Armidale is a smart city according to Kevin Dupe.
“We’re an intelligent community,” he said.
“But we probably need to think a little less and do a little more.
“You know, a bit more heart and a little less head could go along way.”
And with that, Mr Dupe has announced his bid for a seat on the new Armidale Regional Council.
The Regional Australia Bank chief executive is no stranger to leadership.
He served on the University of New England Council and after 10 years, has just stepped down from the BackTrack board.
“I’ve just stood down from BackTrack … so I have a little bit of time and I’d like to give it to Guyra and Armidale to help them with this momentum,” he said.
Mr Dupe has a number of ideas to help Council maintain the momentum that he says has been achieved in the past 15 months.
Actively find and bring businesses Armidale and Guyra, target digital and environmental development, and creating a hub for start-up businesses in the mall are just some of the ideas Mr Dupe has for the new Council.
“I’d like to see us be a little bit of a Silicon Valley - a bit more digitally focused and also with good environmental initiatives,” he said.
“I think it’s up to us to put the message out there that we’re open for that sort of business.
“And I don’t think it's inappropriate to go and tape people on the shoulder if they’re in the city and asked them if they’ve thought of relocating.”
Mr Dupe also said a global college hub, where students from any university in the world could live and study here in Armidale, utilising the city’s lower cost of living and high-speed broadband, could be a major initiative for the region.
“The key [to a successful new Council] is leadership,” Mr Dupe said.
“And positive leadership starts from the top.
“I think the mayor and the deputy mayor need to set the tone and I would be looking for a very positive leader, and I would note that Ian Tiley has decided to stand, I would see he would be a perfect leader for us in the first term.”