Hours after member for Orange Phil Donato was told to "wait for the budget" on Thursday for news about the city's proposed $25 million sporting precinct and stadium, Premier Gladys Berejiklian's NSW government confirmed construction on the facility will go ahead this Parliamentary term.
Despite ambiguity surrounding Ms Berejiklian's answer to a question from Mr Donato during Thursday's Parliamentary question time, the Premier's staff confirmed to The Sydney Morning Herald the project would get under way before NSW returns to the polls, no later than March, 2023.
Former candidate for the seat of Orange Kate Hazelton held a press conference on Friday morning at Cook Park, saying she was "delighted" with the news.
"I guess it was one of my initiatives and I felt I could get up and announce it," she said.
It's something I fought long and hard for.Former Nationals candidate Kate Hazelton
"It's something I fought long and hard for," adding it would a boon for younger people in and around Orange.
Mrs Hazelton wasn't able to provide details about potential timeline on the project, and expected an official announcement to come from a member of the government some time in the coming weeks.
A week out from the Federal election, Mrs Hazelton said the project showed "the Nationals honour their promises", but denied it was linked to the upcoming nationwide vote, and said the announcement was simply making official what had been reported in TheSydney Morning Herald on Thursday night.
While she holds no official position in the party, Mrs Hazelton said it was something she'd asked NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro if she could announce.
The initial funding announcement was made in February when Ms Berejiklian visited Orange.
At the time the Premier said the project would only be delivered if the state seat was returned to the Nationals, but days later Mr Barilaro backtracked on that condition, and said the funding for the precinct and stadium would be delivered even if Shooters, Fishers and Farmers incumbent Mr Donato was returned to power, which he was in comprehensive fashion during the March poll.