Joint Organisation pilots announced
New South Wales Minister for Local Government Paul Toole announced the five successful Joint Organisation pilots to be rolled out as part of the NSW Liberal & Nationals Government’s Fit for the Future reforms.
The five regional groups of councils to pilot Joint Organisations include the Central West, Hunter, Illawarra, Namoi and Riverina.
Mr Toole said Joint Organisations would enable councils to work together more effectively within their regions, as well as transform the way State and local governments collaborate.
“Establishing these new regional structures will make it easier to manage important projects, to better deliver the jobs, education, housing, roads, bridges, sports grounds, libraries and other facilities and services that regional and rural communities need.
“The selected pilot regions include a diverse mix of councils which have demonstrated a strong history of effective collaboration and are ready to partner with the State to tackle some of the key issues in regional communities.”
Shoalhaven City Council Mayor, Joanna Gash has welcomed the decision to include the Illawarra Council group as one of the pilot areas.
“Council is extremely pleased to have been selected as part of the NSW State Government’s initial Joint Organisation pilot program.
“Council’s selection to take part in this pilot program will provide major benefits to the community and allow the Shoalhaven to be at the table as key decisions are being made.
“We are the second largest economy on the NSW south coast and Nowra has been highlighted in the recently released draft Illawarra regional plan as a 'transformative' place within the region.
“Having a voice and being able to influence in these sector-wide reforms is critical.”
Shoalhaven City Council General Manager, Russ Pigg said he welcomed the opportunity to influence best practice governance models through Council’s participation in the pilot program.
“Council will be helping define the roles and responses of regional Council into the future through our participation in the upcoming Joint Organisation pilot program.
“Joint Organisations will provide regional areas with many of the benefits available to larger metropolitan Councils without stepping on the autonomy of existing Councils.”
The Joint Organisation pilot program will commence in January 2015 and run for the entire year.