Representatives from Central Murray Region councils and state governments met recently to talk roads, rail freight, tourism, public and local transport, tracks and trails, and air.
Tasked with identifying big ticket items and prioritising region-specific projects for each of these categories, the cross-border committee includes representatives from Swan Hill, Mildura, Buloke, Gannawarra, Wentworth, Balranald and Murray River councils, VicRoads and NSW Roads and Maritime Services.
Council’s Director Development and Planning Heather Green said the collaboration would see the development of a Central Murray Region Integrated Transport Strategy.
“In regional Victoria and NSW, safe and reliable transport infrastructure is quite literally a lifeline, Ms Green said.
“And because we know there is no band aid fix, we’re taking a united approach to develop long term solutions.
“The aim of this strategy is to provide the region and each council with a clear plan that covers all aspects of transport infrastructure and details the high priority, region-specific projects in each key area.
“And by taking a united approach, it will allow us to work together to advocate for infrastructure provision and apply for funding.”
Ms Green went on to further highlight the importance of local and cross border co-operation.
“It’s really positive that regional councils are joining forces with state governments to collaborate and work together to achieve some big outcomes.
“And as the lead council in this strategy’s development, Swan Hill Rural City Council is really looking forward to working closely with our neighbors to achieve outcomes that will benefit the entire Central Murray Region.”
Once priority projects are determined for each area, they will be ranked and scored using a formal program to ensure transparency in the rating process.
It is anticipated these outcomes will be presented for endorsement to a steering committee made up of Councillors from each region in June 2018.