Mayor’s chilling Facebook post before coma


    The mayor of an NSW country town made a worrying Facebook post just moments before being taken to hospital in a coma after a “medical incident”. Dubbo mayor Ben Shields was rushed to hospital on Wednesday, where he remains on life support.

    Moments before paramedics arrived, Cr Shields shared on Facebook: “I have only ever done what is right for Dubbo”. The 40-year-old’s family revealed his prognosis is uncertain. His hospitalisation came just hours after six councillors accused him of bullying and “intolerant behaviour,” and signed a letter calling for him to resign immediately.

    The Daily Telegraph reports he has also been embroiled in a row over alleged mishandling of a multimillion-dollar proposed Bunnings development at the city’s former RAAF base. Cr Sheilds has denied wrongdoing and on Tuesday insisted he would not stand down from his position over the issue. Fans have also taken to social media to praise his performance as mayor and defend him against criticism.


    Deputy Mayor Stephen Lawrence and councillor John Ryan accused Cr Shields of failing to follow consultation protocols over the proposed development and joined a collective call for him to resign. A letter written on Wednesday – signed by councilors – said Cr Shields’ colleagues no longer had confidence in him and his abilities.

    “The council condemns and will not tolerate abuse of power, bullying, harassment, threats and intimidation,” the letter read. “The council has no confidence in the mayor and calls upon him to resign immediately as mayor and from council and enable council to move forward in the best interests of the community.”

    The councilors have called for a confidential report to be prepared “advising on any and all complaints, allegations and suggestions of misconduct on behalf of the mayor that have any stage of the term of the council been brought to the attention of any council staff and not been the subject of a code of conduct process”. Cr Shields’ colleagues are also pushing him to hand back his mayoral robes, phone, car, and office within the next seven days.


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