There is no doubt we find ourselves in strange times with the Covid-19 (Corona) virus creating so much uncertainty.
While there is still no case reported in Dubbo, it is important that everybody continue to play their part to prevent an outbreak.
You can rest assured your Council is doing everything it can to protect the community and is constantly communicating with the state and federal governments to stay up to date.
The health of residents and staff is the number one priority, along with ensuring the continuation of critical services if and when the pandemic does reach Dubbo.
With a complete shutdown of non-essential services now ordered for NSW, there is a lot of work going into establishing how our region will operate in the coming days and weeks.
From a Council perspective, it is critical that there is no interruption to water and sewer provision, along with garbage collection and ranger services.
These operations must continue regardless of the virus and staff are working hard to ensure this will happen.
Council will close the Macquarie Regional Library branches at Dubbo and Wellington, the Wellington Caves, Old Dubbo Gaol, all aquatic leisure centres and the Western Plains Cultural Centre.
Communication is the key and Council will continue to get its message out via our website, Facebook and through the local media to ensure everyone know what is going on.
Unfortunately I have had to discontinue my Meet the Mayor and Ask the Mayor opportunities as part of Council policy but I would still encourage anyone who has an issue to contact me via my email address, email@example.com or through my Facebook page.
There are some important things everyone can do during this time to minimise the impact of this virus and to ensure life remains as normal as possible.
The most important one is if you exhibit any symptoms of cold or flu, please self-isolate and keep contact with others to an absolute minimum.
This should be standard practise anyway but it is even more important at the present time. If you exhibit symptoms in line with Covid-19, phone your GP and follow their instructions.
It was exciting to be part of the Citizenship Ceremony at Wellington last week with four residents becoming the latest Australian citizens.
Unfortunately because of the precautions surrounding Covid-19 not as many people were able to attend as we would have liked but it was still a special moment and one our new citizens will remember.
We had one new citizen at the Australia Day ceremony, who was the first since the merger of Wellington and Dubbo City Councils, and now another four.
With all of the great work that is going on in Wellington, I hope more people will be encouraged to follow and we may also get more migrants moving to the town in the future.