Canberra alliance green light

Snowy Valleys Mayor James Hayes, NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro and Nationals Wes Fang (far left) and Mackenna Powell (far right) in Tumut this week.

Snowy Valleys Council has been given the green light to join the Canberra Region Joint Organisation.

The Canberra JO was one of 13 new regional bodies established by the government across NSW last year with the aim of strengthening collaboration between local councils and the government on regional initiatives.

Deputy Premier John Barilaro was in Tumut to announce the NSW Government approval.

Mr Barilaro said the council will join the Canberra Region JO based on the strong synergies it shares with other members of the new Canberra regional body.

“All nine councils in the region are full members and the joint organisation is already hitting the ground running by identifying projects and programs it wants to focus on including boosting tourism, increasing agricultural exports, promoting recycling and reducing telecommunications blackspots,” Mr Barilaro said.

“Joint organisations are established within State regional planning boundaries and the Canberra Region Joint Organisation corresponds with the South East and Tablelands regional planning area.

“Snowy Valleys Council lies adjacent to the planning region, however, the Government has included Snowy Valleys in the Canberra Region JO because of the shared community interests and collaboration between the council and the other members of the joint organisation. This is particularly true with regards to the infrastructure and economic growth related to Snowy Hydro 2.0.

Minister for Local Government Gabrielle Upton welcomed the formal proclamation of Snowy Valleys Council as a full member of the Canberra Region Joint Organisation.

“Joint organisations are a key mechanism through which the NSW Government delivers funding and programs to regional NSW,” Ms Upton said.

“They are giving regional councils and their communities a greater say in the prioritisation, planning and delivery of key infrastructure and services and other strategic initiatives.”

The Canberra Region Joint Organisation member councils comprises Bega Valley, Eurobodalla, Goulburn-Mulwaree, Hilltops, Queanbeyan-Palerang, Snowy Monaro, Upper Lachlan, Wingecarribee and Yass Valley.

The council favoured the Canberra group over the Riverina Eastern Region Organisation of Councils, of which it was a founding member.

The council continues to hold membership with REROC, and will evaluate over the next 12 months whether to continue that association.

The mayor, James Hayes, said shift to the Canberra JO made sense.

“It gives us that synergy with a lot of like-minded councils,” Cr Hayes said. “It puts us in with Snowy Monaro, which makes sense from a Snowy 2.0 perspective.”

Cr Hayes said REROC had served the council well over the years.

“They were trailblazers in terms of council co-operation some 25 years ago, and it’s been a very good association for the council,” Cr Hayes said.