While deal partners are working together on finalising the  Albury-Wodonga Regional Deal, an investment of $911,000 is being provided to help deliver the border’s ‘tracks and trails’ project.

This project involves the development of cultural tracks and trails along both sides of the Murray River, including realigning the Yindyamarra Sculpture Walk in Albury and creating the Gateway Island River Walk and cultural trail in Wodonga. Both will benefit from new artworks and sculptures by local Aboriginal artists.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the tracks and trails project is an investment that demonstrates the value of all levels of Government working together for the community whilst Deal negotiations continue.

“This project will directly create jobs in addition to delivering a valuable community asset that contributes to the economic development, tourism and liveability of the region,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.

Assistant Minister for Regional Development and Territories Nola Marino said she was pleased with the progress made to date to identify a range of key community priorities.

“The tracks and trails project demonstrates the commitment of deal partners to get on with the job of delivering for the Albury-Wodonga community while Deal negotiations continue. Through the deal, which is on track to be signed in 2021, we will see a range of projects emerge to improve infrastructure, support business and tourism investment, and improve education and health outcomes.

We will see greater alignment across the border to further bring the Albury-Wodonga community together,” Ms Marino said.

New South Wales Deputy Premier John Barilaro said the Deal will enable new businesses and industries to develop in the region.

“The Regional Deal provides a chance to encourage new businesses to set up shop across the region that will enable Albury-Wodonga to be at the forefront of innovation and development,” the Deputy Premier said.

Victorian Minister for Regional Development Mary-Anne Thomas said the region is already home to some key industries.

“A Regional Deal will support new infrastructure that helps business to grow, create local jobs and ensure that Albury-Wodonga continues to deliver world-class opportunities for residents and visitors alike,” Minister Thomas said.

Mayor of AlburyCity Kevin Mack said that he has been impressed with the willingness of the community to participate in the Deal process despite recent challenges.

“The Albury-Wodonga Regional Deal was always about bringing the community along for the journey and while COVID-19 has made this more challenging, all Deal partners have been impressed at the way community stakeholders have participated,” Cr Mack said.

Mayor of the Wodonga Council Kevin Poulton said the Deal process provided a game-changing opportunity for Albury-Wodonga and the wider region.

“The region’s cross-border nature has always been a challenge, but we now have all levels of government collaborating around the same table to set our region up for the future,” Cr Poulton said.

The tracks and trails project will be developed in stages and is expected to be delivered mid-2021.

The Albury-Wodonga Regional Deal is a collective agreement by the Australian, NSW and Victorian governments, AlburyCity and Wodonga Council and is on track to be signed in 2021.

To support the Deal’s development, the Australian Government has provided $3.2 million for further strategic planning and projects with the local community.

Further information on the Albury-Wodonga Regional Deal can be found here

*Image: Lincoln Causeway at Albury-Wodonga (Border Mail)