The Liberal and Nationals’ Government has today announced the Albury Wodonga region will pilot a Regional Deal, with the Government committed to working with state and local governments to identify regional development opportunities.

Minister for Regional Services, Sport, Local Government and Decentralisation Bridget McKenzie said like existing City Deals, the Albury Wodonga Regional Deal will bring together all levels of government to capitalise on the opportunities for the region and make the most of local strengths to foster economic development.

“The Regional Deal approach provides a unique opportunity to get all three levels of government on the same page and working together towards the common goal of ensuring a region can reach its maximum potential,” Minister McKenzie said.

“Working together will help governments develop a shared vision for our region, which will identify and consider key investments and reforms that are required in that area.

“This will be the first cross-border deal ever made and will look at harmonising some of the regulatory barriers faced by these two cities to drive more growth and productivity locally.

“To address the challenges and make good on the opportunities, I believe we need all levels of government working together with the community to develop a plan that will support Albury Wodonga region to prosper over the next decade.”

This includes an initial investment of $3.1million to undertake Strategic Planning with the community which will help to form the basis for the deal moving forward.

In addition our collective vision and commitment will be formalised by signing a Statement of Intent. This will involve both Local, State and Federal Governments in conjunction with the business sector. This will be an important first step in commencing the Regional Deal.

Welcoming the announcement Federal Member for Farrer, Sussan Ley, said this important deal for the ‘two cities’ will go a long way to removing some of the unnecessary obstacles preventing Albury-Wodonga reaching its unique and unlimited potential as a region.

“I want this initial funding to give local businesses and industry a seat at the decision-making table, allowing our community a clear voice to grow this next exciting chapter for the Border. I am very proud we’ve been able to deliver this agreement under a Coalition Government.”

Combined, Albury-Wodonga is the 17th largest Australian city and projections show strong growth for the future.