Below is a list of cooperative projects and their key stakeholders.
Our PlaceMat Project
Our PlaceMat Project has been a collaboration between the Regional Leadership Executive and Central NSW Joint Organisation over 2021 and 2022. A PlaceMat has been created for every Council as well as one for the region.
The PlaceMat is designed to be opened up and laid on the kitchen table to enable informed conversations in community about their place. With 48 data sets from using publicly available sites, data is benchmarked so communities can compare themselves to others. Opened up it is an A3 size and could be used as a traditional placemat for the table!
Ideally, this will empower community to provide informed requests of Councils and State agencies on infrastructure and services priority. Further, this will enable the community themselves to consider the support they themselves can provide or the changes they themselves can make to move the dial in areas over which they have some control, for example preventative health.
Disaster Risk Reduction Fund
Central NSW faces imminent natural disaster risks, with flooding, storms, and bushfires posing significant threats to communities. Recognising the urgency, the Central NSW Joint Organisation has secured $647,000 in funding under the Disaster Risk Reduction Fund, jointly funded by the Australian and New South Wales governments.
The project approach is collaborative, emphasising partnership and coordination across multiple levels of government. This initiative doesn’t just address immediate risks but also builds the foundation for long-term resilience, aiming to strengthen resilience, limiting the impact of natural hazards on communities.
By investing in strategic planning, leveraging regional expertise, and fostering community involvement, this project isn’t just about immediate risk mitigation. It’s about laying the foundation for a more resilient, adaptive, and thriving Central NSW.
Best Practice in Aggregated Procurement
Central NSW Joint Organisation (JO) is providing the lead for four JOs, including Canberra, Riverina, and Riverina and Murray in the Best Practice in Aggregated Procurement Program (BPAP).
This project seeks to leverage the enabling legislation for JOs to ensure that member Councils, and through them their communities, will get best value from procurement through the JO. This includes supporting local businesses and a road map for procurement tailored to each JO.
The project provides the JOs with a suite of templates and guidance documents to either commence on an aggregated procurement journey, or streamline and improve existing aggregated procurement.
The project was funded by the NSW Government and was completed in late 2021.
Tourism Data Project
Councils across Central NSW spend an estimated $20m per year on tourism services, attractions and events.
50% of Central NSW JO members do not get any tourism data from Tourism Research Australia or Destination NSW to assist in measuring the success of their investment or that of the tourism industry across the region.
Meanwhile, every Regional Economic Development Strategy for CNSWJO members identifies tourism as a key area of growth.
CNSWJO has identified the need for improved data, not just using existing metrics but to better inform future decision making. This is why there has been co-investment by members, the CNSWJO, Western Research Institute and Destination Network Country and Outback.
This project was completed in December 2020.
Clean Energy Central Program
This program recognises that every Council is at a different stage of the journey to net zero emissions and seeks to accelerate outcomes both at the local level and then achieving value for members and their communities through regional action. The program has been co-designed with Department of Planning and Environment (DPE).
Member councils have worked with a variety of consultants throughout 2021 to develop strategies and plans ranging from Renewable Energy Action Plans, Solar and Storage Assessments, Emissions Reduction Plans, Aquatic Centre Efficiency Audits, and Smart Metering and Switching. The focus in 2022 is to use these plans and implement the actions from them.
DPE is also supporting the JO to procure renewable energy for member councils through a Power Purchase Agreement which is currently underway.
More information is available here, including an example of the great work being done in Central NSW as explained by Cr Medcalf, Mayor of Lachlan Shire.
Culture Maps Central NSW
A collaboration between Arts Out West, RDA Central West and Central NSWJO has been the Culture Maps project. This website supports visitors and locals exploring all things cultural in Central NSW including public art, galleries, events and the region’s rich heritage. It launched September 2020 in Bathurst at the meeting of the CNSWJO Regional Tourism Group.
Check out the website: https://centralnsw.com/
Electric Vehicle Toolkit
The councils in Central NSW have a keen interest in electric vehicles and have collectively developed a number of to assist in the uptake of electric vehicles. There has been 3 key pieces of work completed in this space recently.
The Electric Vehicle Charging Toolkit aims to assist the community and local businesses to understand and navigate the process of installing chargers throughout the Central NSW region. The Toolkit is designed to walk through the necessary steps involved in installing electric vehicle chargers, including considerations such as site selection, charging infrastructure, required approvals, the installation process and signage.
