THE shortage of skilled workers and the possibility of a new university within the region will be high on the agenda for the Namoi Unlimited Joint Organisation (JO) in Canberra on Monday.
Representatives and general managers from the JO’s five member councils will look to outline strategic priorities for the region over the next three years, and advocate for further funding and support from the government.
Gunnedah mayor and JO chairman Jamie Chaffey said the trip will be a showcase of how hard the collective councils have been working for the region.
“This is an important trip to highlight our collective needs,” Cr Chaffey said.
“We’ll be talking about ways to address skills shortages, including the potential for a university in the Namoi region.
“This trip is a show of strength and signifies the serious commitment member councils have made to work together on ambitious projects for the region.”
The advocacy trip will involve 10 briefings and include meetings with Minister for Education Dan Tehan, Special Drought Envoy Barnaby Joyce and Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack.
The possibility of a new university based within the region will also be put forward by representatives during the visit.
“We feel a potential university would have may long term benefits for our region,” Cr Chaffey said.
“A lot of concerns such as young people leaving the region and high unemployment levels would be resolved via this avenue.”
Cr Chaffey said the region’s drought conditions will also be discussed during the visit.
“From what I am hearing this is possibly the worst drought our shire and possibly our region has ever seen,” he said.
“There is a lot to learn from this drought and we want to be involved in ensuring that when drought conditions come around again the government is prepared, and understands what works, and what doesn’t.”