The Romans are generally recognised as pioneers in ancient plumbing systems. The Roman Empire can lay claim to many advances in society but it is generally recognised that the most significant contribution to our modern society was in relation to sanitation and the aqueducts. The interlinked sewage system was a complex feat of engineering – especially considering we are talking circa 500 BC. Of course, the engineering stopped short of treating the sewage as it would typically dump the contents into the nearest river, usually the Tiber.

In two and a half thousand years we have come a long way. Yesterday I had the opportunity to officially open the Dubbo Sewage Treatment Plant augmentation. At $23.5 million, it is the largest expenditure by Dubbo City Council on a single project. This is not a facility that engenders the same passion as, say, the Dubbo Regional Theatre and Convention Centre or Caltex Park or the Western Plains Cultural Centre but in terms of Dubbo infrastructure, it is absolutely essential. With the ability to receive sewage at the rate of 350 litres every second and with the total volume held by the bioreactors and clarifiers at 27,500 cubic metres, this plant could accommodate a Dubbo population of over 55,000 and it forms part of our long-term planning for growth in this city. It is one of many hidden and silent pieces of infrastructure that sit in the background but are essential to the future growth of our city.

Another important piece of infrastructure will be fully utilised this weekend. If you have the chance, visit DCL Park where the Little Athletics State Multi-Event carnival will be held for this year. With over 500 athletes competing in the multi-discipline format, the event will again test out the ability of our arena to accommodate large events. I am certain it will come through with flying colours. Apart from the economic injection of 500 children along with parents, siblings and friends, an event of this nature also exposes our city to a range of people that may not have visited Dubbo recently – or at all. We can measure the economic injection of this event but the constant exposure of our city is priceless.

We held another teleconference this week with the Mountain Bike Clubs from the Evocities to put the final finishing touches on the 2016 Evocities MTB Series. The first race is in Bathurst on 17 April and the last of the seven races will be in Orange on 27 November. We still have some sponsorship spots available so contact me if you wish to know more.

Councillor Mathew Dickerson

Mayor of the City of Dubbo

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