Dubbo and Wellington – you have your new council.
Sixteen months and two days after the controversial amalgamation between the two councils, a new 10-person group of civic leaders has been finalised.
A distribution of preferences across the five wards was conducted on Thursday, finalising the results of last Saturday’s election, pending any requests for a recount in any of the wards.
There were no major shocks as the distribution of preferences merely confirmed the election of those most have considered ‘across the line’ since late on election night.
John Ryan and Vicki Etheridge (Central Ward) were the first two confirmed councillors, followed by East Ward elects Dayne Gumley and Stephen Lawrence.
Later in the day Jane Diffey and Ben Shields were confirmed from North Ward, and Greg Mohr and Kevin Parker won their way through from South Ward.
David Grant and Anne Jones, both former Wellington councillors, won through from their ward.
Mr Ryan was the only candidate to front for the first two releases, which were done merely at the click of a mouse by returning officer Fiona Prentice.
With his spot on the new council locked in, he said he is keen to get to work for the community.
“We’ve got a few weeks to wait until we’re sworn in as councillors and then elect a mayor,” he said.
“I don’t know why that process takes so long, I think people just want to get on with the job.
“I think we need a strong emphasis on what council can do to create far more social inclusion in the community
“I think we’re sitting at a stage in history where Dubbo can really progress with different views and fresh blood. There’s a lot of people who haven’t been on council before and they want to make a difference.”