I had the opportunity to speak to 56 University of Sydney medical students on Monday this week. They were in Dubbo as part of the School of Rural Health Discovery Bus Tour and 16 students from the group will be in Dubbo next year and a different 16 the following year as they move into Year 3 and Year 4 of their medical degrees. They were certainly impressed by what Dubbo had to offer and there is no doubt that educating doctors in regional areas results in more doctors living in regional areas.

The diversity in Dubbo’s population continues to grow with our students and different employment sectors and we will soon start to see another employment sector start to grow in Dubbo. With the recent announcement that the final approval has been given for the Alkane Rare Earths mine at Toongi, after some final funding arrangements are put in place, we will see construction work commence at Toongi. With this we will see more employees and contractors in Dubbo which will further boost our economy. The timing should be perfect as many NBN contractors in Dubbo will be finished their work by around the August timeframe and, just as they move out, it may not be too long before another group starts to move in.

We had our Council committee meetings on Monday night and our March Council meetings are delayed by one day to accommodate the Easter break so they will be held next Tuesday night. I encourage everyone to attend and watch Council at work. I have said it many times – this Council is an impressive Council. Just like a well-oiled sporting team, Councillors don’t agree on every item and Councillors are not necessarily best friends with each other but, as a group, there is respect and debate is healthy not personal. Different points of view are brought forward and good decisions are made. I think it would make interesting viewing for anyone to see at least once in this term of Council.

The Evocities MTB Series for 2016 is less than four weeks away. If you are interested in sponsorship opportunities, don’t hesitate to contact me as there are only a few spots left.

I hope you have a wonderful Easter with family and friends and, unlike a former Deputy Mayor of Dubbo, I love my chocolate Easter Eggs. Chocolate of course contains theobromine and that name is from the Greek roots theo (God) and broma (food) so if you draw a long bow that means that chocolate is the food of the Gods! That may well be the case, but I am not convinced that the Gods needed to keep an eye on their BMI so I will be mixing in some exercise with my chocolate gorging over the weekend.

Councillor Mathew Dickerson

Mayor of the City of Dubbo

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