Allan SmithDubbo residents and the business sector have their first opportunity today to receive the lowdown on how their city could be either a Franklins-style or a Harrods-style city.
Nanjing Night Net

Professor Percy Allan is in Dubbo to present his findings from a major review of Dubbo City Council’s asset base and an overview on the future financial sustainability of the organisation.

Dubbo mayor Allan Smith said the presentations would be the first step towards the city deciding the most appropriate and acceptable future direction.

Dubbo Chamber of Commerce and the Real Estate Institute of NSW – Orana division will both have representatives at the presentation today, but neither organisation professed to have pre-conceived ideas.

That should suit Cr Smith, who yesterday urged the community to come to the presentation and involve themselves in the series of consultations that would follow.

“If people are interested, they should come along – they should not draw conclusions until the professor has had his say,” Cr Smith said.

Professor Percy Allan, a former NSW treasury-secretary and current research director of Review Today, made the first presentation of his report and its findings to councillors and executive staff last night.

Mr Allan was engaged by the council at a fee of $150,000 last year because staff say it has an infrastructure backlog of $25.5 million.

In his first report-related trip to Dubbo in August he said he would help the city decide if it wanted to be a Franklins or Harrods city.

“There’s certain things you do have to fix, whether you go the cheap route or the expensive route,” he said.

Dubbo Chamber of Commerce and Industry spokeswoman Donna Ambler said it welcomed the chance to participate today.

“The chamber welcomes the opportunity to hear the findings and to consider them in light of planning the economic strategy,” she said.

“(We want to see) the infrastructure we can afford and the impact that will have on the future development of our economy – it links in nicely with our 10 Big Ideas campaign.”

Real estate division chairman Rod Crowfoot will be “interested” to hear the report and its findings after all the “talk about . . . the value it would provide to the community”.

The council had received affirmative responses from 25 community members but organisational services director Paul Bennett still wants more at the community session this afternoon.

The community session will be held today at 1pm in the council’s conference room at the civic administration building.

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