Griffith has joined more than 70 councils from around NSW in an effort to spearhead growth across the state. The move will see neighbouring councils team up to drive better development and economic outcomes.
In conjunction, Deputy Premier John Barilaro announced the state government would award $300,00 to the 11 organisations and participating councils.
Despite earlier reports Griffith and Leeton might not join the same JO, it was confirmed earlier this week they would form part of the Riverina and Murray Joint Organisation (JO) along with Albury, Hay and Murrumbidgee Councils.
The Riverina Joint Organisation has been formed by Bland, Coolamon, Junee, Greater Hume, Lockhart, Temora and Cootamundra – Gundagai shires.
Griffith City Council General Manager Brett Stonestreet said the organisations can work together to “express a regional voice”.
"Regional councils such as Griffith have worked together via more informal clusters over many years but the State Government has decided to formalise such regional council groupings by forming the new "JO's",” he said.
“Local Government should therefore have the opportunity to have greater input into State Government legislation, development of policies and major projects that impact on the bush. Our communities all stand to benefit in the long run if we work together and speak with one voice to our State and Federal Governments.”
Carrathool, Wagga and Narrandera councils are yet to join an organisation, despite government incentives.
Narrandera Shire General Manager George Cowan said Narrandera had foregone the first round of joint organisations as its first two preferences hadn’t been met.
The Shire had expressed an interest in forming a single, Riverina-wide JO, or to join the same area as Wagga and Leeton. He confirmed Narrandera would be examining its options.
“Over the next couple of council meetings council will now decide which organisation it would prefer to join. We’ll be considering it at our next meeting.”
Member for Murray Austin Evans said JOs allow for projects councils might struggle to combat on their own.
“This bucket of money will give members of Joint Organisations in the Far West grounds to start collaborating and making decisions that make life better for families, local business owners and communities in the region.”