About time city saw action at former RAAF Base

Work is underway at the former RAAF Base on Cobra Street and all I can say is ‘It’s about time’.

Like most Dubbo residents, I have been frustrated that there was such an eyesore in such a prominent location in the city. The site has such potential, from the iconic igloos to the hugely-underrated Rabaul Building, which has such a history behind it.

For years the developers Andorra Developments have been working with everyone from Council to the NSW Government to be able to make progress. They saw the tremendous potential but have had to work hard to get it started.

From a local government perspective it took way too long. This issue faced four Councils, four Mayors and an administrator, and had been around for more than 15 years before a resolution was able to be found. I am proud that it was our Council that was able to break the stalemate and ensure the project moves forward.

There were further hurdles with the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage but the final approval was given recently, allowing work to start.

Already the site looks so much better, with the scrub that had built up in the years since the base was last utilised being cleared away. I know every time I drive past I am looking to see what new thing is happening and it will be like that for some time to come.

From the residential spaces, tourism developments and the commercial opportunities that exist through the World War II-era storage buildings, this is going to be a game-changing project that will enhance our region.

Instead of being an embarrassment as people come into our city from the east, in the coming years there will be a state-of-the-art development that most towns and cities would kill for.

This is the sort of development that Dubbo should be encouraging, not driving away. It is even more critical as we look to recover as quickly as possible from the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic that we show that as a region we are open for business.

Actions like getting the development at the RAAF Base off the ground show we are serious.

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The pandemic caused plenty of disruption of everyone, including me, as we had to change the way we operated.

Now that things are starting to get back to a new normal, I will be resuming some of my catch-up opportunities.

Every Wednesday I will be in Wellington. Until further notice I will be at Jespresso on a Wednesday between 9am and 11am. I will also be back visiting villages.

Upcoming visits include the Drover’s Dog Tavern at Eumungerie on Wednesday, July 15, the Ploughman’s Rest at Wongarbon on Thursday, July 16, the Hair of the Dog Inn at Ballimore on Tuesday, July 21 and the Burrendong Inn at Mumbil on July 22. All of these take place between 4pm and 7pm so come along.

I also want to remind everyone that they can also contact me via mayor@dubbo.nsw.gov.au and I am available for meetings for those who can’t make it to my regular visits.

Last Edited: 07 Aug 2020

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