A mayor found unconscious hours after making a chilling Facebook post has woken from a coma - as calls grow for him to resign over bullying and harassment allegations.
Dubbo mayor Ben Shields, 40, was transferred to Sydney's Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in an induced coma after being discovered in his family home on March 31.
In the hours before paramedics were called to an address in central western NSW, Cr Shields wrote on Facebook 'I have only ever done what is right for Dubbo'.
Cr Shields - whose condition has since stabilised - was transferred back to Dubbo Base Hospital on Saturday after friends said his condition had 'improved immensely'.
Doctors are now treating the embattled mayor for an infection.
During his recovery though, seven Dubbo Regional Council councillors have called for Cr Shields to resign after he was publicly accused of bullying and harassment.
The condition of Dubbo mayor Ben Shields, 40, (left) has 'improved immensely' in hospital, his friends have said. Hours before paramedics rushed him to hospital on March 31, he wrote: 'I have only ever done what is right for Dubbo'
Cr Shields' predecessor Mathew Dickerson said the bitter war between councillors meant the council may have to be placed into administration, The Daily Telegraph reported.
Greg Mohr - a family friend of Cr Shields - had earlier called for instances of malicious gossip on social media to end.
'Please don't speculate on what has happened … Please don't share or fuel any hurtful and unhelpful rumours … instead, please share a thought for Ben today and join us in wishing him a full recovery,' he said.
Cr Shields also stands accused of the alleged mismanagement of a multimillion-dollar development at the city's former air force base.
Multiple councillors have stated they have 'no confidence' in the embattled mayor.
The development comes as Tony Abbott's sister Christine Forster defended Shields after he was publicly accused of bullying.
Forster, the sister of the former prime minister Tony Abbott, threw her support behind Mayor Shields on Friday and slammed 'purely politically motivated attacks'.
'My friend Ben Shields is a better Liberal and a better servant of his community than just about anyone I could name,' she wrote on Facebook.
'His tireless commitment to the people of Dubbo and surrounding region has been his life's work for 22 years and the current success of the city and its people is testament to that.
'The purely politically motivated attacks on him are a disgrace.'
Dubbo mayor Ben Shields was rushed to hospital on March 31 but his condition has since stabilised
Forster said she hoped Mayor Shields would soon be back doing his best for the community as soon as possible.
Her wife Virginia Flitcroft also shared a Facebook post praising the mayor in the wake of the medical emergency.
'Ben Shields is an honourable man, who has always put his beloved Dubbo first, to hear that he is in a critical condition in hospital is beyond devastating,' she wrote.
'This is political bullying at its most shocking.'
The 40-year-old's family earlier revealed his prognosis is uncertain.
With his condition said to be 'very serious', Greg Mohr - a family friend of the Shields' - called for malicious gossip to end
Moments before paramedics arrived, Cr Shields shared on Facebook: 'I have only ever done what is right for Dubbo'
Mayor Shields was also accused of mishandling of a multimillion-dollar proposed Bunnings development..
Deputy Mayor Stephen Lawrence and councillor John Ryan claimed Mayor Shields didn't adhere to consultation protocols.
A letter written on Wednesday - signed by councillors - said Mayor 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.
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
Christine Forster, the sister of former prime minister Tony Abbott, threw her support behind Mr Shields in a Facebook post Friday (pictured left)
'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 councillors 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 council been brought to the attention of any council staff and not been the subject of a code of conduct process'.
Mayor Shields' colleagues were also pushing for him to hand back his mayoral robes, phone, car and office within the next seven days.