The creation of new “Joint Organisations of Councils” was a vital part of the State Government’s “Fit for the Future” approach to local government reform and renewal.

Piloting the program

Five groups of NSW councils worked with the NSW Government to develop the JO model and build better working relationships between councils and State agencies. The successful Pilots were: Hunter, Illawarra, Central West, Namoi and Riverina regions. They included a diverse mix of councils, all with a strong history of working together and a commitment to partnering with the State to address regional priorities such as economic development, transport and infrastructure. Each Pilot trialled a slightly different model, to reflect the different working relationships and priorities of their region. The Pilots shared their learning with other councils along the way and helpted to develop the JO model finalised in 2017.

The Trial Joint Organisations worked with other groups of councils to develop:

  • A shared understanding of the purpose of JOs and how the Pilot program will work
  • Core features of the JO model and regional variations for each Pilot group
  • Draft action plans for getting the Pilots up and running
  • Ideas for regional priorities to focus on during the Pilots
  • Ideas to help support the councils taking part and ensure the program is a success

Charters to guide how they would function and work with others during the Pilot and Statements of Regional Priorities were developed in consultation with State agencies and others to guide the Pilot Organisations in their planning and projects.  You can read more about the first stage of the Pilot program in the JO Pilot Interim Report in the documents section of this website.