Regional Deal focus under cities plan

The Albury Wodonga Regional Deal as well as key projects around tourism, transport and the region’s growth are the focus of the Two Cities One Community partnership for the next 12 months.

The action plans for 2021-2022 were presented to the AlburyCity and Wodonga Council meetings this month to be received and noted.

The implementation plan for 2021-2022 has been developed based on the Community Strategic Plan.

Working with all levels of government to implement the Regional Deal remains a key strategic priority as well as the advocacy by the councils for regional health services.

AlburyCity Mayor Cr Kevin Mack said Australia’s first cross-border Regional Deal would give a powerful boost to the development of both cities.

“We know that our cities are stronger together, which has been recognised by the Commonwealth and the States, meaning we’re poised to deliver new services and facilities to our combined community, thanks to support from the Federal, NSW, and Victorian governments,” Cr Mack said.

“Underpinning the Deal, will be this program of Two Cities One Community projects that will provide a solid foundation of growth and improvement, ahead of the Deal’s formal signing.”

Wodonga Mayor Cr Kev Poulton said the two cities had a strong partnership that delivered across many areas of the community.

“Despite a disruptive year for our community, our councils are continuing to work and collaborate across a range of projects and we join to advocate to all levels of government,” Cr Poulton said.

“I think it would be surprising for our community to realise just how much is happening under the Two Cities One Community banner and how councillors and staff continue to engage and collaborate on an ongoing basis.”

The councils will continue with the implementation of joint strategies including the Natural Regional Environment Strategy and Smart Communities Strategy which includes the establishment of a cross-border public Wi-Fi network.

Ongoing initiatives including Halve Waste, the Sustainable Living Festival, Grant Guru, Invest Albury Wodonga and Visit Albury Wodonga also continue, as will the development of our integrated transport plan.

Actions include the promoting Albury-Wodonga to investment and tourism markets as well as attracting major events to the border.

However, with COVID-19 uncertainty continuing and the impact on major events, a decision has been made to not continue with the councils’ own joint arts and cultural festival, Upstream, in 2022.

The councils will instead focus on attracting and supporting new events, with the aim of growing the visitor economy, providing entertainment and activities for the community and enhancing the local arts and culture sector through new creative activities.

Now in the final year of the community strategic plan, the councils will undertake a review of the plan and partnership agreement in the coming year.

The partnership agreement was first signed in 2017.

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