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General Manager to make submission about Joint Organisations

Bland Shire Council General Manager, Ray Smith will make a formal submission to the State Government regarding the future role of Joint Organisations (JO’s) in New South Wales Local Government.

The State Government is calling for submissions for its Joint Organisations Emerging Directions paper as it takes a step closer to developing a formal model and rolling out JO’s by September next year. Bland Shire is part of the pilot Riverina JO, one of five pilots across the state along with Central West, Hunter, Illawarra and Namoi.

The establishment of JO’s is a key feature in the State Government’s Fit for the Future package for local government reform and is viewed by a number of local councils as an effective alternative to forced amalgamation.

The State Government believe JO’s will provide a forum for local councils and the state to work together to deliver regional priorities. They will help to connect local priorities from local councils’ Community Strategic Plans with regional planning for growth, infrastructure and economic development and provide a means of delivering projects across Council boundaries.

Bland Shire Council’s September monthly meeting gave Mr Smith delegated authority to make a submission on Council’s behalf for the Emerging Directions paper, which will be pivotal in the development of a framework for JO’s.

Included in Council’s submission will be support for the Mayor of the day to be the representative from each member Council on the JO board, support for the funding formula for each JO to be determined at local level by members Councils and support for board members to receive a sitting fee in lieu of an increase in the annual Mayoral allowance.

Meanwhile, Councils across the state continue to face an uncertain future. After lodging detailed Fit for the Future submissions to the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) earlier this year, the 162 Councils in NSW are eagerly awaiting an announcement from the State Government regarding their future past next September when the next Local Government elections are scheduled.

Bland Shire Council has lodged a detailed Fit for the Future proposal to stand alone. An announcement is expected later this year or early in 2016.