Oberon Matters
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Oberon Council Extraordinary Meeting - June 11

June 13, 2024

On June 11, Oberon Council had an extraordinary meeting to address two matters of concern to the local community.

The first matter was to approve a Development Application for the next stage of the Oberon Sports Complex. Everyone was excited to see the start of earthworks on the site, and this DA is for the next step in the development of the site. It might seem strange that Council has to present and approve a DA to itself for a Council project, but things have to be done in a lawful and accountable manner. As the General Manager had oversight of the DA application, he had to leave the meeting while the matter was under discussion. The summary of the motion read:

Council has received development application DA10.2024.17.1 for the construction of the building, grandstand, use of temporary access, temporary car parking and stormwater infrastructure for the building for the Oberon Sporting Complex at 31 O’Connell Road, Oberon (Lot 2 in DP 1073827 and Lot 5 in DP 2364). The proposal represents part of Stage 2 of the development as approved under Concept Development Consent DA10.2021.19.1 granted on 19 April 2023. The works associated with this development application are consistent with the concept approval. Stage 1 of the development for early earthworks was approved by Council under DA10.2023.64.1.

The next stage of the development (Stage 2b) aims to incorporate construction of the playing fields, lighting, formalised parking areas and access, to enable completion of Stage 1, 2 & 3 of the Concept DA as approved. The next stage of the development will also involve the connection of the proposed building to Council’s water and sewer mains. Until those connections are made, the building cannot be used. Therefore, this development application is only for the construction of the building, not for its use. The use of the building and these works must be the subject of the next development application.

This development application was referred to Essential Energy, Transport for NSW and NSW Police for comment. Essential Energy raised no objections. Transport for NSW requested strategic plans of the new access works (however these works are not part of this development application). NSW Police are yet to provide comment, however as this development application is not for the use of the building, further consultation with NSW Police can be undertaken as part of the next stage DA.

The development application was notified to surrounding residents with no submissions received.

Pursuant to Council’s "Council Development - Conflict Of Interest Policy 3133", it is considered appropriate to present the application to Council for determination as it relates to a significant development on Council owned land.

The recommendations put before Council were:


  1. 1. Council approve Development Application 10.2024.17.1 for Stage 2a - Construction of building, grandstand, use of temporary access, temporary car parking and stormwater infrastructure for Oberon Sporting Complex at Lot 2 in DP 1073827 and Lot 5 in DP 2364, being known as 31 O’Connell Road OBERON in accordance with Section 4.55(1A) of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979, subject to the conditions contained within this report, for the following reasons:
  2.  The development is permissible within the Oberon Local Environmental Plan 2013.
  3. The development complies with the Oberon Local Environmental Plan 2013.
  4. The development is considered to be appropriate and will not impact the locality unreasonably.
  5. 2. A division be called in accordance with Section 375A of the Local Government Act 1993.

There was some discussion about when certain things would happen on the site such as installation of utilities and the motion was passed unanimously.

See also: The official start to construction of the new sports complex

The trees form a canopy over the road.

The second issue was about the proposed Heritage Listing of The O'Connell Avenue of Trees. The summary of the motion read:

At the May Ordinary Meeting Council was presented with a report commissioned by Oberon Against Wind Towers (OAWT) from GML Heritage and sought Council to consider listing the O'Connell Avenue of Trees as an individual heritage item under the provisions of an Interim Heritage Order.

The Avenue of Trees is not currently individually listed on Schedule 5 Part 1 of the Oberon LEP 2013 however, the Avenue is located within the O’Connell Urban Conservation Area which is listed on Schedule 5 Part 2 of the Oberon LEP 2013 as a Heritage Conservation Area. The Avenue of Trees is a landmark element within the O’Connell Heritage Conservation Area as detailed in the heritage data sheet that accompanied the listing of the heritage conservation area in 2013.

This report provides Council the opportunity to consider the GML report as well as a detailed brief from Councils Heritage Advisor relating to current status of The Avenue of Trees in O'Connell.

See also: The wind tower conversation heats up

The recommendations put before Council were:

That Council,

  1. 1. Update the draft State Heritage Inventory Sheet for the Avenue of Trees at O’Connell (ref 2210207)
  2. 2. Prepare a Planning Proposal for the individual listing of the Avenue of Trees at O’Connell as a local item for inclusion in Schedule 5 of the Oberon LEP 2013
  3. 3. Advise the local community in O’Connell to consider liaising with Heritage NSW, based on the State level assessment of the 1998 CMP, with a longer-term view of nominating the Avenue of Trees for inclusion separately on the State Heritage Register.

Councillor Tucker proposed an amendment to have costing presented to Council before any decision was made, but as the other Councillors felt that the matter was of some urgency and any costs would be easily managed in the Council's budget, the amendment was lost. The original motion was then passed.

The full agenda for the meeting, including many pages of documentation relating to the two issues can be seen here.

The minutes of the meeting can be found here.

You can watch a recording of the meeting here.

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