All rural and regional councils in NSW are required to notify the Office of Local Government by March 23rd if they intend joining what are known as Joint Organisations. These groups of Councils are being set up as a result of the State Government not wanting to deal with over 100 individual Councils and ensuring a more regional focus on decisions. While this seems a reasonable proposition, it raises plenty of questions for large area low population Councils such as Warren. Historically, Warren Shire has operated at a high level and a quick look at some of the larger projects we have been successful in receiving grant funding for indicates going for them on our own has lead to good results. Examples are the town levee system, the Gradgery Lane upgrade, the Sporting and Cultural Centre and the Mundadoo Bridge replacement.
Warren already belongs to an effective group of Councils known as OROC which is the Orana Regional Organisation of Councils made up of 12 Councils and participation is voluntary with low membership fees based on population. The proposed Joint Organisation structure is much more rigid with no option to opt in or out and doubt over operational costs once initial start up funding from the Government runs out. Meetings in Dubbo later this week involving all 12 OROC Councils will help individual Councils decide whether to join the new Organisation and for Warren we must determine our position on Thursday March 22nd.
NRF (Rex) Wilson OAM
12th March 2018