Over many years, the Mid North Coast Regional Organisation of Councils (MIDROC) has partnered on projects at a regional level to successfully deliver better results for our local communities, including joint procurement, funding submissions, online training packages, economic development, planning processes, Work Health and Safety initiatives and asset management.
The NSW Government will introduce legislation this month to allow councils in regional NSW to voluntarily join Joint Organisations (JOs). Their main function will be strategic planning and priority setting, intergovernmental collaboration, regional leadership and advocacy. The new system will formalise the practice MIDROC has had in place for years. This was welcome news for MIDROC members who have been working hard to establish a Joint Organisation within our region for some time. Building on the cooperative approach of MIDROC, a newly formed JO will provide a more structured, permanent way for us to collaborate with government agencies on regional priorities.
MIDROC has proactively engaged with NSW Government on our proposal for how a JO would work best in our region, which would include Kempsey Shire, Port Macquarie-Hastings, Nambucca Shire, Bellingen Shire, Coffs Harbour City and Clarence Valley Councils.
As part of the proposal, MIDROC requested funding to set up the JO model for our region and we were pleased that our request was positively supported. We are delighted that the Government has now publicly committed to providing money to participating councils to establish their JOs which will allow them to be properly resourced. The NSW Government has given councils the option to choose whether to form a JO or not, and our MIDROC group members all support the move to form a JO on the north coast.
An established model for JOs across regional NSW should make engagement with government agencies more streamlined.