Council set to create Economic Recovery Taskforce

Councillors will vote on the creation of a Regional Recovery Taskforce aimed at helping the region’s economy recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic at the May 2020 Ordinary Meeting of Council.

A Mayoral Minute will be tabled that will recommend the establishment of the taskforce, made up of members of the business, tourism, real estate and education sectors as well as Council representatives.

It is proposed the taskforce would meet regularly in the coming months to provide expertise and advice on a Council-developed strategy for the economic recovery of the Dubbo region post COVID-19.

Mayor of the Dubbo Region Ben Shields said he had faith the region would recover, but felt there was an opportunity to assist the community even more through the taskforce and he hoped Councillors would see its value when they cast their vote.

“This pandemic has had a terrible impact on local jobs and local businesses and we know that it will take time for our economy to return to prosperity,” Councillor Shields said.

“We believe around 10% of the local workforce has been impacted by closures and the social isolation restrictions brought in to combat COVID-19, and with spending dropping by 20% nationally there won’t be an immediate recovery.

“By bringing together people who are knowledgeable in the industries most affected such as retail hospitality, tourism and real estate, we can develop strategies that will lead to an informed, responsible and sustainable economic recovery.”

The Regional Recovery Taskforce would include 10 industry representatives and five representatives of Dubbo Regional Council, who would meet once a week for a period of six to eight weeks for the purpose of advice on strategy development implemented by the Economic Development and Marketing Branch of Council.

Industry Representation:

  • Dubbo Chamber of Commerce and Industry: (Three nominations) Representing retail, accommodation and hospitality.
  • Wellington Business Chamber: (One representative) Representing Wellington business community specifically.
  • Destination Outback and Country: (One representative) Representing regional tourism.
  • Regional Development Australia: Orana: (One representative) Representing Dubbo’s role as a service centre for the Orana Region.
  • Taronga Western Plains Zoo: (One representative) Representing Dubbo’s major tourism operation.
  • Real Estate Sector: (One representative) Representing interests in LGA real estate investment.
  • Education Sector: (One representative) Representing tertiary education in the LGA.
  • NSW Police: (One representative) Representing law enforcement across the LGA.

Dubbo Regional Council Representation:

  • Mayor: Chair of Regional Recovery Taskforce.
  • Chief Executive Officer: Representing the Organisation of Council in its response to regional recovery.
  • Director Culture and Economy: Representing Council tourism and service related businesses of Council.
  • Manager Economic Development and Marketing: Delivering on regional economic response and regional destination marketing.
  • Administrative support as directed by Council’s Chief Executive Officer.

Councillor Shields said there would be opportunities to aid with recovery such as tourism potential, with international travel prohibited and some state borders remaining shut, at least in the short term. He also expected governments to introduce stimulus packages which could provide funding opportunities for Council in key areas.

“We have great tourist attractions such as the Old Dubbo Gaol, Wellington Caves and Taronga Western Plains Zoo, as well as fantastic motels, pubs, cafes and retail stores so anyone in NSW who is looking for a post COVID-19 holiday should consider the Dubbo region,” Councillor Shields said.

Source: DRC