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Home › Mayoral Minutes

Mayoral Minutes

International-standard centre upgrade and championship-qualifying athletes double - coincidence?

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

I was recently asked if the upgraded facility at Barden Park would make any difference to our local athletes. There are so many positives from this international standard track that it is difficult to know where to start but one statistic jumped out at me immediately. The new facility was only opened on 29 November last year which was well and truly into the current Little Athletics season. For athletes to qualify for State Championships they must qualify via Zone Championships and then Regional Championships. The pinnacle for Little Athletes across the State is to make it to State Championships which are held at Sydney Olympic Park on the second last weekend in March each year. This weekend is the 2015 version of the State Championships and Dubbo has 24 athletes that have qualified for State Championships. Anecdotally, this is double the number of athletes that sometimes qualify and the highest number that anyone involved with local athletics can remember ever qualifying. Read More...

Horror night, Inland Forum, Senior Citizens make for a busy week

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

If you are superstitious and believe in ‘bad luck’ then this isn’t a great time for you. It is rare to have consecutive months with a Friday falling on the 13th. The first Friday the 13th needs to be in February and the year needs to be a non-leap year. This year sees just such an occurrence – which we won’t see again until the year 2026. To cater to those people who take note of such days, the Old Dubbo Gaol is holding a horror night this Friday with a showing of the movie, The Conjuring. With eight men executed from 1877 to 1905 and some believed to be buried on the grounds, there are many who are convinced that their ghosts wander the cells of the prison. This is not a night for the faint-hearted but if you feel up to the challenge, we welcome you to our scary movie night. Read More...

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.

 Read More...

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...


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