Only Thing Worse Than a Pub With No Beer is a Hospital With No Doctors

As Councillor Vicki Etheridge says, you would have to be living under a rock if you don’t see the monumental progress that the Dubbo Region has been making in recent years.

She’s right. Big things are happening in our region. Last week’s revelations that we are now at just 1.4% unemployment as opposed to a whopping 7% unemployment nationwide shows the Dubbo Region is weathering the COVID-19 economic storm.

Wellington, part of Dubbo Regional Council has also been at the forefront of economic growth and a new wave of optimism. It was recently reported that the town has had a 26.1% increase in residential property prices. This amazing result in Wellington is a result of unprecedented reform and building within the town’s local government sector as well as new opportunities that Solar and Wind Farm projects have brought.

In my mind there is no arguing that Wellington is starting to bloom. There is new optimism, new businesses opening while tourism retail operators are all reporting significant growth. I honestly believe that Wellington hasn’t even begun to see its best days. The future of the town is monumental.

However, there is an issue that Wellington faces that is directly inhibiting the town’s further growth.

The lack of basic state government services in the town is, to be blunt, disgraceful.

Wellington has long gone without a 24-hour police station. This has been a sore point with the locals for more than a decade. The decline of policing in the town leaves Wellington in the situation of needing police services to come from Dubbo.

But that’s not the only decline in basic state government services in the town.

The fact that the Wellington Hospital is now operating with just one temporary doctor being forced to work seven days a week is not something that should be happening in a wealthy western country like Australia. It’s appalling.

It’s time the state government gets real about Wellington’s lack of services. This is literally a life and death matter. Having to wait for the arrival of police from Dubbo is simply not good enough. Likewise, reports of local residents walking out of Wellington Hospital in pain and needing to drive themselves to Dubbo Hospital is also not good enough.

Dubbo Region residents, which includes the town of Wellington, are taxpayers and citizens who are just as important as anyone in the city. To continually cut basic government services to country areas is as much short-sighted as it is mean.

Slim Dusty once sung “there's-a nothing so lonesome, morbid or drear - than to stand in the bar of a pub with no beer”.

Well, after all these years Slim has been proven wrong. There is indeed something more lonesome, definitely more morbid and far more drear than a pub with no beer - it’s a hospital without a doctor.

Last Edited: 04 Jan 2021

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