Councillor Stephen Lawrence elected as deputy mayor of Dubbo Regional Council.

ELECTED: Councillor Stephen Lawrence has replaced Anne Jones as deputy mayor of Dubbo Regional Council. Photo: BELINDA SOOLE
ELECTED: Councillor Stephen Lawrence has replaced Anne Jones as deputy mayor of Dubbo Regional Council. Photo: BELINDA SOOLE

The 'us and them' divide between Dubbo and Wellington councillors needs to be forgotten, says Dubbo Regional mayor Ben Shields.

On Thursday night, councillor Anne Jones lost the position of deputy mayor to Stephen Lawrence.

Cr Jones is from one of the two Wellington wards, while Cr Lawrence was in a Dubbo ward.

However, Cr Shields said that's not how people should be looking at the council.

"I encourage the community on both sides to get over the 'us and them', we've got to work together as one team. We're in the Dubbo region. We're not Dubbo City, we're not Wellington Shire now, we're one team," he said.


The mayor said he encouraged all councillors to spend time in Wellington, just as he encouraged the councillors to spend time in Dubbo.

"The reality is the amalgamation is here and it's not going to go away, we need to stick to it and we need to try and make it as best as possible," Cr Shields said.

Councillors Vicki Etheridge, Greg Mohr, Dayne Gumley, John Ryan and Ben Shields all voted in favour of the new deputy, as well as Cr Lawrence himself.

Cr Lawrence said he was honoured to be elected.

He said the position carried with it a somewhat higher profile and he would have more opportunities to advocate on important issues.

"I think people know pretty well the issues that are dear to my heart in terms of crime reduction and attacking social disadvantage. But the most important role of local government is the effective and efficient delivery of services and that often entails making sure we get out fair share from other levels of government," Cr Lawrence said.

Despite being at opposite ends of the political spectrum - Cr Shields is Liberal while Cr Lawrence is Labor - both agree they'll work well together.

"It's a somewhat ironic situation in that we're two people who don't agree on a lot but actually work together very well. It's ironic but I think we understand each other. I'm confident we'll work together very effectively," Cr Lawrence said.

Cr Shields said in many areas they were polar opposites but they would keep each other in line.

"I'm very pleased to have him on board, I think it's a good outcome," he said.

The positions will be held until the 2020 council elections.

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