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CVC to join joint organisation

Clarence Valley Council has reversed its unanimous March 2015 decision to reject an invitation to join the Mid North Coast Regional Organisation of Councils (MIDROC); a precursor to the formation of the North Coast joint organisation (JO).
In 2015, then general manager Scott Greensill advised councillors that “the success of any regional body directly relates to the ability of the individual parties working harmoniously and with goodwill in the interests of their constituents”.
“Needless to say, the more parties involved the more difficult the decision making becomes, [as do] the associated governance processes,” he wrote.
His advice came not long after CVC withdrew its membership from the Northern Rivers Regional Organisation of Councils (NOROC) “due to the lack of tangible outcomes and unproductive relationships”.
However, at the time, CVC was expecting that the formation of a regional JO would include Coffs Harbour City, Bellingen Shire and Nambucca Shire councils.
In September last year, the NSW Government released redrawn JO boundaries, which show that the North Coast JO will include Clarence Valley, Coffs Harbour City, Bellingen Shire, Nambucca Shire, Kempsey Shire and Port Macquarie-Hastings councils – the same councils that will now constitute MIDROC.
In the mayoral minute tabled at last week’s council meeting, Cr Jim Simmons wrote: “By becoming a member of MIDROC it will provide Council with the opportunity to benefit from regional collaboration and advocacy, [for] which at the moment we are on our own.
“I have consulted the General Manager and he concurs with my recommendation….”
General manager Ashley Lindsay said in an emailed response to the Independent’s enquiry: “This change to the JOs has not been formally adopted by the State Government and how the JOs are going to operate is still not clear.
“I think it’s important for Council to get a seat at the MIDROC table now so we can build on developing positive relationships with the other councils.
“The State Government expects councils to work collaboratively at the regional level.
“CVC staff are already working with other MIDROC councils on standardising our approach to asset management.
“This has been a very beneficial project for CVC and I believe there are more opportunities where we can share information, ideas and resources to the benefit of each council area.”
The annual MIDROC membership fee is $5,833 plus GST.
Councillors unanimously supported joining MIDROC.
According to one of the government’s Fit for the Future publications on JOs, each JO should: “align or ‘nest’ within strategic growth planning boundaries; demonstrate clear community of interest between member councils and regions; not adversely impact on other councils or JOs, for example, leaving too few councils to form a JO; be based around a strong regional centre, where possible; and, be of appropriate scale and capacity to partner with the NSW Government, Commonwealth Government and other partners.”