A late change
to the boundary of the proposed North Coast Joint Organisation (JO) has raised
concerns for Coffs Harbour City Council.
Coffs Harbour - together with Clarence Valley, Bellingen Shire and
Nambucca Shire Councils – has been earmarked since 2013 to become a member of
the regional North Coast Joint Organisation. JOs are intended to be
partnerships of councils with three core functions - regional strategic
planning, intergovernmental collaboration and regional leadership and advocacy.
mid-September, the NSW Government stated that it now wished to include Port Macquarie-Hastings
and Kempsey Shire Councils in the North Coast JO. Port Macquarie-Hastings and
Kempsey Shire Councils were originally intended to be part of the proposed
Mid-North Coast JO, together with Great Lakes, Greater Taree City and
Gloucester Shire Councils.
Lakes, Greater Taree City and Gloucester Shire Councils now form the new
Mid-Coast Council, which is to be included in the Hunter JO. This left only two
councils to form the Mid-North Coast JO. The State Government decided that this
would not be viable and has proposed the expanded North Coast JO.
raised by Coffs Harbour City Council centre on the way the proposed North Coast
JO cuts across the NSW Government’s own criteria for setting boundaries. The
and the other regional major growth centre of Port Macquarie-Hastings will at
times be competing for growth infrastructure and resources, which goes against
the criteria that JO boundaries reflect areas of strategic growth.
major growth centres (Coffs Harbour and Port Macquarie-Hastings) means there
are two separate communities of interest – not the one that the state
government says is best for a JO.
North Coast JO cannot be based around a strong regional centre because there
would be two - Coffs Harbour and Port Macquarie-Hastings. Again, this would not
fit the boundary criteria.
As a result
of the issues raised, Council will make a submission expressing its concerns
with the proposed expanded North Coast JO boundaries and strongly supporting the
The new JOs
are due to be operational from early 2017.