Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke and Member for Murray Austin Evans today announced the Riverina and Murray Joint Organisation has expanded with Carrathool and Narrandera councils formally joining nine other councils as members of the new regional body.

Mr Evans said Carrathool and Narrandera have been formally proclaimed as members of the Riverina and Murray Joint Organisation along with existing member councils Albury, Berrigan, Edward River, Federation, Griffith, Hay, Leeton, Murray River, and Murrumbidgee.

“Riverina and Murray Joint Organisation was formally proclaimed in May this year with nine member councils,” Mr Evans said.

“Carrathool and Narrandera councils had not formally resolved to join the joint organisation in time for them to be included when the organisation was first established.”

Ms Cooke said the Riverina Murray JO is in great shape with Carrathool and Narrandera resolving to voluntarily join their neighbouring councils in the new regional body.

“I am confident that our region’s councils will see the benefits of stronger collaboration with each other and the NSW Government to deliver better outcomes for the Riverina and Murray community,” Ms Cooke said.

“The Riverina and Murray Joint Organisation has already held its inaugural Board meeting where Albury Mayor Kevin Mack was elected chairperson. The joint organisation is now working on developing its Statement of Strategic Regional Priorities which will set out its vision for the region and guide its work going forward.”

Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW John Barilaro welcomed expansion of the State’s joint organisation network.

“In May this year 11 joint organisations were proclaimed comprising 74 member councils in regional NSW,” Mr Barilaro said.

“The network expanded last month when another seven councils were proclaimed into two new joint organisations in the Far West region.

“Now this latest proclamation expands joint organisation membership to 85 councils. Ninety per cent of eligible councils are now full voting members of joint organisations which is a tremendous success.”

“This will deepen the links between local and state government and make sure we are delivering the infrastructure and service that our regions need,” he said.

Minister for Local Government Gabrielle Upton said joint organisations are strengthening collaboration between State and local government to improve economic management, planning and service delivery in regional NSW.

“Joint organisations are a key mechanism through which the NSW Government delivers funding and programs to regional NSW,” Ms Upton said.

“They will also give regional councils and their communities a greater say in the prioritisation, planning and delivery of key infrastructure and services.”