Mayor Liz Campbell

From the Mayor's desk
Week commencing 16 July 2018Mayor Liz Campbell

Mid North Coast Joint Organisation

Our newly formed Mid North Coast Joint Organisation (MNCJO) is already looking for opportunities to deliver improved services to communities in our region following the inaugural meeting held last month in Kempsey.

I was honoured to be elected Chair of the MNCJO that includes our neighbouring Councils, Port Macquarie-Hastings and Bellingen. Ideally, we would like to have seen other North Coast Councils join our JO, but each Council must decide what is best for them. If circumstances were to change, we remain open to the idea of strengthening our JO with additional members.

Kempsey Shire Council considers the benefit of achieving a stronger voice in regional matters with other levels of government, and the opportunity to gain funding and other support for regional priorities a big plus in being part of a collaborative JO team.

Closer cooperation on a regional level, along with knowledge and resource sharing across local government boundaries can only strengthen how each Council delivers for their community. It also makes sense at a state level as the NSW Government prefers to deal with regional and sub-regional strategic planning, coordination and infrastructure delivery through a JO rather than with multiple councils.

The NSW Government has provided $300,000 in funding to set up the new JO, and plans are already underway to develop our strategic priorities for the region so we have a clear roadmap on what we want to achieve for Mid North Coast communities.

All our member Councils face similar challenges of maintaining ageing infrastructure across town and rural areas, while needing to meet the needs of a growing population with higher expectations for services and facilities being available. We are also striving to build stronger economies and more jobs so that our quality of life is sustainable well into the future.

Our new JO will focus on working smarter at a regional level so we are in the best position at the table when the allocation of regional funds and infrastructure investment is being decided. It will be a busy time ahead as we work together and with other levels of government to see our region thrive.

Tanya Latanville with the Mid North Coast Joint Organisation Board MembersLeft to right: Tanya Latanville, Acting Director North Coast Department Premier and Cabinet; Craig Swift-McNair, General Manager Port Macquarie-Hastings Council; Mayor Peta Pinson, Port Macquarie-Hastings Council; Chair, Mayor Liz Campbell, Kempsey Shire Council; Mayor Dominic King, Bellingen Shire Council Back: Craig Milburn, General Manager Kempsey Shire Council; Matt Fanning, Acting General Manager, Bellingen Shire Council.