Moree Plains Shire Council has resigned from the Namoi Joint Organisation of Councils (JOC).
Council handed in its resignation last week after asking state member Adam Marshall to make representation to the Minister of Local Government on their behalf.
Moree mayor Katrina Humphries said the decision to leave the Namoi JOC was a unanymous one of council.
“It just didn’t fit; it was a huge, unrealistic workload,” she said. “I could see us doing the work of the state government and I don’t think the rate payers of Moree Plains want their general manager and mayor spending lashings of time working on the North West.”
As well as concerns about finding time to do all that was required for the pilot JOC, Cr Humphries said she could also see a downside to bulk procurement – one of the proposed benefits of the joint organisations.
For example, she said a Tamworth earthmoving company could get a contract to service the whole North West, which would have a significant impact on local businesses.
“If you’re doing that bulk stuff, where do those big companies come from?” she said.
“Quite possibly we would have been getting businesses from big regional areas because they’re bigger – but do Moree Plains Shire want to be stumping up businesses for other shires? Our businesses are struggling enough.”
Cr Humphries said Moree Plains Shire Council is already part of a number of joint ventures including their library and waste management services and will continue to maintain good relationships with its neighbours as part of the Border Rivers Organisation of Councils (BROC) and the Country Mayors Association of NSW, of which she is chair.