Airport users say the next group of councillors in Orange need to be more consultative and prepared to listen to attract more business.
About 23 candidates attended an informal meeting at the Orange Aero Club on Friday night where the future of the proposed industrial park was the hot topic.
Secretary Bob Nash said most candidates supported the business park as long as it was used for aviation and air transport related matters.
He said the current council had not consulted with airport users which had led to problems with attracting business to the airport.
“I think there was a general feeling that if things were aviation-related that was to be encouraged,” he said.
“If you were going to put an abattoir out there that wasn’t what the airport land was there for.”
He said he supported bringing more aviation business to the airport.
“It’s a great facility for people to come to.
“It’s the gateway to Orange.
“We’ve got a great airport, no question about that, a lot of what they’ve [the council] done is excellent but it needs to be better.
“If there was consulting going on and listening to the users it would be better.”
He said there were problems with getting leases and not enough was being done to encourage new business at the airport.
“People aren’t going to spend $500-600,000 if they can’t get a longer term lease.”
He said a major air refuelling company was building a new facility and had discovered the power supply was inadequate at the airport but was not receiving the level of assistance from the council they hoped for.
“There seem to be a lot of roadblocks.
“We need to release the choke.
“Council have not been easy to deal with for new people who want to come to the airport.”
Mr Nash said the candidates who attended the night showed a willingness to want to consult in the future.
“I think it was a very successful night.”
He said there were more new candidates than current councillors in attendance which was expected as only nine current councillors are standing again at next Saturday’s election.
“I believe that some of the older council members might have listened for the first time and got a good hearing.”
Mr Nash said local landowners attended and said they were concerned about how land had been bought.