Richmond Valley Council votes to quit NOROC

RICHMOND Valley Council has voted to quit the Northern Rivers Regional Organisation of Councils (NOROC) but has left the door open for 12 months to reconsider the move.

Mayor Ernie Bennett said Clarence Valley Council's recent decision to withdraw from NOROC prompted him to act as Richmond Valley had more in common with its southern neighbour.

He said the lack of strategic direction and agreement on the role of NOROC allowed for individual agendas to be promoted, and for the creation of voting blocks - referring to the recent vote by NOROC to fund baseline CSG testing.

Cr Bennett stressed the issue wasn't about CSG but NOROC's performance and, in this case, the cost shifting from state to local government.

"If you let the first horse out the rest are going to bolt so that was the one to stop."

NOROC chair, Lismore mayor Jenny Dowell, rejected any suggestion of voting blocks within NOROC.

"I put up a motion from our council about coal seam gas (baseline testing) but I didn't canvass anyone before that," she said

Cr Dowell added she was pleased Richmond Valley Council had "left the door open to re-visit the issue" as she hoped it would stay to help develop the new strategic plan and help "NOROC be as strong as it could be".



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