For those following my columns regarding the chap who believes he has something worthwhile to offer Orange to help with our water issues, let me provide this final update.
Since writing the first column I have received numerous emails, phone calls and visits from people with something to contribute to the discussion.
Sadly, no one from Council or any Councillor contacted me about what I had written. Readers can make their own assessment of what that says but speaking for myself, I thought at least one Councillor may have come to me to ask what it was all about.
I finally decided that the issue was important enough for me to show greater initiative and contact someone at Council myself. I did that last week and was able to arrange a meaningful meeting with a Senior Council official. The outcome of that meeting opened the way for the chap I have been talking about to sit down with Council and hopefully, have a fruitful discussion. That was what I set out to do in the first place and although I got there through a different door than Id hoped for, I am satisfied that I have done what I said Id do. Time will tell if it has all been worthwhile.
Overall, it was an interesting experience and along the way I got to meet and talk to some really interesting people who know a lot more about Oranges water history than I do. Apart from one person who I disregarded because of their manner and disrespectful overtones, the rest of the people I spoke to clearly have hearts for seeing Orange progress and particularly in solving our water issues into the future. What struck me most was the variety of information, different opinions, ideas and experiences people spoke of over so many years. It was clear to me that there are quite a number of different solutions that people want to talk about and I couldnt help wonder what would be the outcome if someone sat all these people in a room, listened to what they had to say and then gave each a full evaluation by a panel of experts. Of course, thats never going to happen, Councils are not known for doing sensible things like that, and if they do, it often appears they are not serious, but rather just trying to meet community expectations. Theres a lot to be said for really listening to people who might know what they are talking about, and something I think a lot of organisations would benefit from if they did it more often and with more genuine intent. Theres a lot of wise heads and experience out there with a lot to contribute in their various fields of expertise, if only more decision makers were prepared to tap into them more often, wed all be better off for sure. I wish!
Water is a red hot topic at the moment and Im sure therell be a lot more said about it before it finally rains. We need to talk and plan now while were feeling the pain, because once we get significant rain, itll be pushed to the backburner until the next serious drought brings it to top of mind again.