Blayney, Cabonne and Orange Councils will form a new strategic alliance to work on better cooperation and joint initiatives.
Leaders of the three councils met today to sign a new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to guide the new relationship.
The MOU agreement states the three councils will be “working collaboratively and sharing resources (to).. achieve economies of scale, build capacity and increase workplace productivity and ensure the long term financial sustainability of each individual council.”
Blayney Mayor Cr Scott Ferguson said he was pleased to be signing the agreement.
“Staff from the three councils have already been working cooperatively for years and we want to extend that,” Cr Scott Ferguson said. “We’re already doing a lot together in the areas of tourism and waste management, but there’s room to do a lot more.”
Cabonne Mayor Cr Kevin Beatty believes there are many benefits of cooperation.
“The way the Netwaste network operates offers a good model for this new way forward together,” Cr Kevin Beatty said. “We can negotiate a better deal with waste contractors by working together in an area like recycling, but at the same time we can each continue to operate different systems of local bins and by choosing to buy into the elements that suit local communities.”
Orange Mayor Cr Reg Kidd is optimistic about the potential for the future.
“The new MOU gets the balance right between a commitment to work on the projects we have in common, while retaining our local identity,” Cr Reg Kidd said. “It makes it clear that each Council will continue independently as its own entity, and that’s the best way to deliver better value for our communities.”
The preliminary topics on the list for shared activity includes:
Joint tenders and purchasing arrangements
Open exchange and sharing of technical expertise and information
Workforce and staff secondment, professional development opportunities
Cross border roads construction and maintenance
Councillor and staff training
Review and coordination of strategic documents
Sharing of services and plant
Regional economic development and strategy
Regional tourism marketing via Orange360
Integrated planning and reporting
Natural resource management
Disability, cultural and social planning
Crown Lands management and Aboriginal heritage issues
The new alliance will be managed by a joint board which will meet twice a year. The alliance board will be chaired for two years by one of the three mayors in turn.