I hope everyone enjoyed the Easter break and caught up with family and friends. I would assume that, like myself, most people ate way too much chocolate. The good news is that the next component of our Tracker Riley cycleway was finished just before Easter and I have already had fantastic feedback from many people that have taken advantage of it. This section is 2.65km long but doesn’t add 2.65km to the 12.6km full loop. Rather it replaces a section of the loop that goes up Tamworth Street and along Macquarie Street. There are two major advantages of this. Firstly, it removes people from a section of the track where the interaction with cars is a lot closer than we would like. Secondly, it brings people beside the river for a longer section of the loop. One of our greatest assets is this cycleway and more people are using it every day. This particular extension was funded from three different areas and is a good example of community participation. The majority of the funding ($121,000) came from Council where we used Section 94 funds which are contributions from developers for open space. We then secured $20,000 from the State Government and, even though it was the smallest amount, I believe it was significant that the Titan Macquarie Mud Run contributed $13,000 from their excellent event to the project. It is worth mentioning that this event draws a significant number of people to Dubbo and, as if that isn’t enough, they then make a financial contribution back to our community assets.

Some of the people that I am sure are using this community asset are the 16 residents who will become Aussies this Friday. Approximately every two months we have a citizenship ceremony (with the largest being on Australia Day) and it is a real thrill to be a part of the process in these residents being officially declared Aussies. The ceremony is open to the public and I would encourage everyone to attend. All the new Aussies – as well as the existing Aussies – feel a real buzz as these people commit themselves to Australia and its people. It is a huge decision to leave your country of birth and officially declare another country as your home. Even more to the point, these people have not just chosen Australia but, from the thousands of locations in Australia, they have chosen this city to live in.

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

Councillor Mathew Dickerson

Mayor of the City of Dubbo

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