On Tuesday 21 July 2015, in an historic show of unity, Hunter’s Hill Council, Lane Cove Council and the City of Ryde, celebrated the culmination of a collaborative process between the three Councils, through the official signing of their Joint Regional Authority (JRA), Memorandum of Understanding.
The process undertaken by the three Councils in the lead up to the Joint Response Submission to the State Government’s Fit for the Future reform program, has included the rejection of forced amalgamations and details the formation of a Joint Regional Authority.
The submission outlined the robust community engagement process that was undertaken and the details of the extensive research and assessment process, demonstrating that the JRA proposal is a superior alternative to amalgamation and one that meets the State Government’s scale and capacity criteria.
Hunter’s Hill Mayor, Clr Richard Quinn, said: “The Joint Regional Authority model is a way for local councils to stay local, retain their close community representation and autonomy over local character and development. It will band us together as we work co-operatively on areas of common interest such as sharing services to gain efficiencies and working together on regional priorities and advocacy.”
Ryde Mayor Clr Bill Pickering said our Councils are committed to working proactively with the State Government and were never opposed to local government reform: “This MOU sends a strong signal to the State Government that our three councils are working together for the benefit of our communities. We can immediately get a better, more efficient and financially beneficial result through co-operation rather than through any disruptive process of forced amalgamation, or in the case of Ryde the destructive splitting of our city.
“Our residents want proper local representation and to keep local government ‘local’. We can preserve this important framework, but this memorandum also provides a stated and signed commitment by Ryde, Hunters Hill and Lane Cove councils to deliver planning at a sub-regional level and greater efficiencies through joint service provision where appropriate.
“This MOU further strengthens our determination for a Joint Regional Authority model as being the best way forward as part of the State Government’s Fit for the Future agenda.”