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Funding wins for regional Councils' joint organisation

Thursday, 8 August 2019

Photo of Isabel Perdriau (Executive Officer NRJO), Deputy Premier John Barilaro and Cr Danielle Mulholland (Chair, NRJO)
L-R Isabel Perdriau (Executive Officer NRJO), Deputy Premier John Barilaro, Cr Danielle Mulholland (Chair, NRJO)

Arising from last week’s meetings with a broad range of State Ministers right through to the Deputy Premier at NSW Parliament in Sydney, the region’s peak advocacy group for local councils again raised the issues of ongoing JO baseline funding and the removal of Benefit Cost Ratios (BCRs) from essential programs with the following result:

  • $150,000 additional funding for each Joint Organisation
  • No BCRs attached to the $500M for bridges (Timber Bridges Program), $500m for roads (Fixing Local Roads Program)

A one-off establishment grant was provided by the State Government in 2018 to get the Joint Organisations up and running. Now it is time to move forward and implement important community projects identified in the 2019 – 2022 strategy.

Chair of the Northern Rivers Joint Organisation, Cr Danielle Mulholland said these results attest to the importance of conveying the unified messages of the region in person.

“I am very pleased that our representations for the region’s councils are gaining traction. At the last meeting of the JO Chairs, we all signed a letter to the Minister outlining why we needed some baseline funding. The Minister for Local Government, Shelley Hancock, has clearly listened to these concerns and subsequently made this funding announcement to a meeting of the 13 Joint Organisation Chairs, confirming that each Joint Organisation will have assured access to this project funding. Given her background on local council, she has a wonderful understanding of the commitment we give our communities and I congratulate her on advocacy for us”.

Cr Mulholland has welcomed these announcements that will ultimately contribute to the prosperity and sustainability of the region through these funding programs.

“In relation to BCRs, the regions often struggle to meet these criteria and the formula applied to funding applications. This change will positively impact our regional economy with a higher likelihood of successful infrastructure funding.”

Discussions on regional priorities will continue at a forum on 1-2 October 2019 in Sydney convened by Local Government New South Wales. The forum will aim to identify common goals to build a stronger platform for future collaboration, and an event that will focus on the current and future challenges of drought is also incorporated.

Media Inquiries to Danielle Mulholland, NRJO Chair 0438 931 425.

Background Notes - Northern Rivers Joint Organisation (NRJO)

The NRJO is a Local Government entity, proclaimed in May 2018 under the Local Government Act 1993. Its membership comprises the six councils of Ballina, Byron, Kyogle, Lismore, Richmond Valley and Tweed.

The purpose of the NRJO is to strengthen collaboration between local councils and the State Government on regional initiatives as well as to plan, prioritise and facilitate important projects. As the leading Local Government advocate for the region, a key role is to enhance rural and regional community outcomes via additional Government financial assistance, legislative/policy changes and a greater share of necessary resources.

NRJO Strategic Regional Priorities 2019 – 2022

  • Thriving, healthy and biodiverse natural environments
  • Improved Community Wellbeing now and into the future
  • A physically and digitally connected region
  • Innovative, sustainable energy, water and waste management
  • A diverse, prosperous and sustainable regional economy

Ministerial Meetings

31 July to 2 August 2019

Janelle Saffin MP, Member for Lismore

  • Northern Rivers Joint Organisation Strategic Regional Priorities 2019 - 2022

Greg Warren MP, Shadow Minister for Local Govt, Veterans, Western Sydney Member for Campbelltown

  • Northern Rivers Joint Organisation Strategic Regional Priorities 2019 - 2022

Paul Toole, Regional Transport and Roads

  • Freight and Supply Chain Strategy
  • Removal of BCRs
  • Collaborative project proposal on regionally significant roads and funding through ‘Fixing Country Roads’
  • Regional Roads transfer process and local government input, funding for improvements, and Council ongoing role in maintenance contracts
  • Funding for local road and bridge upgrade projects and the associated grant funding processes and assessment criteria
  • Strategic improvements identified in the Norther Rivers Freight and Logistics Study, and connectivity to international freight airports
  • Summerland Way, Bruxner Highway, Clarence Way

Sandy Fitter, Senior Policy Adviser to Brad Hazzard

  • Kyogle Council Issues Discussion

John Barilaro, Deputy Premier and Minister for Reginal NSW, Industry and Trade

  • Put a stop to the proposed Essential Energy job losses in our LGA and region, to ensure consistent and comparable Essential Energy Services
  • Regional Roads transfer process
  • Rural Portfolio and grant funding criteria for rural Councils
  • JO Baseline funding
  • Removal of BCRs
  • Northern Rivers Joint Organisation Regional Priorities
  • Northern Rivers Freight and Logistics Study priority improvements and connectivity to international freight airports
  • Snowy Hydro Legacy Fund - allocation and approval process

Shelley Hancock, Minister for Local Government

  • JO Baseline funding
  • Removal of BCRs
  • Emergency Services Levy
  • FAGs - removal of the minimum per capita grant issue

Chief of Staff, Katie Stevenson - Rob Stokes, Planning and Public Spaces

  • Kyogle Council Issues Discussion

Northern Rivers Joint Organisation contact details

PO Box 239, Lismore, NSW 2480
68 587 813 167
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