crossorigin="anonymous"> crossorigin="anonymous">
top of page

Rumours about Orange Function Centre lead to council review into its future

Stock image.

By David Fitzsimons

Talk of an all-new function/convention centre on the site of Orange’s $25 million sporting complex has helped push the future of one of the community’s favourite buildings, the Orange Function Centre, into the spotlight.

Councillor Tony Mileto asked council CEO David Waddell at Tuesday night’s council meeting whether the Bloomfield site was being considered as a new home for the function centre.

“I did hear a rumour, and you may wish to elaborate - is council considering a new function centre on the new sporting precinct site?” Mileto said.

“No, councillor Mileto," replied Waddell. "The decision is for a sports stadium, full stop."

The question came as councillor Tammy Greenhalgh called for a master plan into the future of the 56-year-old function centre.

An event at the Orange Function Centre. Copyright: Orange News Examiner.

She said an upgrade was needed.

“While the bones of the building are good, the main fixtures and wings are dated and have served their purpose,” she said.

“It was disappointing to see that in the draft Budget and Capital Program no money at all was allocated to Function Centre improvements until after 2026.

“I understand that this can change but as a new council I think it would be irresponsible of us to just leave it as it is and not start to put plans in place so that should applicable grant funding become available, we will have all the information ready to apply and put our best foot forward to secure that funding for our community.”

As the Amoco Hall and later the function centre the building has hosted figures ranging from the Queen and Prince Philip to The Wiggles and 60s rock bands including the Easybeats and Billy Thorpe and the Aztecs.

It was built with community volunteer labour, opening in June 1965.

Councillor Jack Evans said it could be upgraded into a vital city asset as both a convention and function centre.

“Talking to the business community in particular, there really is a need for significant investment in this area,” he said.

“You talk to the people that operate and run events there.

“Particularly the AV (audio/visual) guys say it is doable but it is getting really difficult.

“And the guys in the kitchen as well are saying ‘Look, it is a kitchen, but to keep serving the increasing number of people that we do, we need an upgrade'.”

Mayor Jason Hamling said previous talk of getting rid of the building had led to “so much community backlash because there is a big history down there".

The council meeting was told a site in Hill Street had been considered, and discounted, for a new function centre.

Council agreed to ask for a staff report into options for the building including costs for an upgrade.

The report would then go on exhibition for public comment.


bottom of page