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Government wheels go ’round and ’round

Geoff Helisma | 

In last week’s story, Organising the joint organisation, the Independent asked Clarence Valley Council (CVC) this question: “How and when will the NSW Government decide the final make-up of each JO [joint organisation], given that (for example) Richmond Valley Council has resolved to join Kyogle, Tweed, Byron, Lismore and Ballina councils; and Kempsey Shire Council has resolved to join a JO based on the former MIDROC membership?”

However, the answer did not arrive until after the editorial deadline had passed.

A CVC spokesperson wrote: “Where there is a dispute over boundaries – and we might have one in the south with Port Macquarie and Kempsey wanting to be part of a six member JO – it will be resolved by the minister.
“You would need to find out from them how that would happen.”

The Independent provided the above question and asked the Minister for Local Government’s office: “Can you please tell me how disputes regarding JO boundaries will be resolved?

“And provide some timelines as to when the decision would be made, funding allocation in regard to the final makeup of the JO to which CVC becomes a member, and when the public can expect the new system to be

“Clarence Valley Council, for example, has resolved to included Richmond Valley in its preferred JO membership, however, Richmond Valley has resolved to join Ballina, Lismore and Tweed councils.
Also CVC does not want to have the former MIDROC [Mid North Coast Regional Organisation of Councils] member councils from Kempsey and Port Macquarie in its JO.”

An emailed response from the Office of Local Government stated: “The Office of Local Government is working closely with councils to finalise the Joint Organisations network including membership and funding allocations, with the new regional bodies to be operational by July 1.”