Progress on strategic regional priorities was endorsed at a recent Board meeting of seven of the regions Councils.
In 2015, the Namoi Councils Joint Organisation undertook research with the Regional Australia Institute to understand how as a collaboration, the group could influence economic growth in the region. Six levers were identified and included:
- Engaging in international markets;
- Attracting international investment on the right terms;
- Understanding the impact of global commodity markets;
- Supporting agricultural innovation;
- Leveraging and marketing with a regional brand; and
- Understanding the impacts of urbanisation.
The International Engagement Project – China is seeking to address levers identified in the ‘Shaping the Future Factors’ report. Member Councils are seeking to establish a regional relationship with the Agricultural Ministry of Ningbo one of the largest freight ports in China.
Members also endorsed a direction to prioritise road infrastructure via an integrated network plan. The Namoi Roads Network Plan identifies the freight inhibitors on regional road networks on the Fossickers Way, New England Highway, Kamilaroi Highway and the Oxley Highway. Consultation with industry is expected to commence in November.
The Namoi Councils Joint Organisation was chosen as one of five pilot regions to assist the NSW Government with developing an industry approach to skill shortages. Over 25 opportunities for young people to undertake apprenticeships and traineeships with Councils across the region have been identified. Key to driving the organisations objectives, member Councils endorsed and launched a new brand for the collaboration. The group will now be known as ‘Namoi Unlimited’.
Cr Cathy Redding Mayor of Narrabri Shire Council and Acting Chair of Namoi Unlimited said the new brand reflects the strengths of the collaboration and reflects our focus on developing opportunities for agriculture and agri-business. It also illustrates the organisation’s strategic location on the eastern seaboard. “Namoi Unlimited exists to create scale and capacity, to deliver practical and collaborative regional initiatives. “The new name and brand reflects our desire to create real positive change and a prosperous future for our communities in regional NSW.
“Our communities want the region to work together to grow jobs, address infrastructure, services and population in the region – and that’s what we are doing.”
Namoi Unlimited is a collaboration of seven regional Councils including; Uralla Shire Council, Walcha Council, Tamworth Regional Council, Liverpool Plains Shire Council, Gunnedah Shire Council, Narrabri Shire Council and Gwydir Shire Council encompassing over 100,000 people across almost 60,000 square kilometres.