Following the announcement of nine city deals across Australia, the Federal Government will now trial the country’s first cross-border Regional Deal in the Albury Wodonga region.
The deal will see federal, state and local governments work together to identify regional development opportunities and remove regulatory obstacles to the area’s growth.
Federal Minister for Regional Services, Sport, Local Government and Decentralisation, Bridget McKenzie, said the Albury Wodonga Regional Deal, like existing City Deals, would bring together all levels of government to capitalise on the opportunities for the region and make the most of local strengths to foster economic development.
“The Regional Deal approach provides a unique opportunity to get all three levels of government on the same page and working together towards the common goal of ensuring a region can reach its maximum potential,” Ms McKenzie said.
“Working together will help governments develop a shared vision for our region, which will identify and consider key investments and reforms that are required in that area.”
This will also be the first cross-border deal ever made and will look at harmonising some of the regulatory barriers faced by these two cities to drive more growth and productivity locally.
“To address the challenges and make good on the opportunities, I believe we need all levels of government working together with the community to develop a plan that will support Albury Wodonga region to prosper over the next decade,” Ms McKenzie said.
The Federal Government has pledged an initial investment of $3.1 million to undertake Strategic Planning with the community, which will help to form the basis for the deal moving forward.
In addition, the collective vision and commitment will be formalised by signing a Statement of Intent. This will involve both Local, State and Federal Governments in conjunction with the business sector, marking an important first step in commencing the Regional Deal.
Combined, Albury-Wodonga is the 17th largest Australian city and projections show strong growth for the future.