New Highway Service Centre proposed

Lachlan Shire calls for expressions of interest for a new Highway Service Centre on the Gipps Way just out of Condobolin.

Media Release
Lachlan Shire Council’s announcement last week that it is calling Expressions of Interest (EOI) for a 24 hour Fuel Service Centre at Condobolin has largely been welcomed by the community.
The EOI is for the construction of a 24 hour Fuel Service Centre on The Gipps Way catering for large trucks.
The area will be known as a Tourism Precinct with a visitor information centre and cafeteria and will also be the site of the popular “Utes in the Paddock” outdoor gallery as well as the National Jockeys Memorial.
Lachlan Shire Council Mayor, John Medcalf, said while there have been some detractors the response to the precinct has been largely very positive.
“Council is working hard in its economic development efforts and it’s through projects such as these that we will be able to increase the number of people coming to Condobolin which in turn will have a flow on effect to our local businesses and our local economy,” he explained.
“It’s important also to make sure our approach roads look good and our main street looks attractive as the improvement of the main street of a country town can be a cost effective way of encouraging economic development.
“Our aim is to attract people here and provide them with a pleasant stay even if it’s only for a couple of hours or a few days. If they have a good experience they will tell others who will come here and so on.
“During the past week I’ve had some enquiries that the 24 Hour Service Centre will be bad for local businesses and why are we doing work on this and the main street instead of on our roads.
“I hope some of the queries people might have will be answered with the following questions and answers.” See below.

Answering questions on the proposed highway service station for Condobolin
How will the 24 hour Fuel Service Centre affect local businesses?
While another fuel service station and cafeteria may affect businesses already supplying these services the entire tourism precinct is expected to attract many more visitors to the Shire which will have a flow-on effect for existing businesses. The entire shire will benefit by having a dedicated visitor information centre located with the cafeteria which will provide information about other attractions in the shire.
Are local businesses invited/encouraged to apply to the EOI tender?
Yes local Fuel service stations have been provided with a copy of the EOI and are encouraged to consider applying. The cafeteria is proposed to be leased to a private operator and locals can apply to operate that part of the business.
Where can the expression of interested documents be found?
Copies can be obtained from Council or the Tenderlink website
Where is the Tourism Precinct proposed to be located?
The site is opposite the South Forbes road as it intersects with the Gipps Way and is some 25 acres in area.
Who is paying for the service centre/ tourism precinct?
The 24 hour Fuel Service Centre will be fully funded by the successful tenderer. Council will be using grant funds and ratepayers’ funds to relocate the utes and construct the new National Jockeys Memorial.
Why isn’t the money proposed for this development being used to upgrade existing roads?
Council has a dedicated roads budget along with budgets for many other services provided by Council. The tourism budget will pay for the tourist attractions. Roads leading to the Tourism Precinct are currently being assessed and estimates provided to upgrade The Gipps Way, The Murie, etc to ensure they are passable in future flood events.
What happened to the funding received for the 2016 floods and why have the roads not been fixed?
Council obtains Federal and State road grants which must be spent by June 30th otherwise Council has to give them back. The flood grants have to be spent within 18 months so Council is focusing on completing the current roads program which was delayed significantly due to the flooding. Flood money will be spent in the second half of this year and next year.
Wouldn’t the money be better spent on improving existing businesses in town?
The money for the service station will be privately funded. The tourist attractions are needed to promote Condobolin and increase economic development in the Shire. Council is fortunate to receive the Utes in the Paddock which is already an iconic attraction.
Has flooding around the area of the proposed site been considered?
Yes it will be part of a detailed development application process. The ground level for buildings will be built up above flood levels and fuel tanks will be installed above ground.
What will it do for employment in the local region?
The service station will create jobs along with the cafeteria. The Visitor Information Centre will also require staffing. The total attraction is expected to increase employment in the shire due to the benefits of increased numbers of tourists spending locally.
Why isn’t the Council trying to get a store to replace Country Target?
Council has made enquiries with a number of stores selling similar products to the former Country Target Store. Unfortunately all have minimum population catchment areas of 7,500 or greater and will not open a store here. Council is continuing its enquiries and will be calling for Expressions of Interest from interested retailers in the near future.


