It is good to be writing the Mayoral column again after a short hiatus. In the afternoon of Tuesday, 21 August I received a Circular from the Division of Local Government that went to all Councils in NSW. It advised that Councils should consider publishing the Mayoral column as a generic Council column, which seemed reasonable. From that date I stopped writing the column. It is amazing how many good things occur in Dubbo in just a few short weeks but I am glad to be back writing the column today.
After the Council elections at the weekend, Dubbo technically has no Councillors until all votes are counted. I retain the position of Mayor until the first meeting of the new Council. As soon as that is declared (which should occur within a week), my last duty will be to call a meeting of Council to elect the Mayor, Deputy Mayor, the Chairs of Council's Standing Committees, and determine membership of Council's various Committees and Working Parties for the following 12 months. My hope is to be re-elected as Mayor, but that decision will be up to the new group of eleven Councillors.
In my absence from the column, so much has happened in Dubbo that I need a page to catch-up on all that has occurred. I will instead focus on two significant highlights of last week.
On Friday night, Dubbo hosted PJ Hogan and we saw the NSW launch of his latest film, ‘Mental’. It was quite amusing and ironic that a sub-plot of the film involved a Mayor standing for re-election. PJ Hogan is an acclaimed Hollywood Director. In addition to writing and directing ‘Muriel’s Wedding’ and ‘Mental’, two of his biggest hits include ‘My Best Friend’s Wedding’ and ‘Confessions of a Shopaholic’. To have someone of this stature at the opening of the Inland NSW Film Festival was just amazing and augers well for a great month of activities with the Dubbo Festival, which this year includes DREAM events. With 4,463 people attending DREAM events last year, I can see us creating the iconic festival that Dubbo residents desire.
I also had the pleasure last week of delivering a reading in Bathurst at the ordination of Reynold Jaboneta. In 20 years, he is only the second priest to be ordained in this diocese. It was a beautiful ceremony conducted by the Bishop.
Your Dubbo registrations closed yesterday and I look forward to the entire community supporting this joint project between Council and the Dubbo Chamber of Commerce and Industry.