Inaugural Meeting of the Orana Joint Organisation
The first meeting of the Orana Joint Organisation (OJO) was held on Wednesday, 13 June at Gilgandra Shire Council.
Attended by the Mayors and General Managers from members; Gilgandra Shire Council, , Warrumbungle Shire Council, Narromine Shire Council and Mid-Western Regional Council and soon to be members Warren Shire Council, as well as Executive Officer of Orana Regional Organisation of Councils, Belinda Barlow. Along with government representative from Department of Premier and Cabinet and the Office of Local Government.
The meeting saw, Cr Doug Batten, Mayor of Gilgandra Shire Council elected unopposed to the position of Chairperson.
Cr Batten says that the current Regional Organisation of Council’s (ROC) has served the Orana region well, but he is secure in the notion of the new Joint Organisation (JO) approach.
“One of the strengths of the ROC structure has been the collaborative approach by the Mayors and General Managers of the member Councils. I am confident that this goodwill and commitment to advocacy for the betterment of the region will continue under the more formalised JO structure”.
During the meeting, the board adopted a draft Charter to guide the operation and governance principles for the OJO.
Cr Batten is excited in the opportunities given to the new structure for our region.
“Through changes to the Local Government Act, The NSW Government has provided opportunities for JOs, under this new structure, the legislative ability to enter into contracts, apply for grants and perform functions on behalf of consenting Councils. The OJO will also, importantly, have a seat at the regional table in regard to the delivery of other state government services such as health, education and law and order.”
“Whilst the member Councils are supportive of the new JO formate, we do acknowledge that its been driven by the State Government and we are expecting to see benefits from this organisation realised with greater funding for the region and the delivery of better services for all our communities.”
An appointment of Ms Belinda Barlow as the interim OJO Executive Officer for a period of 12 months, was also welcome.
The next meeting will be held after the proclamation Bogan Shire and Warren Shire into the OJO which is scheduled for mid July.