Local Government NSW (LGNSW) welcomed an announcement by the NSW Government to introduce new laws to allow councils to create new Joint Organisations in 2018.
LGNSW President Keith Rhoades said he was delighted at the Government’s response to LGNSW’s persistent calls to take action to get Joint Organisations (JOs) up and running.
“Joint organisations were originally planned to be rolled out during 2017 following the success of a five-region pilot program during 2015/16 and since then, we have made repeated calls for their introduction,” Cr Rhoades said.
“We’re pleased that council membership of a JO will be voluntary and we encourage councils to engage regionally through JOs and other regional organisations.
“LGNSW actively participated in the development of the JO model and strongly argued that councils rather than the state government should determine which JO they join.
“However, we note that the JO boundaries proposed in the announcement align with NSW Planning regional boundaries.
“We will continue to advocate that councils are best placed to know which regional communities are most relevant to their needs and interests.
“Seed funding of $3.3 million is to be provided by the Government to support councils choosing to participate.
“We strongly believe ongoing recurrent funding will be critical to the success of JOs and we will continue to advocate for this.”
It is planned that JOs will be ready to start in July 2018.