The most rewarding feedback – and often the most nerve-wracking – is that received from your peers. Dubbo City Council has been planning the hosting of the Local Government Association (LGA) Conference for the past 12 months and we are now right in the middle of it. Delegates began arriving in Dubbo last Friday so they could experience the City before the official opening on Sunday evening and as feedback trickles in from delegates, the scorecard so far is very positive. As much as this conference is organised by Council, it really is an opportunity to put our best foot forward and really make a lasting impression on all delegates.
Our staff have are focused on ensuring a wonderful experience for delegates and the community has picked up on that desire. I heard yesterday that someone from Blacktown, who had attended 32 LGA Conferences, said she had never felt a welcome like this one. A number of little touches have made all the difference – a welcome sign and welcoming staff at the airport; flags at the conference centre representing every single LGA in attendance; a welcome sign on the bridge; and, most importantly, welcoming attitudes and smiles from all our staff and citizens.
Our staff will go above and beyond at every opportunity. Yesterday a Shoalhaven Councillor who thought her motel was a 10-minute walk from the conference centre (it was more like a 30-minute walk) made an offhand comment to one of our staff that she wished she had brought her bike. Early the next day, a loan bicycle and helmet was waiting at her motel.
A Councillor from Coffs Harbour, who experienced the conference’s opening ceremony at the DRTCC and the Archibald exhibition at the WPCC, was so blown away that she asked me for advice on how her council could and add such brilliant cultural facilities to its area. A Port Macquarie Councillor was very impressed with our conference facilities, comparing them favourably with their city’s $54 million venue.
With 703 people in our City, including Ministers and Presidents of various associations, it is very easy to be excited and proud as we get to show off our City to our colleagues. The positive stories keep flowing and I look forward to the economic benefits and flow-on tourism from this conference – one that all of Dubbo has contributed to, and all of Dubbo will benefit from.