Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter Scot MacDonald MLC today welcomed the establishment of the Hunter Joint Organisation which will strengthen collaboration between local councils and the NSW Government on regional initiatives.
Mr MacDonald said the Hunter Joint Organisation has been formally proclaimed and includes all member councils of the Lower Hunter; Lake Macquarie City Council, Newcastle City Council, Port Stephens Council, Maitland City Council and Cessnock City Council.
The NSW Government has also provided $300,000 in seed funding to help establish the new regional body in the Hunter.
“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,” Mr MacDonald said.
“By coming together and joining forces, these local councils put themselves in a stronger position to deliver regional infrastructure.”
The Hunter Joint Organisation will now undertake a number of tasks to prepare to become operational by 1st July 2018 including electing a chairperson, employing an executive officer, adopting a code of conduct, and developing a charter.
"The ten local government areas that make up the Hunter Region are extraordinarily diverse but there is a key theme in all that we do,” Cessnock Mayor Bob Pynsent said.
“We strive to remove barriers to collaboration and work together for the future of our region. The new Joint Organisation structure will assist us to achieve even more and we are excited by the opportunities before us.”
Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW John Barilaro said the Hunter Joint Organisation is one of 11 Joint Organisations comprising more than 70 councils in regional NSW.
“The formal proclamation of 11 Joint Organisations is a landmark day for regional NSW including the Hunter and will change the way local councils and the State Government work together to deliver important projects,” Mr Barilaro said.