Joint meeting held between Port Stephens & Newcastle Councils
Senior executive members from Newcastle City Council and Port Stephens Council have this afternoon met in Raymond Terrace to discuss Friday's proposed merger announcement by the state government.
The meeting, co-chaired by Newcastle City Council interim Chief Executive Officer Frank Cordingley and acting Port Stephens General Manager Mike McIntosh, was held ahead of further detail being released in early January relating to next steps in the merger process.
The two organisations discussed the importance of keeping staff informed at each step, particularly the protections provided under the Local Government Act relating to no forced redundancies or relocations for a three year period from the date any new entity comes into existence.
The meeting also reaffirmed the both council's commitment to the delivery of quality services to their communities as a proposed merger is considered.
"At Port Stephens, our primary focus since Friday's announcement has been to ensure our staff are supported through the early days of the proposed merger becoming public knowledge," Mr. McIntosh said.
"I was particularly pleased to see our approach was aligned with that pursued by Newcastle City Council with their own staff over recent months.
"It is still early days and there is a lengthy process to come. But this is a good first step and, if the proposal was to proceed as it currently stands, I can safely say that a good dialogue has been established between the two organisations."
Mr. Cordingley thanked executives from both Councils for initiating the meeting.
"Today's meeting was a positive step forward and demonstrates the collaborative relationship that already exists between the two organisations on a number of levels," Mr. Cordingley said.
"This is a great opportunity to work together to get the best outcome for our communities – whatever that may be. In the meantime, our focus is on continuing to deliver the services our communities value.
"We have made a commitment to continue talking throughout the process and I look forward to more conversation in the New Year."