The two-year anniversary of the amalgamation of the former Dubbo and Wellington councils has prompted two former mayors to ask if any of the promised benefits of the merger have been forthcoming through the Dubbo Regional Council formation.
In a release, Allan Smith and Mathew Dickerson said it was time for the State Government to identify what improvements have been made to the areas impacted
“At 12.10pm on May 12, 2016, the Governor of NSW, with the advice of the Executive Council of the NSW State Government, proclaimed the amalgamation of 42 Council areas down to 19 new Council areas, including dissolving Dubbo City Council and Wellington Shire Council to form Western Plains Regional Council (later renamed Dubbo Regional Council),” the release said.
“Residents of amalgamated councils, and in particular Dubbo Regional Council, are quite rightly asking to see the supposed positive results of this amalgamation.”
As the last mayor of the old Dubbo City Council, Mathew Dickerson has been against the amalgamation since the idea was first floated.
WATCH: Mathew Dickerson’s infamous ‘Dubbington’ video
He believes the public sentiment towards the mergers, both locally and in other locations across the state, helped seal the fate of those in charge when they happened.
“It is no surprise that the men who pushed the flawed amalgamation through the State Parliament (former premier Mike Baird and former deputy premier Troy Grant) are no longer in those positions,” he said.
“I believe the State Government forgot their role – any democratically elected Government should represent the people that elected the Government.
“I believe that the Dubbington amalgamation was a classic case of the party coming before the people and that is to the ongoing detriment of residents in Wellington and Dubbo, and the entire Orana region.”
The NSW Government originally had plans which would have reduced the state’s 152 councils to 112.
Legal proceedings meant many of the pending amalgamations were abandoned and the state now has 129 councils.