1 August, 2022
Council Connections with Mayor Doug Batten - July 26
Today, Tuesday, marks exactly 100
years since the opening service of the St
Ambrose Anglican Church. This was
made possible following a kind donation,
by the Anglican parishioners of Bournemouth
in England, which recognised the
citizens of the Gilgandra region as the
community who made the greatest contribution
from within the British Commonwealth
towards the successful World
War I campaign.
A Sunday service, officiated by
Bishop Mark Calder of the Bathurst Dioceses,
celebrated this centenary event.
The service was followed by a morning
tea which brought back memories of the
wonderful suppers provided by the ladies
of the Biddon CWA back in the 1960s
and 70s. In celebrating this historic milestone,
the congregation also acknowledged
the challenges faced by both the
Anglican Church and broader Gilgandra
community in addressing some serious
structural problems associated with footings
and internal brickwork of the St
Ambrose Anglican Church building.
Some preliminary work has been
undertaken by council and my fellow
councillor, Gail Babbage’s Brisbanebased
employer, Heritage Architects,
have been very generous in providing
some options going forward.
Rectification of the issue will undoubtedly
prove expensive; however it
will provide an opportunity for the
broader community to come together to
ensure that in another 100 years residents
of Gilgandra will be celebrating the bicentenary
of our “Coo-ee” church.
A delightful Saturday afternoon at the
picturesque McGrane Oval provided the
perfect setting for another round of the
Castlereagh rugby league, where the
Gilgandra Panthers took on the Gulgong
Terriers. The game resulted in a strong
yet close result in favour of the Gilgandra
team. A pleasing outcome for this season
has been the number of our local juniors,
who, although employed in Dubbo, have
elected to come back home each weekend
to play with their mates. It is this
mateship that provides the backbone of
local sport. Due to injuries, Saturday was
one of the rare occasions over the last 10
years that one of the Hazelton clan did
not take the field for the Panthers. This
did not stop mum and dad, Robyn and
Peter, contributing behind the scenes to
make the day a success.
The inaugural meeting of the Economic
Development Committee, which
consists of 14 representatives from local
business and the community, for this
term of council will be held in August.
The business paper for this meeting
illustrates some of the exciting issues
being put forward for consideration by
this committee, including events such as
Shop Local, A Christmas Wonderland, A
night Under the Gums, and support for
the Come Home to Gilgandra Festival.
Under the banner of ‘Grow Gilgandra’
the committee will also be considering
local business programs such as BIG
ideas, business signage project, business
training workshops as well as the aforementioned
Shop Local program.
Additionally, the committee will be
canvassed for their thoughts in regards to
the NSW streets as shared spaces funding.
This relates to a successful state government
grant of $365,000 for updates to
the Community Plaza adjacent to the
Gilgandra Pharmacy in Miller Street.
Also on the agenda for the meeting is an update on the Coo-ee Heritage Centre and upcoming tourism programs. These are indeed exciting times for the Gilgandra region and its residents.
Some of the best news in years has
been associated with the release of preliminary
2021 Census figures that
revealed that Gilgandra shire has had a
1.39 per cent increase in the population
since 2016, to a total of 4295 residents.
Excluding Dubbo Regional Council,
Gilgandra is the only shire within the
Orana region to experience population
A positive population trend is important many areas, two that spring to mind are people considering making a tree-change can take confidence in the fact that real estate investments are secure, and that in this climate of state and federal government grants there is a willingness of government to invest in communities which are growing.