As a city, we start the New Year in fantastic shape. Last year – by a number of measures – was generally regarded as the best year ever for Dubbo and Dubbo City Council. We therefore start this year in a very strong position with a number of significant projects underway.

We have a number of capital projects that will come to fruition this year. One of Dubbo’s Villages, Eumungerie, will have running water connected for the first time this year. This is a significant and costly project but, for those of us that already enjoy the convenience of potable water literally at our fingertips, we know it will make a major difference to the residents of Eumungerie. The South Dubbo Weir Rock Ramp and Fishway will be completed this year. This is both a safety improvement for our residents and an ecological advance for the native fish in our river. The Tracker-Riley Cycleway is being further extended along the river so many of our walkers and riders will see this work progress – from the safety of the riverbank.

The Dubbo Regional Livestock Markets has combined throughput numbers that are the best in the nation and, after upgrading the sheep side of the facility last year we will be using a Federal Government grant to upgrade the cattle-selling component this year. This is to help us stay as the number one markets in Australia and continue the ongoing economic injection into our economy.

The Darling Street redevelopment and a refurbishment of the library are two further projects that will be completed this year and the organics bin trial will help form the final decision for the shape of household waste collection in Dubbo.

Dubbo has gained a fantastic reputation over several years as a master host of significant events and this year will see further major events in our city. This month will see the State Cricket Challenge hosted in our city and in July we will have the Australian Junior Indoor Cricket Championships. In March the NSW Little Athletics State Multi Event will see one thousand competitors utilising the international standard facility at DCL Park. Then in October we will see over one thousand people attracted to the region for an extended stay as part of Dubbo hosting Artlands 2016.

We will continue to develop the strong housing market in Dubbo; generate more activity in the CBD; further enhance our airport infrastructure and services and work with the State Government to deliver on the election promise of the duplication of the LH Ford Bridge. By any measure, it should be a productive and successful year. I say should because I am ignoring for the moment the cloud of uncertainty that the Dubbington amalgamation proposal presents. There are many questions left unanswered with this proposal but after speaking with the Deputy Premier who is backing Dubbo to remain as a standalone Council, I am confident we can retain our current LGA size and deliver another outstanding year for Dubbo residents.

Councillor Mathew Dickerson

Mayor of the City of Dubbo

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