Gwydir Shire Council has thrown its support behind Moree Plains Shire Council’s decision to resign from the Namoi Pilot Joint Organisation (JO).
Gwydir Shire Council general manager Max Eastcott said although Gwydir has not resigned from the Namoi JO, which has recently concluded its 12-month pilot, it is supportive of Moree’s desire to be relocated to the New England JO, should the NSW government eventually legislate joint organisations as part of its Fit for the Future reforms.
“If there is legislation sometime in the future, they want to be included in the New England Joint Organisation if it was created,” Mr Eastcott said.
“To do that, they needed our support.
“Gwydir was quite happy to support them in that. If the government decides councils have to be in a joint organisation, we’re happy to be part of New England, so Moree can go in it; they can’t go in it without us.”
Moree mayor Katrina Humphries and Gwydir mayor John Coulton have both signed a letter which has been sent to the Minister for Local Government, detailing their reasons for wishing to join the New England JO.
One of the biggest reasons is that both Gwydir and Moree councils feel their communities of interest are more closely aligned with the councils in the New England JO, as many already work together within the Border Region of Councils, which includes the Moree, Gwydir, Inverell and Tenterfield shire councils.
However, unlike Moree, Gwydir is still happy to remain a part of the Namoi until a decision is confirmed by the Minister for Local Government and the appropriate legislation for joint organisations is in place.
“We’re still keen to finalise a lot of the stuff we’ve been doing in the Namoi,” Mr Eastcott said.
“We’re the lead council for the joint regional procurement, where councils go to buy concrete pipes or computers as one central unity to get a better deal.”
Gwydir’s proposal to join the New England JO and remain an associate member of the Namoi JO will be voted on by councillors at the next council meeting on Thursday, March 30.