BUILDING owners will have 28 days to become familiar with proposed changes to the Lighting - White Way Lighting Under Awnings in the CBD policy.
Essential Energy has advised Bathurst Regional Council that it will no longer accept under-awning lighting, also known as white way lighting, on the street lighting inventory.
This means that council will need to revoke its policy to reflect the current Public Lighting Code and the policies of Essential Energy.
The changes would mean that the building owner would be responsible for maintaining the lights under awnings near their premises.
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Deputy mayor Bobby Bourke, who wasn't at the working party where this item was discussed, found it alarming that council was not going to inform business or building owners about the change to the policy.
"No notification has gone out to the business owners and I feel that we've got to get this policy right. I've been in here when policies have changed just by the flick of a pen and I think we better have a look at this one," he said at Wednesday's council meeting.
As under-awning lighting is Essential Energy's asset, council has no responsibility to notify businesses of the change.
General manager David Sherley also told councillors that council was not in a position to take over responsibility of the assets, which was why that responsibility would fall to building owners.
"They're the assets of Essential Energy, who are basically going to walk away from those assets, and I think what was mainly discussed [at the working party] was that if they walk away from those assets, who do they give them to?" he said.
"We're trying to express that the default position is don't hand those assets back to the council. We're not in a position to maintain them, nor do we have the expertise to maintain them and, thirdly, they're on private property."
It was later said the onus would be on Essential Energy to notify its customers.
Cr Bourke said that, regardless of council's position on the assets, council should still make sure businesses were aware of the changes.
Instead of revoking the policy, council resolved to put the report on public exhibition for 28 days to notify people of the intent to revoke the policy.
Another report will come back to council after the public exhibition period, at which point councillors can vote to revoke the policy.