Utes in the Paddock coming to Condo

It has been eight years since the first Ute began the outdoor gallery near Ootha and four years since the last of 20 “Ute works” was installed and still today, Utes in the Paddock attracts thousands of visitors to view the collection for the first time or to revisit this unique Australian bush attraction. Cont


By Melissa Blewitt

 Utes in the Paddock is being relocated from Ootha to Condobolin.

Lachlan Shire Council (LSC) has purchased a 60 acre block on The Gipps Way, which will be used for the outdoor gallery. The land is next to the stables opposite Forbes Road, past the Pony Club on Diggers Avenue.

LSC is in the process of obtaining a design for the co-location of the Jockey’s Memorial and Utes in the Paddock, hoping to create a major tourist attraction for the town.

The land will have to be prepared as it is in a flood zone and fencing would have to be erected around the site, according to LSC General Manager Robert Hunt.

He added that LSC was hopeful of starting to move the utes before Christmas.

Utes in the Paddock was a concept brought to fruition by Jana and Graham Pickles of Burrawang West Station. It has significantly increased visitation to the Central West region over the last eight years. Lachlan Shire Council is honoured to be entrusted as caretaker of the gallery and has committed to dedicate time, energy and marketing resources to further develop and promote the outdoor gallery into the future.

LSC Mayor John Medcalf is pleased the gallery is being relocated as the attraction will significantly contribute to the growth and resilience of the local economy and Councillor Medcalf is confident the town of Condobolin will be overjoyed to welcome the gallery into the town.

Businesses, residents and local farmers, donated several of the utes for canvasses used for the gallery and have always been supportive of this unique attraction at Ootha,” he said.

“It will be fantastic to feature the gallery in Condobolin as an ultimate bush experience on offer in the Heart of NSW and Council has dedicated resources to ensure the successful relocation and promotion of the attraction.

“Signage, promotional flyers, website development and the development of collectible Utes in the Paddock merchandise being among the top priorities along with a program to repair and revitalise any of the “uteworks” which have significantly deteriorated over the last eight years.

“Council would like to thank each of the artists for supporting the relocation of the Utes to Condobolin and Council looks forward to working with all artists to ensure they are widely recognised as one of the talented and creative “Ute Artists”,

“Utes in the Paddock is considered as one of the top ten experiences in our region and Council is dedicated to ensuring that the reputation of Utes in the Paddock is further developed for generations of local, national and international visitors to enjoy.”

Our ticket to tourism

A group of Condobolin business owners gathered for an informal breakfast meeting at Gum Bend Lake last Thursday to discuss the future direction of tourism in Condobolin and the proposed establishment of a Condobolin Tourism Body / Action group.
Convened by LSC Tourism Officer, Amy Johnson, the meeting achieved its goal of setting up a small action group who will examine the current tourism strategy, take input from interested parties and then offer recommendations to L.S. Council.
The benefits of day trippers and other tourists visiting Condobolin’s Gum Bend Lake since it was filled in December 2010, clearly demonstrates that many types of businesses gain financially due to tourism such as restaurants, cafes, retail outlets, supermarkets, petrol stations and clubs to name a few. An indirect benefit is those employed in these businesses then spend in other businesses in town.
Amy said, “Tourism in Condobolin has huge potential especially with the increasing popularity of Utes in the Paddock which successfully draws tourists off the Newell Highway in particular, and on to Condobolin. With the increased traffic flow now is the time when local business needs to be creative in sustaining revenue streams.”
“Through the establishment of a Condobolin Tourism Body, local businesses could drive dollars being spent in our town through business initiatives and incentives (for example an offer such as a half price meal after staying three nights at a motel / hotel) encouraging tourists to increase their length of stay, increase their spending and providing tourists with a memorable experience with great customer service so they will revisit and encourage friends and family to visit as well.”
“Developing tourism products in Condobolin and increasing traffic flow is essential to our regions’ economy. Undeniably, all towns and villages in the Shire will benefit from the tourism dollars generated, so it is important that all stakeholders play a role in promoting the area.”

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