Councils Collaborate Beyond Boundaries

Tuesday 2 October 2018

In an historic first, five cross-border councils are joining forces and looking beyond their respective geographical boundaries to grow and develop the wider region.

The first-ever Albury Wodonga Regional Economic Development Strategy 2018-2022 was endorsed by AlburyCity, Wodonga, Federation, Greater Hume and Indigo Councils throughout October.

An initiative of the NSW Government, the strategy has been developed using each council’s community strategic plans and economic development strategies, both of which are ‘community’ driven.

AlburyCity Mayor, Kevin Mack says the five councils have never before collaborated in this way.

“We now have a high-level strategy that each council can use to influence future growth and development. Importantly, it demonstrates that the government has recognised that regional economies operate beyond local government boundaries and that we are communities of economic interest rather than lines on a map,” he said.

A considerable amount of research and data analysis has gone into developing the strategy, which highlights the region’s competitive strengths.

Home to more than 130,000 people, the economy of the wider region is valued at $7.1 billion annually. Key industries of specialisation are identified as manufacturing, agribusiness and transport and logistics.

Other sectors including tourism, health care and defence are also seen as engines of growth, critical to creating prosperity and enhancing the quality of life for residents.

Wodonga Mayor, Anna Speedie said, “This is another great example of how the councils in this area are able to work together for the benefit of our people, who move across our borders every day. We know how powerful it is when we collaborate and go to other levels of government united.”

The strategy also identifies each council’s economic development priorities through a range of well-aligned major projects. Examples range from road upgrades to resident attraction programs, with each playing a key role in delivering economic growth and job opportunities.