Dubbo is blessed with incredibly generous people who constantly give their most valuable commodity to our community – time. I saw another wonderful example of this community spirit on Saturday night. Fifty years ago, the Lions Club had raised the required funds to partner with Council and build a much-needed preschool. Lions raised $9,000 for the preschool, which translated to current value is approximately $300,000 – a huge sum for a service club to generate. After building the first classroom, a volunteer committee, mainly made up of parents of the 10 children at the institution, were given the task of managing the organisation. That same organisation now has 220 children enrolled and employs 22 staff and the volunteer management committee still runs the organisation. Congratulations to Dubbo and District Preschool, current director Louise Simpson, and current president Rod Crowfoot. Most importantly, congratulations to every volunteer committee member and every staff member who has helped in running the organisation for 50 years.
Last Tuesday night I hosted the latest quarterly Dubbo Developers Forum. This quarterly forum is an initiative I introduced when I became Mayor to increase the level of communication between developers and our planning staff. This concept has been incredibly well-received and this was our best forum to date. We had 31 people in attendance and the open environment led to a number of insightful questions and good open discussion. Most importantly, there was a general feeling in the room that development in Dubbo was very strong and the numbers support that. In the year to date approved DA figures, the value of DAs has increased 18 per cent and the volume has increased 5 per cent when compared to the previous year.
Congratulations to the organisers of the Talbragar Street Zoo City Market Fair. Despite the rain, the day was a great success and retailers I spoke with on Saturday were philosophical about the rain but very supportive of the concept. I look forward to the next event.
I am in Canberra at the moment for the National General Assembly – a gathering of more than 700 Mayors and General Managers from across Australia. The theme this year is ‘National Voice, Local Choice—Infrastructure, Planning, Services’. I look forward to exploring more ways for Council to serve our community and work with other levels of government. Keep up to date with activities from the NGA on the Mayor of Dubbo Facebook page and Mayor of Dubbo Twitter feed.