Budget has mayor's mind on money

Dubbo Regional Council mayor, Ben Shields.
Dubbo Regional Council mayor, Ben Shields.

It’s budget time. 

With the Federal Budget being released, state budget coming up and Dubbo Region’s own budget being released the talk around council is - money!

We have a number of challenges in Wellington that need attention from our colleagues in the state and federal government.  

Firstly our rural roads. It seems that it is a continual battle for rural road funding. 

The ongoing saga is frustrating for council. 

The thing with rural roads that higher levels of government need to understand is that while they cost a lot to build and maintain, the economic benefits of having soundly maintained and sealed roads is hardly ever measured. 

When communities, farms and villages are connected it leads to an up-swirl of growth and activity. 

In the Dubbo Region we have over 1500kms of rural roads that are not sealed. 

It’s an alarming statistic that needs attention.

We also have the significant issue of river erosion. 

The Wellington community is aware of the urgent action that is needed to solve the Bell River situation where erosion is threatening the Duke of Wellington Bridge. 

The work required to fix the erosion and stabilise the bank is going to require significant state and federal investment.

We also have the situation where Mumbil and Stuart Town have very poor water supplies. 

The notion that we have villages of this size without proper water supplies in the 21st century is frankly, disgraceful. 

It is very hard to encourage growth in these villages without proper water. 

I will certainly need state government assistance in this regard.

Other areas in need of urgent funding include our museum. 

We are all well aware that the John Oxley Museum is a real gem for the Wellington community. 

It needs urgent funding to be able to continue to provide this fantastic reference facility.

I congratulate Andrew Gee on the recent installation of a mobile phone tower at Mumbil, but that’s only one of many new mobile towers needed across our region. 

Funding for these new towers is essential in this day and age, not just for basic communities but for business and even emergency services. 

The reality is I could take an entire edition of the I listing the projects that the community need. 

One thing is certain, we need more money!