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Home › Mayoral Minutes

Mayoral Minutes

Why a packed gallery is a good thing

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

On Monday night we saw a textbook example of the benefits of a modern democracy combined with an open progressive Council.  Read More...

Musings on the Magna Carta and modern democracy

Friday, June 19, 2015

Having just returned from Canberra, where all 565 Councils from across the nation gather each year at the National General Assembly, the helicopter view of Councils is firmly in my mind. When you sit down and speak with Mayors from every part of Australia, it is essential to sit back with a broad view of the role that Councils play in our nation. As we shared experiences with each other, it was amazing to hear how similar the view is that communities across the country see Mayors and Councillors as their first port of call in times of need. It was quite relevant that the theme for the conference this year was Local Government: Closest to the Community. People contact Councils for so many different issues but typically they are only responsible for twenty per cent of the areas of contact. I often joke that, as a Mayor, I wish I had the power that people assume that I have. Which brings me to the topic that has been somewhat discussed in the media of late. The Magna Carta. This document is often seen as the birth of democracy – and it was borne from one person having too much power. King John was in power at the time and his system of government was based on the principle of ‘vis et voluntas’ (force and will - my interpretation is we will force you and you will do it). King John, and his predecessors, would make executive and arbitrary decisions which he justified on the basis that the king was above the law. Read More...

Networking in our Nation's capital

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

I am currently sitting in chilly Canberra (5°C last night) attending the annual National General Assembly which is a gathering of all 565 Councils from across the nation. This is an opportunity to hear from our Federal politicians (such as Warren Truss; Bill Shorten and Richard Di Natale) and from national leaders (such as current Australian of the Year, Rosie Batty) and from a number of people involved in Local Government across Australia and even representatives from New Zealand. Read More...

How Dubbo got direct flights to Brisbane

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Forget submissions closing last Friday on our $160 million Operational Plan and Budget for the next year or Ignite our Centre ideas or even the most significant reform of Local Government since 1993, Fit for the Future, all anyone has been able to talk to me about since the announcement on Friday morning is the fact that we will have direct flights to Brisbane within six weeks. Read More...

Tour de OROC is back in 2015

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

The 2015 version of the Toyota Tour de OROC was launched yesterday by the Chairperson of the committee, David Hayes. After a hugely successful “one-off” event in 2013, a committee has been formed under David’s expert leadership with governance provided by the Rotary Club of Dubbo South and the event will now be run as a biennial event. In 2013 the event was huge with 1,125km covered in 6 days and $176,168.63 raised towards Macquarie Homestay. That event was planned when OROC consisted of 11 Councils. Now that OROC includes Wellington, the ride will be even bigger with over 1,200km planned for the 6 day ride which will take place in October this year. More details are on the Web site and Facebook page but if you are interested in being a rider or a sponsor, David would love to hear from you. Read More...

Constructive criticism is key to better outcomes

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

On Monday this week our Draft Operational Plan was approved by Council to be put on public display. This is a necessary part of the process for Council to continue to operate from 1 July this year but I see it as a great opportunity to involve the community in the operations of Council. Council is a big business. Our community owns $1.138 billion in assets, our budget for the upcoming year is $160 million and we employ 314 staff. When we are putting together a budget for the upcoming year, we make decisions based on what we will feel will be the best outcome for the majority of Dubbo. Having said that, I strongly encourage our residents to obtain a copy of the plan for next year (from the website or a physical copy from Dubbo City Council, Macquarie Regional Library Dubbo Branch, Ballimore Inn, Eumungerie and Wongarbon Post Office) and have a look through it. Our submissions are open until Friday 5 June. Tell us your thoughts. Could we reduce our services somewhere? Should we change our priorities? Should we be putting up rates to a higher level? When Council formally resolves our budget, I can’t guarantee you will receive everything you ask for but I can guarantee that all ideas will be considered and I have seen many plans changed as a result of community feedback. Read More...

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