The JO has also worked with members on an Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Mapping Strategy to identify key locations to install EV charging stations. This was a strategic approach to charging infrastructure that will ensure that electric vehicle drivers have the most logical and stress-free journey through the region. The project had a strong tourism focus to ensure there is inter-connectivity with the Sydney and Canberra.
Building on the work of the Mapping Strategy, members took a deeper dive into key sites and engaged ChargeWorks to conduct detailed site assessments. The purpose of this work is for member councils to be grant ready in the lead-up to the NSW Government’s grants for electric vehicles and charging infrastructure.
Central NSW Joint Organisation members collaborated on a regional project to identify key locations to install EV charging stations. This was a strategic approach to charging infrastructure that will ensure that electric vehicle drivers have the most logical and stress-free journey through the region. The project had a strong tourism focus to ensure there is inter-connectivity with the Sydney and Canberra. In 2021 a regional report was published. To see the report on Regional Charging Infrastructure in Central NSW click here.
“Come Out We’re Open” – PR campaign
With funding from Destination NSW, Central NSW was promoted as a tourism destination through a PR campaign. The campaign ran from March to April 2023 to capture the Easter travelling market and the NSW school holiday period. It is aimed at the 25-60 age group including couples and groups of friends seeking short breaks with an interest in culture, arts, heritage, boutique places to stay, food and wine plus drive destinations.
In collaboration with Geagle Productions, three new television commercials (2 x 15 sec and 1 x 30 sec) featured 11 lgas in Central NSW with branding “Come Out, We’re Open” were produced. The scenes featured art, nature, attractions, experiences, food and wine and were on rotation for the month.
Online WHS Contractor Inductions
CNSWJO member councils have been conducting general WHS inductions for contractors since 2003 with the package undergoing many reviews and updates during this time to ensure alignment with legislation and council requirements. As a result of significant amount of interest from members of the WHS/Risk Management Group the project was fast-tracked with approval from the Board to help alleviate congestion and the backlog of inductions that occurred during the early months of Covid-19.
A Working Party was formed, consisting of staff from Bathurst Regional Council, Cowra Council and Forbes Shire Council, who worked on the content of the online module. A significant amount of material had been developed for the existing WHS Induction Program and together with information used by Forbes Shire Council in their current online induction program a new regional module has been developed.
The online module has been published and available to be used for inductions and is facilitated by Central NSW Joint Organisation. Use of the online induction module is voluntary, face to face delivery of the induction is still an option if preferred and noting that the online WHS induction does not replace a site-specific induction.
Learning Management System / Online Learning
CNSWJO has a contract with ELMO on behalf of its member councils for a Learning Management System and there has been a contract in place since 2017.
Each ELMO platform is managed individually by each Council and Councils users have access to over 300 courses that are currently available in the ELMO course library. Councils can build and upload their own modules onto the ELMO platform as well.
Water and Wastewater Training
The CNSWJO Water Utilities Alliance (CWUA) recognises that having an appropriately trained and competent workforce is critical in ensuring public health and clean water for the environment from their water, wastewater and recycled water operations.
With ever increasing standards for drinking water quality including the implementation of Health Based Targets in the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines, training of water treatment operators is required to meeting regulatory requirements.
Part of an overarching Workforce Development Strategy, the CWUA aims for Water Treatment Operators to be “certified” under the industry recognised National Certification Framework for Water Treatment Operators.
The training of water & wastewater operators (and subsequently certification) from across the region has been evolving since 2011 and is the road has been as follows:
- 2011 – Regional Training, Mentoring & Resource Sharing Strategy identified
- 2012 – Water Resources Working Party formed to deliver Strategy
- 2013 – Workforce Development Pilot Project
Four CWUA member Councils (Parkes, Cowra, Orange and Forbes) participated in the NSW Pilot of the National Certification Framework for Operators within Drinking Water Treatment Systems managed by the Australian Water Association contributing 16 out of 50 candidates.
- 2014-2015 – the mapping process commenced and training gaps identified
- 2016 – Training Program Commenced – Round 1
Approx. $30k in funding secured from State Training Services to deliver the 76 units identified through the pilot program to the 16 candidates, training delivered in the Central NSW region by North Coast TAFE. Once the pilot was completed, the Water Industry Skills Taskforce appointed the Water Industry Operators Association (WIOA) as the certifying body for Operators in NSW.
