In March 2016, Expressions of Interest were invited by Councillors who wanted to be a part of any Council going forward. I completed the form and sent in my application including the written information below:
I have been representing the views of my community since 2004 as a Councillor and since 2011 as Mayor and, as such, I have been against a Dubbo/Wellington amalgamation as ~80% of my community has been against the amalgamation. My first desire is still to see no amalgamation occur and honour the wishes of the vast majority of my community. There has been no evidence presented that definitively shows that Dubbo’s residents will benefit from an amalgamation and some to suggest it will be detrimental for Dubbo.
Even though that is my current stance, there is one thing that could be worse than an amalgamation. That is the state of limbo that Council currently finds itself in.
With that in mind, if a decision is made to amalgamate, there is no point crying over spilt milk and holding onto a non-amalgamated scenario. The best thing that I could do would be to embrace the change and be part of the moulding of a new Council.
As Mayor, there have been times when a Council vote has gone against my personal view of what an outcome should be but, as the elected spokesperson for Council, I have had to speak positively about the Council decision ignoring my personal belief.
This situation would be similar.
If an amalgamation occurs, I would prefer to be a part of the process to form a new organisation that will be as successful as possible. In my opinion, the best situation would be to leave the existing eleven Councillors as a group of Councillors to see the Council through to the March election but I accept there are many other possible scenarios.
My extensive business career has seen me create six organisations from the ground up and my largest organisation involved me creating branches in Orange and Bathurst with remote employees working as part of the overall team. These organisations won multiple international and national awards in addition to local awards. When my main organisation was bought by an ASX-listed company I was tasked with creating and chairing an Advisory Board to help merge my smaller organisation into the larger ASX-listed company and ensure a smooth transition.
My business skills have been refined and honed since I started my first business in 1980 and continue to be honed today. In addition to these business skills, I spent two years as Chairman of the Dubbo City Development Corporation before being elected to Council in 2004. By 2005 I was elected to the position of Deputy Mayor and in 2011, after selling my major business in 2010, I was elected Mayor.
I am always committed and loyal to any organisation I am involved with and my track record shows that I make decisions for the best long-term benefit of the community. I have worked well with Government and Dubbo has been the benefit of my positive promotion over the last five years.
Should an amalgamation occur, I would welcome the opportunity to be a part of the solution.