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Creating Stronger Councils

Joint organisation network

In 2017 Parliament passed legislation to establish a network of joint organisations to help drive better planning, economic development and service delivery in regional NSW.  

Eighty-five councils in regional NSW are now members of the 13 joint organisations: Canberra Region, Central NSW, Far North West, Far South West, Hunter, Illawarra Shoalhaven, Mid North Coast, Namoi, New England, Northern Rivers, Orana, Riverina and Murray, and Riverina.

The State’s joint organisation network was officially launched at a forum attended by senior parliamentarians, government officials and joint organisation chairs at Parliament House on 16 August 2018.

The new voluntary partnerships, involving 90 per cent of eligible councils, will benefit local communities across regional NSW by working across traditional council boundaries.

The NSW Government has allocated a total of $3.3million in seed funding for the network, with $300,000 for each joint organisation to help them become established.

Under special arrangements to recognise the unique challenges faced by Far West councils, a $20 million funding package has been provided to the region’s two joint organisations to fund air services, roads, tourism and cultural projects.

Joint organisations are transforming the way the NSW Government and local councils collaborate, plan, set priorities and deliver important projects on a regional scale.

The new regional bodies are a key mechanism through which the Government delivers funding and programs to regional NSW.

Each Joint organisation comprises member councils, State agencies and other key stakeholders as determined by each joint organisation board.

The NSW Government will continue to work closely with member councils on issues important to regional communities such as creating jobs and improving regional infrastructure, services and facilities.

The small number of regional councils that are not yet a member of a joint organisation are encouraged to act quickly and join a joint organisation in their planning region. It is not too late to become a full voting member of a joint organisation to ensure all eligible communities can benefit from this successful initiative.

 

Further Assistance for member councils

To facilitate that process the Office of Local Government (OLG) has prepared a comprehensive range of guidance materials as well as a suite of individual fact sheets:

 

In addition, a secure portal has been created where councils can access:

INFORMATION:   Joint organisation fact sheets and other documentation

CONTACTS:  Containing details for representatives from the OLG and the Department of Premier and Cabinet

FUNDING GUIDELINES:  Guidance material for establishment funding

SHARE SPACE:    Designed to encourage the sharing of best practice among the Joint Organisation community

To access the JO portal, simply click through to https://portal.strongercouncils.nsw.gov.au/ to register.

 

Network of Joint Organisations in regional NSW

Joint Organisations names 6 July 2018                                                                                                                 

Joint organisation

Council areas forming joint organisation area

Canberra Region Joint Organisation

Bega Valley, Eurobodalla, Goulburn-Mulwaree, Hilltops, Queanbeyan-Palerang, Snowy Monaro, Upper Lachlan, Wingecarribee, Yass Valley.

Central NSW Joint Organisation

Bathurst, Blayney, Cabonne, Cowra, Forbes, Lachlan, Oberon, Orange, Parkes, Weddin.

Hunter Joint Organisation

Cessnock, Dungog, Lake Macquarie, Maitland,

Mid-Coast, Muswellbrook, Newcastle, Port Stephens, Singleton, Upper Hunter.

Illawarra Shoalhaven Joint Organisation

Kiama, Shellharbour, Shoalhaven, Wollongong.

Namoi Joint Organisation

Gunnedah, Gwydir, Liverpool Plains, Tamworth, Walcha.

New England Joint Organisation

Armidale, Glen Innes Severn, Inverell, Uralla,

Moree Plains, Narrabri,Tenterfield.

Northern Rivers Joint Organisation

Ballina, Byron, Kyogle, Lismore, Richmond Valley, Tweed.

Orana Joint Organisation

Bogan, Gilgandra, Mid-Western, Narromine, Warren, Warrumbungle.

Riverina and Murray Joint Organisation

Albury, Berrigan, Carrathool, Edward River, Federation, Griffith, Hay, Leeton, Murray River, Murrumbidgee, Narrandera.

Riverina Joint Organisation

Bland, Coolamon, Cootamundra-Gundagai, Greater Hume, Junee, Lockhart, Temora.

Mid North Coast Joint Organisation

Port Macquarie-Hastings, Kempsey, Bellingen.

Far North West Joint Organisation

Bourke, Cobar, Walgett

 

Far South West Joint Organisation

Balranald, Broken Hill, Central Darling, Wentworth

 

New councils

Twenty new councils created in 2016 are powering ahead and exceeding expectations, injecting $8.6 billion into the NSW economy in one year through approved DAs alone.

While it is premature to assess the performance of these new councils, early indications are positive, showing they have made over $50 million in savings to date.

These savings are funding improved services for residents and ratepayers.

Simple operational and organisational changes at new councils have made them more efficient and responsive, enabling them to provide better services and enhanced systems and processes to meet community needs.

Savings and service improvements have resulted from:

  • Reducing unnecessary duplication
  • Streamlining and aligning contracts and using increased purchasing power to negotiate better deals for ratepayers
  • Consolidating systems, insurance policies and processes so more money can be directed to frontline services.

Further benefits include:

  • Enhanced service delivery and infrastructure
  • Fairer representation through more evenly distributed councillor and population ratios.

The following new councils were created in 2016:

 
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