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Mayoral Minutes

A definite shift in the way Council carries out its business

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

I have been a Councillor on Dubbo City Council just short of 4,000 days and I have witnessed significant change in that period. Some are dramatic physical changes in infrastructure (think Dubbo Regional Theatre and Convention Centre and Barden Park) while other changes are more subtle, such as our community’s perception of Council and Councillors (our Community Needs surveys have shown dramatic improvements in recent years in the public’s perception of Council). There is one area though where I have seen a definite shift in the way Council carries out its business.

That is in the area of community consultation and engagement.

There was already a change in the air but when the Dubbo 2036 process started (under Mayor Allan Smith) there was a paradigm shift in the way we engaged with our community. Fast forward four years, and I believe we are actively engaged with our community on a regular basis. That doesn’t mean we are perfect – but I would put us firmly in the top five per cent of Councils across the State. I believe it stems from a genuine belief from Council – and Councillors – that we want to hear what residents think. It doesn’t mean we will agree with every resident on every issue (there are often opinions brought forward that are mutually exclusive) but we certainly welcome feedback. In the last month we have had our triannual Community Leaders’ Forum and our quarterly Mayoral Development Forum. Two great opportunities for Councillors and staff to hear from the community. We also have an excellent process of advertising and discussing policy applications and development applications with our community. We rely on our residents to be interested enough – which they are – to take notice of the traditional media and social media to stay current on what is happening. As you can imagine, residents are more interested when something is happening that may impact them or is located close to them but I generally think our residents are aware of what is happening in Dubbo. It is satisfying to be in a community where I constantly receive the feeling that our residents care what is happening.

The Senior Citizen of the Year nominations close today at 5pm. If you know of someone in the ‘experienced’ age bracket and they have been making a significant contribution to our community, please nominate them. There are many good people who are nominated but never assume that the person you know isn’t good enough. Put the nomination in and let the judges decide who the best nominee is.

Tickets are on sale now for the Anzac Sleep-Out. For $5 plus a very small booking fee you can sleep on Number 1 Oval on the night before our Anzac Centenary. It will be a wonderful experience. I look forward to seeing a huge number of people there.


Relationships with Asia, regional cities, environment show Dubbo's personality, values

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Having celebrated our 25-year relationship with Minokamo last year planning to celebrate our 20-year relationship with Wujiang this year, and having visited both of our Asian sister-cities, I can personally vouch for the ongoing value of our sister-city relationships. In most years we have student exchanges in both directions and we are currently taking applications for students, aged from 15 to 18, who are interested in an experience of a lifetime. Applications close on 27 February and forms can be collected from Council or downloaded hereRead More...

Regional cities demonstrate success of collaboration

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

In Formula One teams, you will often see intense racing amongst the lower placed teams as if they were duelling for the win. When quizzed after the race, a driver will tell the interviewer that the first car they need to beat is their teammate - and then they can worry about the rest of the field. In any family where siblings are relatively close in age, the same attitude often prevails. Sibling rivalry is a well-known condition that exists in many families. Read More...

New CEO series to help businesses in Dubbo

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Today is the first of the series of CEO talks that are being delivered to our community in partnership with the Dubbo Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) and the Taronga Western Plains Zoo. The idea started from a guest speaker I arranged last year. Through my previous IT career, I met Pip Marlow many years ago. Pip rose to the position of head of Microsoft Australia and I asked her to come to Dubbo and speak at a breakfast. The DCCI was only too happy to have Pip as a guest speaker and her talk was received very well. I thought if it was good enough for the CEO of Microsoft Australia, then possibly other CEOs would be interested. I proceeded to invite several CEOs from ASX200 companies and the DCCI now has 6 months of the CEO Series ready to help businesses in Dubbo. Read More...

Admissions from a Mayor who values Freedom of Speech

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Let me start off my first column of the New Year with two major admissions. Firstly, I support the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles. I have followed them since as far back as I can remember. My earliest memories were of Manly being an attractive and creative attacking team – and I probably was attracted to them winning matches and premierships in the 70s. Read More...

Dubbo pride swells post-Australia Day 2015

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

It is two days since our Australia Day celebrations and I still feel that there is a lingering pride throughout our City. While most of the face paint has been washed off I have still seen cars and houses with flags on them and people are still talking about the day. Our Australia Day celebrations were the best attended I have seen here in Dubbo with easily over 500 people in attendance. We had five very deserving award winners and 29 additional people are now walking our streets in thongs and eating Vegemite after becoming citizens on Monday. Thank you to our Australia Day Ambassador, Janine Perrett, who I am certain has now added hundreds of new viewers to her show, The Perrett Report (Monday to Thursday at 6.30pm on Sky News Business) and thanks to our staff who start their Australia Day public holiday by turning up at Victoria Park before 5am to start the preparations (in addition to their previous preparation work). Read More...

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