I participated in a Council workshop on Monday night to discuss Evocities and a range of issues related to Fit for the Future. That doesn’t seem like that big a deal – Council holds a variety of workshops on various issues on an ongoing basis. The one aspect of this workshop that was dramatically different was the fact that this workshop was being held in Armidale with the Councillors of Armidale Dumaresq Council. When the new Evocities MOU was sent to all seven Evocities Councils earlier in the year, most of the Councils signed up for the four year term of the MOU. Armidale Dumaresq were not totally satisfied with some aspects of the program so they agreed to sign the MOU for one year only and then hold a workshop to further discuss Evocities. The Mayor of Armidale Dumaresq asked me to attend that workshop and give the Councillors more information on Evocities to help them make an informed decision. I was happy to do that – and in the course of our discussions, the Councillors asked me questions from a variety of areas of Council. Evocities and Fit for the Future and amalgamations and the list goes on. This isn’t to say that Dubbo is necessarily dealing with Council issues dramatically better than Armidale Dumaresq but it is always a learning experience to hear how someone else is dealing with a similar problem. It also confirmed that Dubbo is definitely seen as a thought leader with regional Councils.

At the end of the discussion I was bold enough to ask which Councillor was going to move a motion at the next Council meeting to support the MOU for a four-year period. A Councillor volunteered and the support in the room seemed unanimous.

Whilst in Armidale, I also took the opportunity to meet with the NEMTB Club in relation to the Evocities MTB Series. For a number of reasons, the Armidale leg of the series this year was held in Western Sydney but the Club was very keen to see a round held in Armidale next year. The success of the series this year is seeing people move mountains to be a part of the series next year. The last race in the series is this Sunday in Wagga and we will be having a teleconference with all of the Clubs on Monday to make a decision on next year.

This Friday will see the annual State of the City report. It is being held at 12.15pm in the Ground Floor Conference Room at Council. This is a chance for Council to reflect on what has occurred over the last financial year and give some data and statistics to give a snapshot of our progress. I encourage as many as possible to attend.

Councillor Mathew Dickerson

Mayor of the City of Dubbo

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