North Coast Joint Organisation

5 years ago | by

Coffs Harbour City Council has agreed to support the establishment of a Joint Organisation with Bellingen Shire, Clarence Valley, and Nambucca Shire Councils.

These Councils originally made up the proposed North Coast Joint Organisation in line with boundaries identified in the final Independent Local Government Review Panel Report.

“The proposed Joint Organisation will continue to build on the valuable relationships that we’ve developed as a group of councils and will give us an even stronger regional platform from which to voice our community priorities,” said Steve McGrath, Council’s General Manager.

In November 2017, the NSW Government passed the Local Government Amendment (Regional Joint Organisations) Bill 2017 which allows councils to voluntarily join new Joint Organisations (JOs) to strengthen regional coordination and improve the delivery of important infrastructure and services for communities.

In the government’s model, JOs are intended to have three core functions – regional strategic planning, intergovernmental collaboration and regional leadership and advocacy. They may also undertake optional functions such as regional service delivery and sharing skills and best practice.

In addition, the NSW Government model proposes that:

  • Mayors of member councils will sit on the JO Board for their term of office.
  • The JO Board will appoint its own Chair.
  • One additional councillor per council may be appointed to the JO Board, provided numbers remain equal.
  • A NSW Government representative appointed by the Department of Premier and Cabinet will be a non-voting member of the Board.
  • An Executive Officer will oversee the day-to-day management of the JO’s functions.

As part of a JO, individual councils will still be able to undertake local strategic planning and regional collaboration in their own rights, as well as continuing to tender, enter into contracts, apply for grants, employ staff and undertake legislative functions on behalf of member councils.

The Joint Organisation, if approved by the Minister for Local Government and proclaimed, is expected to be operational by July 2018.

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