Councils sign new cooperative agreement

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.

ALLIANCE: Leaders of three neighbouring councils sing up to a new working alliance. ( r.) Blayney GM Rebecca Ryan, Blayney Mayor Scott Ferguson, Orange CEO David Waddell, Orange Mayor Cr Reg Kidd, Cabonne Mayor Kevin Beatty and Cabonne GM Brad Byrnes.

“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

 Benchmarking best practice and improved financial performance

 Regional tourism marketing via Orange360

 Integrated planning and reporting

 Internal audit

 Waste collection

 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.

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