The establishment and expansion of industry in regional NSW was a major activity in the implementation of decentralisation policy, which directed the decision to establish Bathurst-Orange as the State’s first pilot growth centre on 3 October 1972 (1). In addition to the cities of Bathurst and Orange, the site encompasses areas within the Shires of Blayney, Cabonne, Evans and Oberon, while the project would comprise of domestic, commercial and industrial development.
The Growth Centres (Development Corporations) Act (No. 49, 1974) vested in the Bathurst-Orange Development Corporation the responsibility of promoting, co-ordinating, managing and securing the orderly and economic development of the growth centre in respect of which it was constituted (4). However, acquisition of land by the Corporation was conducted under the terms of the Growth Centres (Land Acquisition) Act, 1974 (5).
The Corporation was established to develop the area economically, including raising new capital investment to bring population and new employment opportunities to the region. Its functions included land acquisition, management and disposal; property construction and management; financial management; and the promotion and marketing of the Bathurst-Orange area. The legislation charged the Corporation with the authority to submit development proposals to the Minister; research, report, advise and make recommendations to the Minister in relation to land development; and to deal with other statutory bodies involved with the growth centre.
The legislation provided for a statutory structure of five or more persons to be officially appointed with the Chairman and Deputy Chairman being entitled to five-year terms, while other members served for three years. The administrative structure of the Corporation reflected its activities: survey and land management; public relations; technical services; legal services; research services; and, finance and administration.
Agency activities were complex, including liaison with government bodies and instrumentalities, the private sector, the media and community groups. Multi-disciplinary teams from the private and public sectors were formed to contribute to development proposals. Working papers were developed to foster public participation in matters involving research into community needs and preferences, such as water supply issues, waste disposal needs, road building, park planning, pedestrian and bicycle routes (6).
1. Bathurst-Orange Development Corporation Annual Report 1975, p.1.
2. NSW Government Gazette No.64, 31.5.1974, p.2074.
3. Bathurst-Orange Development Corporation Annual Report 1975, p.1.
4. NSW Statutes 1974, Act No.49, p.779.
5. Bathurst-Orange Development Corporation Annual Report 1975, p.7.
6. Bathurst-Orange Development Corporation Annual Report 1976.
7. Bathurst-Orange Development Corporation Annual Report 1975, p.17.
The Consultative Committee provided a link between the Corporation and the community by playing a role in developing community participation, representing the community to the Corporation, assisting to monitor community attitudes to the Corporation’s activities and in recommending its own proposals to the Corporation. The first meeting of the Consultative Committee was held on 29 May 1975 (7).