Two Cities One Community
20 November 2017
In an Australian cross-border first, Albury and Wodonga Councils have signed an agreement to take a collaborative approach to planning and growing the region.
Feedback from the Albury 2030 and Wodonga 2033 consultation process, as well as the findings from the Albury Wodonga Business Survey, confirmed that the community would prefer a more united front from local government in order to achieve better value for money and the attraction of public and private investment.
“We are two cities, but one community sharing facilities, venues, infrastructure and services,” said AlburyCity Mayor Kevin Mack.
“So, rather than duplicating what we do, it makes more sense to work together so we can achieve the best possible outcomes for our residents and ratepayers."
The Albury and Wodonga economies are intrinsically linked. Both sides of the border bring different strengths to ensure a buoyant and stable operating environment for local business operators, with movement of goods and people across the two cities contributing to an economy valued at $5.9 billion.
The twin cities also implement a number of important shared projects, including tourism attraction, the Smart Community Framework development, rail corridor collaboration and the delivery of major events.
It is hoped that the partnership will help the councils address some of the challenges presented by operating across different states. Wodonga Mayor Anna Speedie says the agreement provides a formal mechanism to tackle some of the big issues facing Albury and Wodonga businesses.
“We have an opportunity to partner with the Victorian, NSW and Australian governments to address cross-border issues and anomalies and to have far greater influence in decision making in relation to infrastructure investment," she said.
The next step in progressing the collaboration will be the finalisation of a combined community strategic plan, from which an action plan and a set of regional priorities will be developed for the next four years.
More information about the agreement can be found on the Two Cities One Community website.