Dubbo Region Survived The Test Of Droughts, Fires And COVID In 2020

By looking at Dubbo from a distance, you could be forgiven if at the start of the year you thought our Region was about to get an economic flogging.

With the worst drought in history, and then being hit with the biggest global pandemic since the 1919 Spanish Flu, there would have been a lot of people who didn’t see much hope in the months ahead.

But predictions of doom and gloom wasn’t to be.

When Covid-19 first hit Australia, Dubbo residents heeded Council’s call to back our local retailers and hospitality providers.  The novel plan for us to all assist our hospitality industry by buying takeaway had a significant impact on a lot of our restaurants and cafes.  Then Council and the business community came together to form an economic taskforce.  At Council we moved to introduce NSW’s most powerful Council local purchasing policy.  This policy is designed for Council to lead by example when it comes to the importance of buying local.

Council than commenced an unprecedented state marketing campaign.  The Dubbo Region’s tourist attractions and retailers were splashed across various media outlets all promoting our story and how we are open for business.

That’s when the growth figures started to come in.  While it is true that all of regional NSW have had an uplift in tourism and retail because of Covid-19, it should be noted that no other regional city has had this much growth and development.

Our building industry is struggling to keep up with the demand for housing.  In fact 59 housing lots were sold at Council’s Keswick Estate in just 2 months.  Other land developers right across our council region are also reporting strong sales results.

Our tourist facilities which includes Taronga Western Plains Zoo, Old Dubbo Gaol and the new RFDS Visitor Experience are all reporting best ever visitation.   Our accommodation providers are always nearly booked out.

The best set of figures I have seen for Dubbo is that we are leading NSW with the lowest unemployment rate.  At just 1.4% we are the envy of the nation.  In fact our businesses and employers are reporting a much different problem. They can’t get enough workers!  It’s even been reported that Wellington has had a 26.1% growth in housing prices in just 12 months - the highest growth in Australia!

Our region’s success isn’t because we ignored the necessary health measures that were required for the pandemic.  Dubbo Regional Council actually won an award for its swift and decisive action for the pandemic.

We are successful because of Dubbo’s new open for business attitude and it’s starting to show results.  Whether it’s finally approving developments like at the old RAAF Base, building new sporting facilities or even promoting our fantastic retailing environment, I believe the Dubbo Region is the most resilient in Australia because of community led decisive action.

The aim for next year is to continue our momentum.  With multiple projects that are either in the pipeline or about to be announced, the Dubbo Region is bound to continue our record growth while keeping our unemployment levels low.

Bring on 2021!

Last Edited: 05 Jan 2021

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