The Mayoral column this week comes to you from the land of Stars and Stripes. I am in the US at the moment where I'm spending some quality time with my family. My four children attend a dance school in Dubbo which is performing at Universal Studios - a wonderful experience for a group of young dancers from Dubbo, Orange and Forbes.
Even though I am almost 13,000km away with a time difference of 17 hours, the world of modern communications means that I am still performing my mayoral duties in all but the physical presence. With the availability of VoIP calls, cheap mobile data and the Internet, I am staying in touch with Council and Dubbo’s residents. There are certainly physical aspects of the job which I obviously can’t undertake but that is an area where the 10 other Councillors are certainly stepping in and helping me out with attendance at physical meetings for the next two weeks.
Speaking of things that need to be done physically, it was wonderful to see Jillian Skinner in town last week when she attended the Dubbo Base Hospital for our Member for Dubbo, Troy Grant, to launch a brochure explaining more information about the hospital upgrade. On the day, we witnessed a very impressive virtual walk-through of the first part of the new hospital and I intend to keep working with Troy to try and secure funding for the next stages of the hospital upgrade.
I met with Chris Bratton last week who was in Dubbo at the halfway point of an epic 12-week horse ride to raise money for cancer services. When you see the efforts that many people go to in order to raise money for health, you realise how important it is to keep the pressure up on our higher levels of government. And that is certainly what I intend to do.
Let me know what you think are the most pressing issues for Dubbo over the next 12 months at firstname.lastname@example.org