NORTHERN RIVERS JOINT ORGANISATION ESTABLISHED TO BENEFIT OUR REGIONAL COMMUNITIES
Member for Lismore Thomas George, Member for Clarence Chris Gulaptis, Member for Tweed Geoff Provest and Parliamentary Secretary for Northern NSW Ben Franklin today welcomed the establishment of the Northern Rivers Joint Organisation which will strengthen collaboration between local councils and the NSW Government on regional initiatives.
Mr George, Mr Gulaptis, Mr Provest and Mr Franklin said the Northern Rivers Joint Organisation has been formally proclaimed with six member councils – Ballina, Byron, Kyogle, Lismore, Richmond Valley, and Tweed.
The NSW Government has also provided $300,000 in seed funding to help establish the new regional body in the Northern Rivers region.
“The NSW Government introduced an Australian first for regional communities when Parliament passed legislation late last year to establish a network of Joint Organisations across regional NSW,” Mr George said.
“I commend our local councils for recognising the many benefits the new regional body will offer our local communities and deciding to join the Northern Rivers Joint Organisation.”
“By coming together and joining forces, these local councils put themselves in a stronger position to deliver bigger picture projects,” Mr Gulaptis said.
“Northern Rivers Joint Organisation will comprise member councils, State Government agencies and other key stakeholders to plan and prioritise important regional projects across traditional council boundaries.”
Mr Provest said the new regional body will look at the issues that matter most to local communities such as building strong economies, creating jobs, and improving regional infrastructure, services and facilities.
“Northern Rivers Joint Organisation will now undertake a number of tasks to prepare to become operational by July 1 including electing a chairperson, employing an executive officer, adopting a code of conduct, and developing a charter,” Mr Provest said.
Mr Franklin said the Northern Rivers Joint Organisation will mean better collaboration across government, which means better planning, economic and service outcomes for local communities.
Kyogle Mayor Danielle Mullholland said: “NOROC has recently workshopped our regional priorities which will provide us with a strong foundation for the direction of the Joint Organisation and how we can best work together collaboratively and cooperatively to deliver the best outcomes for our communities. The Joint Organisation will give us a strong voice at the table with State Government and will see a higher degree of coordination by Premier and Cabinet on issues of regional significance that require that government collaboration.”
Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW John Barilaro said Northern Rivers Joint Organisation is one of 11 Joint Organisations comprising more than 70 councils in regional NSW. “It’s extremely pleasing that more than 90 per cent of eligible councils in NSW have formally resolved to form a Joint Organisation,” Mr Barilaro said.
“The formal proclamation of 11 Joint Organisations is a landmark day for regional NSW including the Northern Rivers region and will change the way local councils and the State Government work together to deliver important projects.”
Local Government Minister Gabrielle Upton said the Government had allocated a total of $3.3 million in seed funding for the Joint Organisation network in regional NSW.
“A number of regions across NSW had a 100 per cent take up by councils with full Joint Organisation membership in the Illawarra, Hunter, and Canberra Region. These councils are showing strong civic leadership by signalling their intention to work together and with the NSW Government on regional initiatives,” Ms Upton said.
The Office of Local Government is continuing to work with a small number of councils to finalise Joint Organisation membership. It is also providing a comprehensive range of support and guidance materials to assist Joint Organisations to become operational from July.