Nth coast councils push for reforms

CONSTITUTIONAL recognition, water reform through alliances, and enticing skilled workers to regional centres will be on the agenda of a North Coast councils' pow-wow this week.

Representatives from Bellingen Shire and Nambucca Shire councils will join compatriots from other North Coast LGAs for a 'lowdown on 2009' meeting with the Local Government and Shires Association at Tweed Heads tomorrow.

Shires Association president Bruce Miller, who will address the meeting, said local councils will face challenges this year but also 'exciting opportunities'.

“We're pushing for an amendment that allows the Federal Government to fund councils directly, which will give us a better chance of improving the infrastructure and services inour local towns,” Cr Miller said.

Other items on the agenda include discussion of reform for rural water and sewerage facilities, regional alliances as a way of providing more reliable facilities, and opportunities for councils to capitalise positively on the economic downturn.

“Councils are in a position to take up some of the skilled workers suddenly on the job market and convince them of the benefits of working in regional and rural centres that have so much to offer,” Cr Miller said.



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