Mayor Shields’ plans for Wellington
In Part Four of a five part series to share Mayor Shields’ acceptance speech to his role in full, the following extract includes his points 14 to 19 which focussed on Wellington’s tourism, police, housing development industry, and CBD. Mayor Shields also shared his ideas for the future of the cycle track in Dubbo’s Victoria Park.
FROM Mayor Shields’ acceptance speech delivered on September 28, 2017:
14. Wellington Tourism
In this newly merged Council area we must always be aware of the fact that we now have the highly successful and vibrant communities of the former Wellington Shire as part of our team. So it’s important to make sure that Wellington gets its fair share of Council attention and growth that is coming to our region.
I believe that Wellington has a magnificent tourism industry that can become even better with the right encouragement. To do this we will need a new tourism development plan that revamps the Oxley Museum; finds a more appropriate location or building for the Visitors Information Centre; as well as doing a full feasibility study into opening a Rural Police Museum at the old Police Station building.
15. Wellington Police
Wellington’s potential as a tourism mecca is limitless. Again, with the right encouragement we prison complex needs and deserves a 24/7 police station.
16. Wellington Housing Development Industry
Wellington also needs a new special emphasis on residential housing development.
I will be asking our staff to formulate a plan to directly encourage growth in this area and work on strategies to get Wellington building again.
The town has had significant growth in Government employees in recent years, but this growth is all in vain if these employees are forced to live in other towns or cities.
17. Wellington CBD
It has been brought to my attention that Wellington has a master plan for a full main street beautification and that the work done so far is only part of the overall scheme. I have a firm belief that we need to invest in Wellington now, otherwise if we let the town decline it will cost ratepayers across our expanded Council area far more into the future.
Obviously, one of the ways we can recreate vibrancy in the town is working out a way to fast-track the CBD beautification plan. I will be asking staff and Councillors to consider ways to make this happen.
18. Drag Strip
While Wellington’s tourism potential is great, our new regional Council also has the opportunity to strengthen tourism in the Dubbo area as well. The proposal for a Drag Strip for our city is a once-in-a-generation opportunity that the Council must be enthusiastic about. In my new role as Mayor, I am very keen to get together with the proponents in order to offer my assistance and make this exciting proposition a reality.
19. Cycle Track/victoria Park, Dubbo
Our region has a long and proud history. Which brings me to a significant issue that I have only recently been made aware of – the cycle track around Number 1 Oval. I’m told by the local cycle club that that track is one of the oldest in Australia, and that it was the home track of the first and long time world champion Bob Spears.
Numerous gold medals can be attributed to that track; it has trained many champion cyclists. I am also told that it is one of the few tracks that is designed absolutely perfectly with little maintenance work required.
With this in mind, I oppose any moves to move the cycle track. I am a supporter of keeping our local history in place. I have always been guided by the saying ‘if you don’t know where you have come from, you don’t know where you are heading’.
I certainly congratulate our local member for obtaining a grant to refurbish Victoria Park Number 1 Oval. But, with this refurbishment, we need to go back to the drawing board and redesign the facility with the track remaining in place.
We should look at all other options for a full-sized cricket ground including a refurbishment and upgrade of facilities at either number two or three Ovals.
Next Week: in the last instalment of the Mayor’s acceptance speech, his thoughts will be included on hospital parking, the organics bin, a democratic review committee, and, state and federal members.
The township of Wellington reflected on its past this year, but Mayor Ben Shields said in his speech he believes it’s “important to make sure that Wellington gets its fair share of Council attention and growth that is coming to our region.” PHOTO:...