David Rowe leaves as CEO of Canberra Region Joint Organisation

Outgoing: David Rowe was Yass Valley Council's general manager before taking on the CRJO's CEO role. Photo: Yass Valley Council.

Outgoing: David Rowe was Yass Valley Council's general manager before taking on the CRJO's CEO role. Photo: Yass Valley Council.

The Canberra Region Joint Organisation's chief executive officer David Rowe has left following an administrative restructure.

Chair and Yass Valley mayor Rowena Abbey said it hadn't been "financially sustainable" to keep the CRJO's two full-time staff after additional NSW government funding was knocked back.

Gabrielle Cusack held the other full-time position of strategy and government relations director. She became acting executive officer in the interim after Mr Rowe left in July.

Cr Abbey said Mr Rowe, formerly Yass Valley Council's general manager, would be taking a holiday and was planning on heading into full-time retirement.

She said the board was now reviewing its structure and future projects based on available funding.

The 13 joint organisations (JO) established in 2018 to represent the 85 councils in regional NSW were each given $300,000 by the state government to set up.

Cr Abbey said the majority of that money had already been spent by the CRJO on projects.

"Some JOs would be behind us," she said.

Cr Abbey said the CRJO had created a Water and Waste Water Prospectus and Transport and Freight Prospectus, which identified priority projects in the Canberra Region and the "pinch points" where funding was needed.

Cr Abbey said the CRJO had anticipated recurring funding but instead the NSW government offered a $150,000 one-off fee on August 1.

That money had to be spent on projects, not staff, meaning the CRJO had to make a decision about its paid roles.

"We have projects prioritised and we're looking at which ones will give the best result for our region for that money," Cr Abbey said.

"$150,000 is not hard to spend."

Cr Abbey said the CRJO would work with the state government to find ways to source ongoing funding that wouldn't impact local councils and their communities.

However she said the CRJO was "in a very strong position," crediting Mr Rowe with setting up the organisation's administration, structure, policies and procedures.

The CRJO represents Bega Valley, Eurobodalla, Goulburn Mulwaree, Hilltops, Queanbeyan-Palerang, Snowy Monaro, Snowy Valleys, Upper Lachlan, Wingecarribbee and Yass Valley Councils.

This story David Rowe leaves as CEO first appeared on The Queanbeyan Age.

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