Councillors from both sides of the Murray River in Sunraysia will begin working more closely together for the betterment of the entire region following agreement on a Collaborative Charter.
The move comes in the wake of recent meetings between Mildura Rural City and Wentworth Shire Councillors ahead of formal endorsement by Mildura Councillors at tonight’s Ordinary meeting.
Mildura Mayor Liam Wood said it was a positive step and recognition that despite being located in two different States, and separated by a river, the Mildura and Wentworth regions shared many similarities.
“For me, the Sunraysia region takes in both sides of the river, regardless of State boundaries,” Cr Wood said.
“We have many Wentworth Shire residents who live in New South Wales but work in Victoria, and vice versa.
“We often use the same services, rely on the same crops, and the same industries to maintain our living standards and our economic growth. Ultimately, we’re only separated by a couple of kilometres.
“By working more collaboratively we will produce better outcomes for both communities.”
Wentworth Shire Council Mayor Tim Elstone said taking a collaborative approach to the region was a concept that had worked well in other areas.
“This is a great concept and we’ve seen it happen in another couple of areas along the river, such as Albury-Wodonga, and I think Wentworth and Mildura can work very well together on various projects,” Cr Elstone said.
“It’s a benefit to the whole community if we can pool our resources into a project, irrespective of what side of the river, it’s a win-win all round for community. And our community is both sides of the river.”
Key objectives of the Collaborative Charter include:
- Recognise the collective voice and aspirations of the community that the two Councils represent
- Maximise benefits to the community by adopting a co-operative approach to planning and strategy
- Be open to opportunities to use our combined forces to advocate for and attract investment that strengthens the local economy and lifestyle
- Recognise the productivity potential through any cross border issue resolution