Wednesday was a fantastic day for Dubbo and wider Western NSW as the state government announced $7.5 million of funding for an alcohol and drug rehabilitation centre.
The announcement by Dugald Saunders and NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet that the government would boost treatment services, including a purpose-built facility for withdrawal management and residential rehabilitation brings to a close a three-year campaign by your Council.
When we were elected in September 2017, I announced the number one social priority was a rehab centre. Council reinforced this commitment by having a business case for a rehab centre produced, and then by donating a piece of suitable land for the construction of such a facility.
To say this council is excited is an understatement. While it is not council's role to fund or run such a specialised health centre, it is the role of the council to advocate on behalf of a committed and driven community who are lobbying governments on important issues.
Lobbying for the provision of a rehab centre for Dubbo has been a unifying experience. What I found during this was that the entire community saw the benefit and was in support of it. It is rare to see such an issue, and it prompted groups including the Dubbo Christian Ministers, the Indigenous community, business community and so many others to get involved.
Seeing the Christian Ministers so passionate was a real highlight of the campaign for me. They have seen firsthand what drugs do and they understand what a difference proper treatment options can mean.
Again I congratulate and commend the NSW government for coming on board and can't wait to see the positive benefits for our region.
Council is working hard to ensure that Wellington is able to reach its potential as a town and the Draft Wellington Town Centre Masterplan is an important part of that.
The masterplan provides a roadmap for how council plans to revitalise the town and what to prioritise in terms of funding opportunities and rollout time.
I am very pleased with the draft document that has been prepared by staff. However it is critical that the residents of Wellington look closely and ensure they are happy with the direction council has outlined. We are encouraging everyone to have a look at this plan and provide feedback.
Normally, council would put a document on display for 28 days to allow people to look at it and make a submission. Because of the importance of this issue, we initially put it on display for two months and have extended it by a further month.
Submissions now close on November 20.
I can't stress how important it is that people have their say. If you live in Wellington, please have a look at this plan and get involved to assist our plans for the future.