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.

Councillor Mathew Dickerson

Mayor of the City of Dubbo

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