Port Macquarie-Hastings, Kempsey and Bellingen unite as Mid North Coast joint organisation

Support: Mayor Peta Pinson has expressed her support in favour of joint organisations.
Support: Mayor Peta Pinson has expressed her support in favour of joint organisations.

A MID North Coast trio of councils have united as a part of a statewide network of joint organisations.

Eleven joint organisations made up of 70 councils across regional NSW have been announced by the Minister for Local Government, Gabrielle Upton.

The Mid North Coast joint organisation is made up of Bellingen, Kempsey and Port Macquarie-Hastings.

Joint organisations will focus on strategic planning and priority setting, intergovernmental collaboration, and regional leadership and advocacy.

In a joint statement with the Minister for Regional NSW, John Barilaro, Ms Upton said the NSW government had introduced an Australian-first for regional communities when Parliament passed legislation to establish a network of joint organisations in 2017.

 NSW Minister for Local Government Gabrielle Upton. Photo: AAP Image/Paul Miller

NSW Minister for Local Government Gabrielle Upton. Photo: AAP Image/Paul Miller

“Councils across regional NSW were then invited to nominate to join a joint organisation. Since then the Office of Local Government has been working closely with councils to assist them to design a joint organisation that best suits the needs of their region,” the statement said.

“The NSW government will now work closely with member councils on the issues that matter most to regional communities such as building strong economies, creating jobs, and improving regional infrastructure, services and facilities.”

Ms Upton said the government had allocated a total of $3.3 million in seed funding for the joint organisation network, tellingly noting that “the small number of councils that have not yet decided to be a part of this initiative are encouraged to act quickly and secure a seat at the table when joint organisations start to make key decisions for their region”.

She said the new organisations would deliver real benefits for local communities throughout regional NSW by working across traditional council boundaries to plan and prioritise important initiatives.

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