Third NSW ROC Gains Greater Advantage in Vital Regional Collaboration
The Canberra Region Joint Organisation (CBRJO) is the latest group of NSW councils becoming active as a leader in enhanced regional strategic planning. They have joined two other ROCs in taking up LG Professionals, NSW’s new ‘Regional Window’ innovation and by doing, are showing demonstrable long-term commitment to collaborative council performance enhancement and stronger engagement with State Government.
The new Regional Window, now being utilised by CBJRO alongside the two existing regions, Northern Rivers Regional Organisation of Councils (NOROC) and Mid North Coast Regional Organisation of Councils (MIDROC), is a major new feature of the Australasian LG Performance Excellence Program.
General Manager of Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council, Peter Tegart says the Regional Window provides a collective workforce and services profile built from the individual councils involved, to develop a clear picture of their region’s capacity and joint opportunities – now and into the future.
“This is an unprecedented opportunity to improve our performance year on year by genuinely exploring the sharing and planning of services and resources,” Mr Tegart said. “The Regional Window can analyse trends and give us clarity on the options we have to address any operational and workforce issues that may be unearthed.”
“In the absence of other comparative local government data, this is a fresh approach to data sources and analytics, ensuring the same metrics are used so we are comparing 'apples with apples’.”
“We have eight councils in our CBRJO region and in our first year of reporting we will now have created a solid baseline of data and, as we move forward, we will be looking at the data for where there may be opportunities to share services (leveraging one another’s expertise), reducing costs and potentially scaling up the services we offer to the community.”
LG Professionals, NSW CEO Annalisa Haskell says the Regional Window is giving ROCs an opportunity to be better partners with government by bringing solid, data-based evidence to the relationship.
“This is about how a region can work better as one. This new feature is a valuable, unprecedented asset – it requires true collaboration to make it work. These regions are sincere in their desire to be data-driven in their longer term regional planning approach with government,” Ms Haskell said.
Ms Haskell has praised the 19 councils that make up the three ROCs jumping on board so far, for their willingness to once again assist the association deliver this further enhancement for all participating councils.
“It’s frankly inspirational to see so many council leaders respond to the challenges in our local government regions and embrace a level of collaboration this state has not seen before,” Ms Haskell said.
Peter Tegart is one of many council leaders now convinced this evidence based approach, fundamental in the Australasian LG Performance Excellence Program, will be a vital influence on the expanded future of local government – not only in NSW but nationally.
“We would hope the LG Professionals, NSW, Performance Excellence Program with this Regional Window innovation will become the data capture framework to augment the Office of Local Government performance reports, or be used as background metrics to nest into the NSW Stronger Councils Framework performance measures.”