It has been a busy week or two for discussions with politicians of all persuasions at both levels of Government. The highly successful Community Leaders’ Breakfast was held on Saturday morning. We had seven Councillors present along with senior Council staff and our State and Federal representatives in the Hon. Troy Grant MP and Mark Coulton MP respectively. We started these functions shortly after I became Mayor in 2011 and they are still being well attended with over sixty people visiting us on Saturday. I continually hear comments back from our community that they appreciate the accessibility of their elected representatives and we cannot find anywhere else in the nation that has all three levels of government standing together in public on a regular basis.
After the breakfast on Saturday Councillors also met with the Hon. Peter Primrose MLC to see if there is any other avenue we haven’t explored to try and prevent an amalgamation between Dubbo and Wellington. We have spoken to members of the CDP; ALP; Nationals and Liberals to leave no stone unturned in our desire to reflect the views of the community and stay as a standalone Council. We still need your support though and I would encourage everyone to talk to our State Member – or in fact any members of the State Government – to let them know your thoughts on amalgamation. The State Government has continually said that a decision will be made by “around the middle of 2016” which means that we are close to a decision being made. Make sure your voice is not one in the silent majority.
This week I was in Canberra for some meetings with several departments and politicians from our Federal Government. With the first two of seven NBN areas in Dubbo due to be turned on two weeks from today, I was keen to see where the opposition stood on the NBN and I wanted to know if work would continue on in places such as Dubbo that were well progressed. I met with Jason Clare MP and despite no official opposition policy in place yet, I feel confident that Dubbo will be completed even if there is a change in government. Whilst in Canberra, I also met with the Hon. Angus Taylor MP to discuss where Dubbo – and other regional capitals – fit within his cities portfolio. There is no distinct policy framework wrapped around this yet but I was certainly heartened by what the Minister had to say.
On Anzac Day last year we had record numbers. I look forward to a similarly large number of people being in attendance on Monday.
Councillor Mathew Dickerson
Mayor of the City of Dubbo