Mayors and General Managers from Bellingen, Kempsey and Port Macquarie-Hastings Councils yesterday commenced a new model of regional collaboration and planning.
The inaugural meeting of the Mid North Coast Joint Organisation, held in Kempsey, has paved the way for how the Councils will work with the NSW Government on high priority projects in the region. Also in attendance were representatives from the Department of Premier and Cabinet and the Office of Local Government.
This meeting follows the NSW Government’s proclamation in May this year of eleven joint organisations across regional NSW comprising of over 90% of existing regional councils.
The NSW Government will provide $300,000 in seed funding to establish the new regional body.
Newly elected Chair of the joint organisation Mayor of Kempsey Shire Council, Liz Campbell, said the new joint organisation will benefit the community.
“We look forward to working closely with the State Government to make sure investment in infrastructure, services and facilities for this region’s communities is strengthened,” Mayor Campbell said.
“We are all facing similar challenges with aging infrastructure, increasing populations and the need to create employment and services to make our growth sustainable. It makes sense that we look at these big picture issues at a regional level.”
Ms Campbell also stated that other councils on the Mid North Coast who are not current members of the Joint Organisation would be welcome to join in the future.
“We have a successful history of working well across our regional network of Councils over many years and the formation of a Joint Organisation is the next stage of this collaborative relationship with both Mid North Coast councils and the State Government,” she said.
In a busy few months ahead, the new organisation will identify priority projects for the region and endeavour to secure government support for their implementation.