- 2018 – Training Program – Water- Round 2
Following the success of the pilot and utilising the tools and expertise developed, the program was rolled out to other CWUA member Councils.Round 2 comprised:
- Part Qual funding
- 4 blocks of training over 4 months
- Training was delivered in 5 LGAs
- Site visits for 9 participating councils
- A total of 211 units were delivered across 17 units of competency
- 43 operators completed the training project; 19 operators now registered Water Operators under the WIOA national certification scheme
- 2020 – Training Program – Wastewater – Round 3
The training for Round 3 commenced in October 2020 and was completed in June 2021. 46 operators were successful in obtaining their Cert III in Water Industry Treatment – Wastewater and are working towards Registration (formerly referred to as Certification) under the WIOA National Certification framework.Round 3 comprised:
- Smart & Skilled funding
- 7 blocks of training over 8 months
- 566 units to be delivered
- 20 Units of Competency
- 46 wastewater operators
- 9 member Councils
- 2023 – Training Program – Water Treatment and Networks – Round 4
The training for Round 4 commenced in September 2023 and is due to be completed in December 2024. Currently, 39 operators have enrolled in this Cert III qualification. This training is being delivered by Fusion Training Solutions and is fully funded by the NSW Government.
Please see a detailed CASE STUDY on the Central NSW Joint Organisation Water Operator Training Program.
The environment will be better off as well-informed operational practices can prevent inappropriate off-site discharges, conserve water and avoid damage to aquifers and waterways.
Southern Lights NSW
Southern Lights NSW is an enabling infrastructure project designed to deliver better, safer, cheaper lighting and smarter, connected communities. Not only will lighting levels be improved, the project will provide significant connectivity benefits to regional and rural communities across southern NSW from Bega to Broken Hill. The Southern Lights Group continues to work with Essential Energy on delivering these important outcomes.
Covering 41 Local Government Areas, the Southern Lights’ project is evidence of the capacity for local government to collaborate for innovation. Southern Lights’ Project Partners are the Riverina Eastern Regional Organisation of Councils (REROC), the Riverina and Murray Joint Organisation (RAMJO), Central NSW Joint Organisation (CNSWJO), Canberra Region Joint Organisation (CRJO) and Broken Hill City Council.
The roll-outs commenced in 2019 and continue across regional NSW. It is expected that all remaining Southern Lights Group councils will have their bulk lamp replacements completed by the end of the 2021/2022 financial year. Progress on the rollouts can be found on Essential Energy’s Engagement website.
The Southern Lights Group continues to advocate for improved transparency, accountability and service levels of the Distribution Network Provider through participation in consultations and responding to requests for submissions from IPART, DPIE and the AER. These submissions can be found on the submissions page
For many years REROC has held the project management role for the Southern Lights Group, and this was transferred to CNSWJO in September 2021. The Southern Lights Group works closely with Next Energy who provides technical expertise in streetlighting.
The Department of Local Government requires Councils to have an assets policy and asset management strategy to meet community expectations as identified in the Community Strategic Plan for improved efficiencies and minimised costs.
A combined project of the Water Utilities Alliance, and Roads Technical Committee commended to develop a regional procurement of a third party to run the National Asset Management Assessment Framework (NAMAF) across CNSWJO member Councils inclusive of all asset classes to improve asset management practices. As Asset Management capability and capacity is a priority for the New South Wales Government and the performance audits planned to be undertaken by the Auditor General.
All NAMAF assessments have been completed in this region and a workshop on outcomes, a regional perspective and next steps will occur as the Covid situation improves.
164 Bridge assessments for member Councils and a regional report to inform further funding and collaborative opportunities with the State and Federal Governments’ with a view to delivering even more value to members and the State. Click here to view a case study.
CNSWJO supports inter Council cooperation through its operational and strategic groups. These are:
- The General Managers’ Advisory Committee
- The CNSWJO Water Utilities’ Alliance
- The CNSWJO Roads and Transport Committee
- The CNSWJO Tourism Group
- The CNSWJO Planners Group
- The CNSWJO Human Resources Managers Group
- The CNSWJO Training, Learning and Development Working Group
- The CNSWJO WHS/Risk Management Group
- The CNSWJO Energy Group
- The CNSWJO IT Managers Group
- The Building Surveyors Skills Shortages Working Group