Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke today welcomed the establishment of three new Joint Organisations in the Cootamundra electorate, which will strengthen collaboration between local councils and the NSW Government on regional initiatives.

  • The Riverina Joint Organisation (JO) has been formally proclaimed with seven member councils – Bland, Coolamon, Cootamundra-Gundagai, Greater Hume, Junee, Lockhart, and Temora;
  • The Canberra Region JO has been formally proclaimed with nine member councils – Hilltops, Bega Valley, Eurobodalla, Goulburn Mulwaree, Queanbeyan-Palerang, Snowy Monaro, Upper Lachlan, Wingecarribee, and Yass Valley, and;
  • The Central West JO has been formally proclaimed with 10 member councils – Cowra, Weddin, Bathurst, Blayney, Cabonne, Forbes, Lachlan, Oberon, Orange and Parkes.

The NSW Government has also provided $300,000 in seed funding to help establish each new regional body.

“The NSW Government introduced an Australian first for regional communities when Parliament passed legislation late last year to establish a network of Joint Organisations across regional NSW,” Ms Cooke said.

“I commend our local councils for recognising the many benefits the new regional body will offer our local communities and deciding to join their JO.

“By coming together and joining forces, these local councils put themselves in a stronger position to deliver bigger picture projects,” Ms Cooke added.

Ms Cooke said the new regional body will look at the issues that matter most to our local communities such as building strong economies, creating jobs, and improving regional infrastructure, services and facilities.

“The Riverina, Canberra and Central West JOs will now undertake a number of tasks to prepare to become operational by July 1 including electing a chairperson, employing an executive officer, adopting a code of conduct, and developing a charter,” Ms Cooke said.

Temora Mayor Rick Firman welcomed the formalisation of the Riverina Joint Organisation.

“Our region and the REROC member councils have a strong and successful history of working collaboratively, not just at the local government level but across agencies and the non-government sector,” he said.

“Joint Organisations will offer new opportunities to increase that collaboration for the benefit of our communities.

“The Riverina Joint Organisation members are committed to establishing a successful Joint Organisation that delivers tangible benefits for our member councils and our communities,” he added

The Riverina Joint Organisation is one of 11 Joint Organisations comprising more than 70 councils in regional NSW.