NOROC prepares for revamp

THE NORTHERN Rivers Regional Organisation of Councils is preparing itself for a serious revamp following the decision by Clarence Valley and Richmond Valley councils to depart the organisation.

Addressing one of those councils' major gripes at a workshop last Friday, all NOROC decisions on any issues or policies (such as coal-seam gas) will now require consensus across the board.

Other changes to be discussed at the next meeting on May 3 include changing the constitution so only mayors can be represented on NOROC, and only allowing membership to councils, not county councils.

Currently, county councils such as regional water infrastructure body Rous Water, and flood infrastructure manager Richmond River County Council, are allowed NOROC seats.

In the past this has led to a single mayor who also held the chairmanship of Rous Water or RRCC having two NOROC votes instead of one.

That was one of the complaints held by Richmond Valley mayor Ernie Bennett when RVC voted to pull its NOROC membership.

NOROC president and Lismore mayor Jenny Dowell said a united NOROC was vital to effectively advocate for regional issues.

"I am hoping that as NOROC now moves to build its reputation as a strong and united voice on regional issues in the Northern Rivers, Clarence Valley and Richmond Valley Councils will reconsider their decisions to leave the organisation." Cr Dowell said.



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