Big issues for Coffs Council meeting on 22 March.

By the Editor.

 Councillors have some big issues and decisions to wrestle with at their next meeting this coming Thursday.

Here is what’s on the agenda at this week’s Council meeting:

 

 

  1. Will Coffs Harbour join the MNC JO?

After being given an extension of six weeks, Council will make need to make a decision on whether to join five other Mid North Coast councils to become a Joint Organisation (JO).  Wrongly referred to as a ‘super council’ by some local media.

For all intents and purposes the CHCC is the last of the six councils to make a pronouncement, even of intent, on this.

Council initially considered the report to join the JO on February 8 but were undecided at the end of that meeting.

It could decide this Thursday to voluntarily join the Bellingen Shire, Clarence Valley, Kempsey Shire, Nambucca Shire and Port Macquarie Hastings Councils.

According to the NSW State Government, the benefits of JO’s include better configuration of state, regional and local priorities; improved co-operation between councils, better economies of scale for ratepayers and a stronger acknowledgement of the role of local government in regional planning.

  1. Making business start-ups easier to achieve

Council will also consider whether to enter into a partnership with the State Government’s  ‘Service NSW’ department to open the Easy to Do Business program in the Coffs Harbour LGA.

This program aims to cut bureaucracy and regulations and streamline the processes of opening new hospitality businesses in particular.

The program, which has been running in other NSW local government areas since 2016, cuts the procedure to open a business from around 18 months to less than 90 days.

The present practice apparently  requires an entrepreneur to deal with 13 government and council agencies and complete almost 50 forms.  The new program provides a single digital platform and a single form to replace all of these.

  1. Enticing the Qantas Pilot Academy

Councillor John Arkan will move that a report be brought to council to consider enticing the Qantas pilot training school to Coffs Harbour.

Qantas announced in late February it will found a pilot academy capable of training up to 500 pilots a year near a current airfield in regional Australia. The academy, which is expected to open in 2019, will help meet the increasing need for pilots.

Such an initiative would have real wider regional significance for jobs and the broader regional economy were it to be successful.

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