Queanbeyan City Council awaits pilot process for joint organisations

27 July 2015

Queanbeyan City Council has supported the concept of establishing a Joint Regional Organisation within the Capital Region of NSW, to coordinate strategic planning and intergovernmental coordination. However it has called for its creation to be delayed so it can be better coordinated with the outcome of a NSW Government Joint Organisation Pilot Project which is currently running.

The concept of Regional Joint Organisations was flagged in an independent review into local government commissioned by the NSW Government. Its 'Fit for the Future' initiative, which was released in September 2014, is proposing sweeping changes for local government, including the merging of some councils and the creation of new collaborative regional organisations called Joint Organisations.

At its meeting on Wednesday 22 July Council endorsed the concept of regional coordination but called on the creation and establishment of a constitution for a Canberra Region Joint Organisation to be put on hold until work is completed on the five pilot joint organisations.

In a joint statement both Queanbeyan Mayor Tim Overall and Queanbeyan City Council General Manager Peter Tegart said the five pilot organisations were “working their way through issues such as purpose and function, entity and powers, collaboration and communication, governance and resourcing.” The pilot projects are not expected to be completed until early next year.

“Council believes regional coordination is very important in ensuring state and local government collaboration to help local communities grow and thrive,” Mayor Overall and Mr Tegart said.

“Council strongly believes the pilot process needs to run its full course before the Canberra Region Joint Organisation should consider adopting any form of constitution. If we wait until next year then we will have greater clarity on the roles, functions and governance structures required for the operation of Joint Organisations. This will ensure we end up with a regional coordination organisation that is consistent with the NSW Government's roadmap for Joint Organisations and can achieve real benefits for our region.”