TIME FOR UNITY

FRONT-RUNNER: David Grant is likely to become a Dubbo Regional councillor, after receiving 30.13 per cent of first preference votes in the Wellington ward. Photo: BELINDA SOOLE

FRONT-RUNNER: David Grant is likely to become a Dubbo Regional councillor, after receiving 30.13 per cent of first preference votes in the Wellington ward. Photo: BELINDA SOOLE

Making sure Wellington, Dubbo and the villages complement each other will be key to the success of the new Dubbo Regional Council (DRC), David Grant said.

Mr Grant has emerged as the front runner to represent the Wellington ward on the first DRC.

As of 3pm on Tuesday Mr Grant was just 176 votes short of the progressive quota (1824 votes) needed to gain election.

Former Wellington mayor Anne Jones trailed him with 1237 votes (0.68 of the quota), with Adam Ryan third on 966 votes (0.53).

The final result will now come down to preferences.

Once the votes were finalised, Mr Grant said it would be time to do away with the “us and them” mentality and move forward as one council.

“Obviously that involves money being spent in Wellington as well as Dubbo,” Mr Grant said.

“Dubbo is our major centre so we've certainly got to ensure that it's continuing to prosper. Dubbo is certainly going to do better … if Wellington is doing well.

“We’re Dubbo Regional Council now, and we’ve got to work with that and make it work, ultimately.”

Wellington and the villages could offer an alternate lifestyle for people wanting to live in the region, he said, and also add to the region’s tourism offering.

“If [the villages] are doing well … attracting new people … even just getting people to stop in those villages spending money, they’re going to prosper,” Mr Grant said.

“People can stay in Dubbo and venture out to all the different areas in the region.”

Mr Grant said he would like to see Mr Ryan get over the line, but that he would work with whoever the Wellington ward chose.

“I have worked with Anne previously on the Wellington Council so I think I’ll be able to work with whoever it is … the results will tell.

“If we are against each other it’s certainly going to hurt Wellington so we need to be working together to ensure that we're getting our message across to the Dubbo-based councillors, to make sure that they understand … where we want to see Wellington and the surrounding villages in the years to come.”

While he was still waiting on the official results, Mr Grant wanted to thank those who had shown their support in the lead-up to the poll.

“I don't like to get ahead of myself, but it's a very good position I'm in at the moment,” he said.

“I'd like to say thank you for all of the support, messages and phone calls and everyone who voted for me and obviously helped throughout the campaign.”

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