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Home › Mayoral Minutes

Mayoral Minutes

Hard to stay positive while the merger cloud looms

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

While the year has started off positively for Dubbo with businesses generally recording good Christmas sales numbers and events and projects for this year starting to roll out already, it is hard to think about long-term strategies and positive progress for Dubbo at the moment with the threat of a merger hanging over our heads.
I encourage everyone to read the Merger Proposal document on the State Government Web site at www.councilboundaryreview.nsw.gov.au so you can gain more information on the proposal. I must admit to being incredibly disappointed with the quality of the document in my readings so far. The more I read the more inaccuracies I pick up. If one of my children was handing this in for a high school assignment I would be disappointed with the lack of attention to detail and just the plain inaccuracies in the document. Given that this will be the most important process in Dubbo’s history since our amalgamation with Talbragar Shire Council on 1 April 1980, I was hoping for a document of accurate and unbiased information to allow the people in our community to have a fair say on the proposal.
We are sending off information to the State Government highlighting some of the mistakes in the document in the hope they will be corrected and a new copy placed on the Web site. To give you but a few examples, on Page 10 a table lists the number of dwellings in Wellington as 15,934. Anyone familiar with the area would know this is more than their total population! It is an amateur copy and paste error as that is the number of dwellings in Dubbo. On Page 7 the number of residents are listed in Dubbo and Wellington as 41,573 and 8,951 with the new combined population cited as 50,627. A ten-year-old could tell you that those numbers add up to 50,524. Only a basic error I admit but it points to the level of accuracy in the document. In fact, the Government is not even clear on the population of Wellington. On Page 7 the population is 8,951 and on Page 11 the population is listed in a table as 9,054. It becomes much worse when you start looking at philosophical errors. I quote from the document: “These communities [Dubbo and Wellington] have a common heritage in both agriculture and mining.” In my opinion, after “four years of extensive consultation, research and analysis” as quoted in the document, I would have hoped that someone would have worked out neither Wellington nor Dubbo have any mines (yet) and Dubbo only employs 2.8 per cent of our employees in agriculture compared to Wellington’s 21.7 per cent.
For Dubbo ratepayers though, they should be most worried by the statement on Page 8. “The two councils are projecting divergent operating performance over the next 10 years. Dubbo City Council forecasts that its negative operating ratio will improve as it brings in more revenue than it spends, while Wellington Council projects that its expenses will grow faster than income over the same period.”
I would strongly encourage you to have a say – the submission form is open now at www.councilboundaryreview.nsw.gov.au and it is very easy to send in your submission. People power will hopefully win the day in this scenario.
On the positive side, we have the solid backing of our local Member and the Deputy Premier, Troy Grant. I have often said that it is fantastic having the Deputy Premier as the local Member and Troy does an excellent job undertaking both roles. At our time of need when we need someone sitting at the table with our best interests at heart, it is comforting to know he is backing Dubbo to stay as a standalone Council. #NoDubbington
Councillor Mathew Dickerson
Mayor of the City of Dubbo 

The 5 things it takes to be a successful leader - and intelligence isn't one of them!

Friday, January 08, 2016

Largest grant ever received by Council to propel Dubbo growth

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

In the history of Dubbo City Council, the four largest grants ever received from any level of government have occurred over the last five years.  Read More...

Giving our youth the keys to happiness is easier said than done

Friday, November 06, 2015


From the Outback to the big smoke, Dubbo on my mind.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

After being on the bike last week with the Tour de OROC, I have spent the first two days this week at the annual LGNSW conference. It will be good to spend a few days in Dubbo for the rest of this week. The annual local government conference is essential for Councillors to share ideas and stay up to date with what is happening in our sector. With the largest ever reform of local government currently being undertaken, it is more important than ever to look over our fence and see what is happening in the wider world. There is no doubt that the State Government wants to engage with the sector and many State representatives were in attendance. On Monday we heard from the Premier of NSW, the Hon Mike Baird MP, and then yesterday we had a smorgasbord of politicians including the Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight, the Hon Duncan Gay MLC; the Minister for Local Government, the Hon Paul Toole MP; the Shadow Minister for Local Government, the Hon Peter Primrose MLC and many more. Not only did we have a chance to hear from our State representatives but they had a chance to hear from us – both as a collective and individually. The conference also gave Councillors the opportunity to talk to Councillors from other areas and see how they are solving similar problems.
I have had a chance to catch up with Gilgandra Council while at the conference and we discussed the re-enactment of the Coo-ee March. The March will be passing through Dubbo next Tuesday and I encourage all of our residents to cheer on the participants in the March. It is a huge undertaking with the March starting this Saturday in Gilgandra and ending in Sydney on 11 November – one of many events occurring in this Anzac centenary year.
I will have the honour of welcoming the next group of University of Sydney School of Rural Health students to Dubbo this week. The students we had this year embraced Dubbo and I believe our residents embraced them. They all spoke of the positive experiences they had in Dubbo – with many seeing their year in Dubbo as altering their direction in life. Please keep an eye out for these students and make them feel at home in our city this year.
Don’t forget that Dubbo Day nominations close on 28 October. There are many worthy people making a difference in our community – make sure you nominate someone you know who is contributing to our wonderful city. Read More...

Robbie McEwen joins Tour de Oroc

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

As you read this, I will be well on my way to Bourke having stayed at Cobar last night. There is nothing particularly unusual about that – many people travel the Kidman Way each day. The major difference is that I will be doing this on a bicycle in 38°C heat with an 8km/h headwind with a group of people raising money for the Macquarie Homestay. We are currently on day three of the Toyota Tour de OROC with the next two days the toughest with back to back 230+km days ahead of us. The highlight so far has been day one with the addition of Robbie McEwen to our peloton. Robbie sits in the same stratosphere as Cadel Evans in Australia’s cycling world yet he impressed everyone with his down-to-earth attitude and interesting stories from his days of success in the Tour de France. Keep an eye on the Tour de OROC Facebook page for regular updates. Read More...

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