COUN­CIL WATCH Dubbo to join ad­vo­cacy al­liance

Dubbo Photo News - - Council Watch - By YVETTE AUBUSSON-FO­LEY

DUBBO Re­gional Coun­cil will ac­cept the in­vi­ta­tion to join an al­liance called Re­gional Cities NSW (RCNSW), made up of NSW’S largest re­gional cen­tres.

The RCNSW will pro­vide a united front for re­gional res­i­dents to in­flu­ence NSW Govern­ment pol­icy and in­vest­ment on is­sues such as pop­u­la­tion growth, re­gional in­fra­struc­ture and in­vest­ment.

“It will be a sig­nif­i­cant force to work with and not work against in re­la­tion to im­prov­ing the ben­e­fits to our re­gion,” Dubbo Re­gional Coun­cil CEO Michael Mcma­hon told Dubbo

The col­lec­tive of 16 coun­cils will in­clude NSW In­land Fo­rum mem­bers Al­bury, Ar­mi­dale, Bathurst, Orange, Tam­worth and Wagga Wagga Coun­cils, as well as Cess­nock, Coffs Har­bour, Grif­fith, Lis­more, Mait­land, Mid-coast, Port Mac­quarie-hast­ings, Quean­beyan and Tweed coun­cils.

“This is a col­lab­o­ra­tive that in­volves the may­ors, CEOS and GMS. The idea be­hind it is to al­low us to sit at a table to re­ally im­prove and reg­u­late op­por­tu­ni­ties in our re­gional cities within that frame­work,” Mr Mcma­hon said.

The con­cept fol­lows on from a sim­i­lar con­cept started 13 years ago in Vic­to­ria, which brought to­gether 10 of Vic­to­ria’s largest re­gional cities as Re­gional Cities Vic­to­ria (RCV).

“RCV pro­vides a col­lec­tive voice for re­gional is­sues, which strength­ens our ad­vo­cacy and al­lows us to pro­vide mean­ing­ful in­put into pol­icy de­vel­op­ment. It also pro­vides a valu­able fo­rum for en­gage­ment with state and fed­eral gov­ern­ments,” Re­gional Cities Vic­to­ria Deputy Chair Cr Anna Speedie said.

“When it is formed the hope is that it will have enough clout to rep­re­sent the big­gest cities in NSW from Al­bury right through to Tweed,” Mr Mcma­hon said. “It will ac­tu­ally then al­low us to recog­nise the ben­e­fits of our cities, and of­fers us an op­por­tu­nity to take a seat at the table to form and pos­si­bly im­ple­ment poli­cies,” he said.

Re­gional Cities Vic­to­ria has used their com­bined re­sources to de­velop a Live­abil­ity In­dex of the ten cities. Cr Speedie said RCV com­mis­sioned the Live­abil­ity In­dex to iden­tify and un­der­stand po­ten­tial op­por­tu­ni­ties for mem­ber cities to im­prove on ex­ist­ing live­abil­ity per­for­mance, and at­tract and re­tain res­i­dents.

Strate­gies with re­gard to pop­u­la­tion and set­tle­ment will also be on the RCNSW agenda.

“That’s quite top­i­cal at the mo­ment in re­gards to the ques­tion of try­ing to get more peo­ple from Sydney and Mel­bourne, to start go­ing to re­gional cen­tres as part of their mi­gra­tion to Aus­tralia.

“RCNSW can ac­tu­ally create op­por­tu­ni­ties,” Mr Mcma­hon said.

RCNSW will not repli­cate the Evoc­i­ties pro­gram which is also in­volved in grow­ing the work­force ex­ter­nally.

“Evoc­i­ties won’t be part of this Re­gional Cities (group). The pur­pose now is to have a col­lec­tive, but which doesn’t in­clude the mar­ket­ing side of try­ing to at­tract peo­ple to in­land ar­eas of NSW,” Mr Mcma­hon said.

RCNSW would re­place the ex­ist­ing NSW In­land Fo­rum, which ex­cluded Coun­cils that were lo­cated on the coast such as Port Mac­quarie-hast­ings and Coffs Har­bour.

Mem­ber­ship costs will be $10,000 per an­num.

Lo­cal chair of the Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment Busi­ness and Cor­po­rate Com­mit­tee, Greg Mohr, said Dubbo was well placed to ben­e­fit from the cre­ation of RCNSW.

“Re­gional Cities NSW will push for real change in re­gional NSW,” Coun­cil­lor Mohr said. “Is­sues such as con­ges­tion and rapid pop­u­la­tion growth in met­ro­pol­i­tan ar­eas are an op­por­tu­nity for Dubbo and other re­gional cities to con­tinue to grow. The NSW Govern­ment has also re­leased $4.2 bil­lion from the sale of the Snowy Hy­dro project to in­vest in re­gional NSW, and RCNSW will aim to guide how this money is al­lo­cated,” Cr Mohr said.

The cre­ation of Re­gional Cities NSW is de­pen­dent on get­ting a min­i­mum of nine mem­ber Coun­cils. DUR­ING Sep­tem­ber 2018, Dubbo Re­gional Coun­cil ap­proved 50 de­vel­op­ment ap­pli­ca­tions with a to­tal a value of $43,021,740, ac­cord­ing to its Plan­ning De­vel­op­ment and En­vi­ron­ment Com­mit­tee’s build­ing sum­mary.

In Geurie, part of Jen­nings Street has been re­named to Fuzzy Box Road. As a re­sult of a pre­vi­ously ap­proved res­i­den­tial sub­di­vi­sion, Jen­nings Street will be sep­a­rated by an un­formed sec­tion of bush­land between the ex­ist­ing formed road and the newly formed road.

Re­nam­ing that part of Jen­nings Street will save con­fu­sion for emer­gency ser­vices and other ser­vice providers lo­cat­ing prop­erty own­ers, Coun­cil said.

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