When I was elected Mayor just over a year ago, I'd said my number one focus was to improve communications - with Councillors, the media, and the public. I worked hard to achieve this and the numbers tell a story. Over the Mayoral term I officially met with 456 people on an individual basis – and unofficially met and spoke with hundreds more. That included 148 meetings with Councillors and other civic leaders; 104 meetings with media outlets and 204 meetings with members of the public.
I performed official duties at 212 civic functions and had the honour of bestowing citizenship upon 43 people who now call Australia home. I wrote 52 Mayoral columns, 16 articles for another publication and participated in hundreds of media interviews.
The role is incredibly diverse. One morning I may be reading a ‘Golden Book’ to a group of kindergarten students and that afternoon I could be speaking with a developer about a multi-million dollar project. It isn’t uncommon to work a 12 hour day and it is definitely a seven-day a week job.
Between the openings, speeches and internal meetings, I have managed to be a part of some excellent activity at Council. The lobbying in Canberra and Sydney for funds for Barden Park paid off, with $4.733M committed from grant funds. The $4.411M we received from the Australian Government has delivered a world-class playing surface at Apex Oval along with environmental benefits. Tracker Riley – with another $1.185M of government funds – is proving to be an incredibly popular asset and the $1.2M for our new kitchen at the DRTCC will see even more usage of our wonderful theatre. Years of lobbying saw Dubbo gain a huge advantage with the announcement of the NBN rollout starting here in June 2013 – well ahead of some of our neighbours. Our meetings with QantasLink, Rex, Virgin and others has already seen the announcement of 74-seat planes into Dubbo and the potential of Dubbo-Melbourne flights are still being fully explored. Meetings in Dubbo and Sydney with Harris Farm, ALDI, Kmart, JB Hi-Fi and Masters is a perfect example of Council working proactively with potential new businesses. The quarterly developer forums gave ample opportunities for communication between developers and our staff and the quarterly Community Leaders breakfasts gave a rare opportunity for members of our community to have all three levels of government in the one location. Through communication with trucking companies in Dubbo we now have extensive advertising donated on three semi-trailers driving throughout NSW and beyond. We have worked well with the NSW Government to help deliver $80M in funding for our hospital and we will continue to work hard for more. Dubbo is in a wonderful position with an engaged and vibrant community and endless opportunities.