Former Wellington councillor David Grant has strongly disputed comments by a previous resident Max Menzies calling them “an attack at the heart of our beautiful community”.
Mr Grant agreed the town could do with a face-lift, but he disputed Mr Menzies’ comparison of the town with parts of South Africa.
Mr Menzies, a former lawyer in the town, sent a letter to the NSW Premier, Dubbo MP Troy Grant, Dubbo Regional Council (DRC) Administrator Michael Kneipp and the Wellington Times criticising the appearance of the town and calling for action.
Many residents supported some of Mr Menzies’ views in posts to Facebook. Others rejected his comments.
Mr Grant sent a letter of response to Mr Menzies to the Wellington Times.
“We would benefit from the addition of more business in our town, which is happening, but to compare Wellington to poor areas of South Africa is a huge exaggeration and one made by someone who is only looking at the appearance of a place and not the spirit of a town,” he said.
Mr Grant said it is unfortunate Mr Menzies isn’t aware of all the projects and programs that are being done to boost tourism and economic development and to fight crime in the community.
“There are a lot of good people in Wellington who are working hard to make it a better place, and it is only a matter of time before Wellington starts taking some big leaps forward. We may never fill all the shops in the main street, but that doesn’t mean our town is dying,” he said.
Mr Kneipp said since the amalgamation of Wellington and Dubbo councils nearly a year ago, there has been a significant level of activity delivered to the Wellington community by the DRC with a view to the town growing and prospering.
“Many of these initiatives have been undertaken in collaboration with the local business community to support the economic growth of Wellington,” he said.
Mr Kneipp said the Wellington Caves was featured heavily in a $25,000 TV and digital campaign titled "Great Western Plains. Great Big Adventures" and were also promoted in trains across Brisbane and Melbourne, to promote the one-hour Jetgo flight to the region.
He also said $27,770 has been provided to 12 Wellington-based events to assist in their delivery and development and a high level of council staff support has been provided to 16 Wellington-based events.
Mr Kneipp has sent a response to Mr Menzies. Mr Troy Grant’s office was also drafting a response.
Mr Grant’s letter: page 4.