LOCAL councils have overwhelmingly welcomed new laws that are a “vote of confidence” for joint organisations (JO) to move forward.
Namoi Unlimited, our region’s JO comprising seven local councils, has backed the state government’s new laws to allow councils in regional NSW to voluntarily create new JOs in 2018.
Making the announcement, Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW John Barilaro said the changes would transform the way the state government and local councils collaborate, plan, set priorities and deliver important projects in regional NSW.
Namoi Unlimited chair and Liverpool Plains mayor Andrew Hope said the announcement about the future of councils working together is exciting news.
“Namoi Unlimited is clear about our strategic priorities; our priorities are to build the economies, the infrastructure and jobs in the Namoi region,” Cr Hope said.
“We realised early in the pilot process that by working together on strategic opportunities around investment, roads, as well as skills, we can support each other’s individual goals and deliver on our ambition to be a prosperous region and economy.”
Cr Hope said Namoi Unlimited’s new name – formerly known as Namoi Councils JO – reflects the vision of the region and its ambitions.
READ MORE: Namoi Region Investment Prospectus launched
Tamworth mayor Col Murray said the announcement was another step forward for the local JO, who’d continue to prioritise international engagement.
“Tamworth Regional Council has been involved in the reforms from day one,” Cr Murray said.
Gunnedah deputy mayor Gae Swain said the decision was a sign of confidence from the government.
“We’ve been working closely with the other JOs,” Cr Swain said.
“The big thing this does is provide certainty for the JO to move forward. It can only be a positive at this stage.
“It’s a step forward for the government showing confidence in councils and the concepts of a JO.”
Namoi Unlimited includes Gunnedah, Gwydir, Liverpool Plains, Narrabri, Tamworth, Uralla and Walcha councils.