A report presented to our Councillors last week has shown we’re making significant progress in our historic Two Cities One Community (2C1C) partnership – with much more to look forward to.
The six-monthly Two Cities One Community Action Plan update has confirmed that by working together we have already hit key targets that are forming the foundations of a new era in economic, social and environmental co-operation between the border cities.
The people of Albury Wodonga have always been one community. By formalising that arrangement, we’re setting benchmarks by delivering the aims of the 2C1C partnership and more.
For example, we’ve now adopted a Destination Management Plan for Albury Wodonga and we’re well on the way towards achieving the actions that will flow from that.
We have achieved success in our plan to work together to attract and facilitate a range of community and major events. Some of these events include the Victorian State Grass Courts tennis championships, the Australian Country Junior Basketball Cup 2019 and 2020, the National Over 70s Cricket Tournament, the Australian Heritage Motoring Federation National Tour in 2020 and Tennis Victoria Country Week.
The economic and social value of these events to our community is huge – in 2019-20, the cricket, basketball and Country Week tennis events alone will bring an estimated $6.8M to the Albury-Wodonga economy.
That’s not only a lot of hotel beds, restaurant seats and other purchases from the local businesses, it’s also an invaluable way of showcasing our beautiful area to visitors who will hopefully make return visits with their family and friends.
Under the 2C1C partnership, we’ve developed and implemented an Albury Wodonga investment attraction campaign which has already received almost 100 enquiries to the two councils’ Economic Development teams.
Some of the other actions in progress include the development of an integrated transport plan for both cities, a cycling strategy to get more people on to their bikes, and a joint effort to lobby for improvements to the Hume Passenger Rail Corridor.
The announcement earlier this year of ‘Upstream’, our signature Albury-Wodonga arts/cultural festival, is another sign of tangible progress, while important steps have also been taken towards developing renewable energy projects to power local homes and businesses into the future.
We’re proud to be leading the way in developing and implementing a Smart Community Strategy so that both cities are well placed to catch the technology wave that will help to design our digital future.
These examples reflect the progress we’ve made in the past six months but of course there’s still much to do to fully harness the potential of our community. As Australia’s 20th largest economy, the potential for Albury-Wodonga to grow and thrive together is almost unlimited.
It’s very exciting to see that we’re on track to achieve the aims of the partnership but of course, none of it could happen without the support and dedication of people on both sides of the border who have told their councils that working together is the way of the future.
I’d like to thank our community for powering this vision for the future and I’m very much looking forward to continuing that collaboration to ensure Albury Wodonga remains one of the best places in Australia to live, work and invest.