Council to focus on boosting economy and infrastructure in Wellington
Last Thursday, Councillors gave me a great honour by electing me to lead them and lead Dubbo Regional Council for the next 12 months.
I am very proud of the work this Council has done in its first two years, bringing together the former Dubbo City and Wellington Councils to create a new entity. This hasn’t been an easy task and I believe we will still see consequences of this for years to come but a lot of the hard work has been done.
Along with Deputy Mayor Stephen Lawrence, I will be working hard to ensure the next year is just as productive and the Wellington community can expect to see more happening.
There has been a focus on infrastructure, with major projects like the Wellington Pool, the Oxley Museum’s relocation to the Old Police Station site, a new Visitor’s Information Centre and the exciting new Wiradjuri Cultural Centre at Cameron Park all progressing.
These are just a few of the fantastic projects that have been undertaken and they will be fantastic assets for the community for years to come.
It is now important that the town also has an opportunity to experience an economic upturn as well. It is no secret that businesses have struggled, but initiatives such as the one from Wellington Business Chamber secretary Jess Gough to introduce a Buy Local campaign make a big difference.
Council staff have grabbed that concept and come up with the #BuyLocalorByeLocal Wellington campaign. This clever slogan really sums up the situation. The economic effects of the ongoing drought, competition from surrounding towns and the increased presence of online shopping has all taken a toll.
A three-month campaign to encourage people to shop local, increase awareness of what is available locally, and a competition to reward residents for shopping locally through a chance to win one of 10 $500 shop local Eftpos cards are fantastic initiatives.
It is difficult for Council to be able to directly influence the local economy but projects like this can help, and with support from residents it can make a real difference. I commend the Chamber for their role and look forward to working with them on other projects to help Wellington.
Another area that I want to see further improvement is the connection between Councillors and residents. There has previously been a belief that Wellington is represented by two Councillors at a table of 10. This is just not the case.
All 10 Councillors are there for the benefit of the entire region. I have gone to great lengths to familiarise myself with the Wellington side of the Council area since the merger and will continue to learn. I am in Wellington at least once a week and hold a Meet the Mayor event every month. I would like to see all Councillors making the effort to get to Wellington and the surrounding villages.
There is plenty of work to be done, but I am confident this Council will continue to make the right decisions to grow the great community of Wellington.
Last Edited: 17 Sep 2019