Thankfully this is the last week you will hear me talk about formal submissions to our Delegate Dr Ian Tiley. Submissions close on Sunday 28 February at 5pm. I can’t stress it enough – it is essential that every man, woman and child sends in a submission to the Delegate. The odds are stacked against us but weight of numbers by the public is the only hope we have left to save Dubbo. There are a few key links you can access to help give you some final information. Firstly, the information you need to submit a submission to our Delegate is at tinyurl.com/DubbingtonSubmission where you can send a submission electronically or find out the address to post a submission to. If you want some ideas on the thoughts of Council in relation to the submission, you can view the full submission from Council at tinyurl.com/SubmissionByDCC noting that we are being open and transparent with the document we will be submitting. You can view my presentation at the Public Inquiry at tinyurl.com/DubbingtonPreso and lastly you can submit your simple Yes/No vote on the amalgamation at tinyurl.com/VoteNoDubbington with over 1,300 votes submitted so far.
Apart from the obvious long-term negative implications of the merger proposal, one of the most frustrating aspects is the uncertainty hanging over the heads of both Dubbo and Wellington Councils. There is nothing worse in life than uncertainty. I remember back to High School when I would work up the courage to ask a girl on a date. A “Yes” was fantastic. A “No” was devastating. But a “Maybe” was the worst possible answer I could receive. I didn’t know if I should be happy with anticipation of a positive answer or be sad with expectation of a negative response or, as I usually did, float between both emotions. The state of limbo – or the unknown – is the worst place to be.
After 2015 was generally accepted as the best year ever for Dubbo City Council since our gazettal as a Village in 1849, 2016 has started off with the scythe of uncertainty hanging over our heads. Major projects are uncertain, the future of our staff is unknown, and democracy is shaky. Many people are unaware that if a merger goes ahead, the date of proclamation may be as early as May this year. At that date, based on previous amalgamations, Councillor positions in Dubbo and Wellington would cease to exist and an administrator would be appointed by the State Government from May through to the next election, which is now expected to be in March 2017. That would be ten months that we would have a single person with all of the same powers as the current elected body of Council but without being answerable to the community. I urge you to make your voice heard. #NoDubbington
Councillor Mathew Dickerson
Mayor of the City of Dubbo