Dubbo councillor's against group's calls to have mayor resign

Councillors Greg Mohr and Ben Shields. Photo: BELINDA SOOLE
Councillors Greg Mohr and Ben Shields. Photo: BELINDA SOOLE

Dubbo Regional councillors are against a group's calls asking for mayor Ben Shields to resign after they held a community meeting in Wellington last week.

The group, who call themselves the 'Concerned Citizens of Wellington' discussed issues they felt were detrimental to the community at a meeting held at the Wellington Soldiers Club on November 19.

There were four main points discussed at the meeting with the first being that council stop the work concerning the planting of trees in the CBD area adjacent to the Cameron Park amenities block.

The second was that a demand in writing be made to Cr Shields to resign without further notice and also that a letter be sent to DRC informing them that the group has no confidence in the actions of DRC CEO Michael McMahon.

The final point was that letters be sent to Minister for Local Government Shelley Hancock and Dubbo MP Dugald Saunders requesting an administrator be appointed to manage DRC.

The matter was discussed at council's meeting on November 25.

Cr Greg Mohr said he "deplored" the Wellington meeting and that council would not be bullied into the mayor and CEO resigning because people don't get their own way.

"They are only the minority in Wellington the majority of Wellington have nothing but congratulations for this council," he said.

Cr Mohr said he was told the meeting was attended by approximately 60 people, with 30 of those travelling from Dubbo.

"And I find it extremely disappointing that people from Dubbo especially people that are in the radio community that have to go over and cause trouble," he said.

"They know full well that the door is open, they know full well what our telephone numbers are but not one of them have rung us."

Cr Mohr said there was not one formal complaint or submission made about the trees in the main street. Cr Vicki Ethridge echoed Cr Mohr's comments regarding the meeting in Wellington, adding that they were totally out of order, totally ill informed and of the minority.

"I will strongly defend this council. We're a great team around this table and we do what we can for the better of this community and we do it as a team," she said.

Cr Dane Gumley said there was a small, hardcore group of detractors in the community.

"They chose for whatever reason to occupy a room in Wellington together, bouncing off one another no doubt and slapping each other on the back," he said.

"I'm pretty sure that the contact details of each and every councillor are publicly available to those people. But of course they're not happy to engage directly with councillor's they'd prefer simply to have their meeting behind closed doors, reaffirm their friends positions on this council and then have media releases with their various conclusions.

"We know the truth, we know the silent majority out there in the community are just getting on with it and they can see the positive things that the council staff and the councillors in this council are doing for our LGA and they know in their hearts, the majority, of our community members that this council is positive."