Orana council leaders meet NSW Ministers on local government reforms

Ross Earl, General Manager of the Bourke Shire Council, writes on issues affecting the Far West.

The chair of the Orana Regional Organisation of Councils (OROC), Warren Mayor Rex Wilson, deputy chair Gilgandra Mayor Doug Batten and executive officer Belinda Barlow met Deputy Premier John Barilaro and Local Government Minister Gabrielle Upton in Sydney earlier this month.

They discussed range of issues, in particular those relating to the local government reform process and the proposed establishment of the Joint Organisation of Councils and the proposed Far West Initiative.

The delegation also met: Primary Industries Minister Niall Blair on a range of issues; and LGNSW president Keith Rhoades and chief executive Donna Rygate.

Work is continuing on the development of a Strategic Plan for the Western Division of Councils with a draft proposal to be forwarded to all member councils for their comment before it is finalised and released.

I attended the meeting of the OROC general managers advisory committee at Dubbo last Friday, which featured several speakers including the Department of Planning which detailed progress on the Central West and Far West regional plans.

Local Government Procurement (LGP) explained the benefits and cost savings to be gained by being involved in LGP and in particular avoiding in some instances the need to go to tender and negating the costs of expensive advertising.

Bourke Shire utilises several group purchasing organisations, including LPG, which in the main results in a cost-effective outcome.

Show success.

Congratulations to the Bourke Show committee, which once again put together a great days’ entertainment with a wide range of activities for all age groups and interests.

The tractor pull was a new feature and given the interest will probably become a regular feature.

An incredible amount of work goes into the preparation of the show which, while primarily undertaken over the week or so before the event, does take a commitment over the full year with a considerable amount of coordination and planning.