey fields pitched as location for homeless complex after Nationals' "Ladies Get Together"

September 15, 2022

Digitally altered/Facebook

By Peter Holmes

Orange hockey fields in Glenroi have been suggested as a location for a “housing complex for the homeless” by members of the Orange branch of the National Party, according to a document sighted by The Orange News Examiner.

The document is headlined "Homeless Solution Initiative".

The branch holds “Nats Ladies Get Togethers” and at one of these homelessness “was put forward as an issue in Orange. So we began work on this with great results”.

“It is being proposed by some Orange National Party Branch concerned members to have built in Orange a Housing Complex for the Homeless,” the document stated.

The document said that such accommodation would be “secure and safe” and would act as “a stepping stone on their journey to participate in our community”.

The document pinpoints Orange hockey fields in Glenroi as “an appropriate area within the community with schools and transport provided”.

“I understand that Council have already considered relocating the Hockey fields, and as the new Stadium complex is proposed, the new Hockey field could be incorporated into that design,” it read.

“[Councillor] Steve Petersen is supportive of this proposal and will work within Council to proceed. He has spoken to the Mayor and David Waddell Council CEO, funding is his concern. Tony Mileto is also a valued presence in council.”

Mileto is the branch's candidate to take on Phil Donato at the state election in March 2023.

MORE NEWS: Senior National says "gloss is going off" Phil Donato, but is it just wishful thinking?

The Orange News Examiner spoke to councillor Dr Steve Peterson - a former president of the Orange branch of the National Party - on Saturday afternoon.

When quoted the above paragraphs he said: “It’s not completely correct. I’m no longer branch president but from what I understand there is a branch member who has a verbal agreement from government ministers to put money into transitional housing. If that money is available, council said we’d like to work with you.”

As for relocating the hockey fields to the new sporting precinct and building housing in Glenroi, he said “that’s a much bigger call. That would be expensive, and the stadium is already over budget

"That’s an idea I don’t know enough about and don’t support. I would’ve thought we could find [council] land elsewhere. If the government is going to find some money then we will definitely work with them, but at the moment it’s just all ideas. We need to see the electoral promise (first).”

The ladies get together document lists ways in which people experiencing homelessness could be helped, including “assisting with physical and mental health issues, life skills training and career retraining”.

“A motion has been put to the National Party Orange Branch Meeting seeking a Funding commitment from the Government,” read the document. “Sam Farraway, Duty MLC for Orange, was present at this meeting and indicated there could be a positive result.”

It also stated there had been a “positive response from the office of Hon. Paul Toole MP, Deputy Premier, NSW as his office is looking into this matter”.

The Orange News Examiner has sought comment from Farraway.

The document sent to branch members said that “with this project in the pipeline” the party could start to “gain trust among our original members who may have been disillusioned with the party. This will also attract new members which we are looking to gain”.

It concluded by saying that a housing project would “show that the Nationals deliver on issues that matter”.

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