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CEO's Message

Thursday 30 July 2020
New data confirms Albury Wodonga’s economy is taking a heavy hit from the latest tighter border controls and in response Council is working closely with governments and industry on a proposal to ease the pressure while also minimising the risk of COVID-19 spreading.

Stronger together as 2C1C plan endorsed

The plan provides an important framework to deliver improvements across our community.

A key focus is to work with all levels of government to implement the Albury Wodonga Regional Deal – the first Deal of its type to be struck in Australia.

The Deal will energise the partnership between both councils, the Australian Government and the NSW and Victorian governments, to enable the development of significant new services and facilities to make the border cities even better places to live, work and invest.

Planning for the Deal is well advanced ahead of its formal signing later this year, and we’re looking forward to announcing some exciting projects in partnership with all three governments.

In the meantime, the endorsement of the 2C1C action plan paves the way for ongoing initiatives to continue and new ideas to be adopted.

We’re now pushing ahead with the implementation of important strategies to make our community cleaner, greener, smarter and more successful.

We’re collaborating on the next stages of the Albury Wodonga Natural Regional Environment Strategy which recognises our role as guardians of a unique environment and provides a framework to grow the two cities while ensuring the natural assets that make our region special are protected and enhanced.

We’ll continue our award-winning efforts to halve the amount of waste we bury at landfill while the ongoing Albury Wodonga Sustainable Living Festival will create new opportunities for us all to celebrate what we do well in environmental protection and learn how we can do an even better job in the future.

Of course, sustainable economic growth is central to our vision for the future of Albury Wodonga as Australia’s twentieth largest city. We’re looking towards COVID-19 recovery in our visitor sector through ongoing support for Visit Albury Wodonga, while our Grant Guru program will continue to assist streamlined and informed grant and funds sourcing to encourage investment and jobs growth.

Our Smart Communities Strategy is another key plank of the partnership. By working together, we’ll progressively introduce the technology of the future – including the establishment of a cross-border public wi-fi network – to made us better connected and ready to seize digital opportunities as they arise.

The effects of COVID-19 on major events have prompted a decision not to continue with the cross-border Upstream arts and culture festival next year, but supporting our vibrant arts sector remains a high priority so we’ll be focusing on developing smaller, more regular events to celebrate the amazing talents of our creative community.

Since it was first signed in 2017, the Two Cities One Community partnership has harnessed the joint powers of both cities to deliver benefits that confirm we really are stronger together.

Now, with the endorsement of the action plan, we’ve laid out the next stages in the journey towards an even more collaborative and productive partnership that will enhance our united community for many years into the future.

The advice, support and creative thinking of our community has been the driving force behind the delivery of the partnership, so as always, we thank everyone who’s taken the time to share their ideas and vision.

Both councils are now working towards a major review of the community strategic plan that has got us to this point – and as always, we’re keen to hear your views.

So please do continue to contribute to the debate. This is, after all, a plan for the community by the community and as we continue to work with our partners, your guidance will help to deliver an even stronger community that is united, rather than divided, by the river border that often seeks to define us.

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