Lo­cal visit for Cross Border com­mis­sioner

Yarrawonga Chronicle - - Front Page - BY EMMA PRIOR

The NSW Cross- Border Com­mis­sioner was in Yar­ra­wonga Mul­wala re­cently to speak at the Yar­ra­wonga Mul­wala Strate­gic De­vel­op­ment meet­ing.

Mr James McTav­ish spoke about the role he plays across NSW and the ways in which he and his team can as­sist Mul­wala and move into Yar­ra­wonga.

The 2018/19 Vic­to­rian Bud­get pro­vided $760,000 to es­tab­lish the Cross-Border Com­mis­sioner to ad­dress is­sues that im­pact on busi­nesses, or­gan­i­sa­tions and res­i­dents who live, work and op­er­ate across state bor­ders.

The Cross-Border Com­mis­sioner role fo­cuses on en­gag­ing with stake­hold­ers, ne­go­ti­at­ing agree­ments be­tween govern­ment agen­cies, and ad­vo­cat­ing on be­half of border com­mu­ni­ties and busi­nesses.

“Ad­dress­ing cross-border is­sues is part of our core busi­ness,” Mr McTav­ish said.

“The tim­ing has never been bet­ter to look into the is­sues re­lat­ing to Yar­ra­wonga Mul­wala and the cross border mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties.

“The Vic­to­rian govern­ment is now com­mit­ted to cross-border func­tion­al­ity which helps us a lot in ar­eas such as this one with towns on ei­ther side of the NSW and Vic­to­rian bor­ders.

“We are cur­rently in the pre­lim­i­nary process be­tween NSW and Vic­to­ria but no MOU is in place yet so we can’t pro­duce any con­crete plans.”

Mr McTav­ish was also im­pressed in how the Fed­er­a­tion and Moira Coun­cils spoke to each other and tried to work as ‘one’ where there could.

“The fact coun­cilors talk to each other around here is great, there is then a mea­sure of strate­gic line but I don’t think it will hap­pen that you could have a sin­gle govern­ment en­tity,” Mr McTav­ish said.

“Co-oper­a­tion be­tween mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties gives the feel that you are able to have progress.

“How­ever some is­sues are dif­fi­cult be­cause both ju­ris­dic­tions need to ben­e­fit. “There are projects yet to be de­ter­mined.” Last week Vic­to­ria’s first ever Cross Border Com­mis­sioner was an­nounced in a win for lo­cals liv­ing and work­ing across the state’s bor­ders.

Min­is­ter for Re­gional De­vel­op­ment Jaala Pul­ford an­nounced the ap­point­ment of Luke Wil­son to the crit­i­cal new role, which will be re­spon­si­ble for pro­mot­ing the in­ter­ests of Vic­to­rian border com­mu­ni­ties, re­solv­ing is­sues, and de­vel­op­ing com­mon ap­proaches with neigh­bour­ing states.

The Cross Border Com­mis­sioner will be based in Wodonga and di­vide his time be­tween a num­ber of Vic­to­rian Govern­ment of­fices along the bor­ders to en­sure all com­mu­ni­ties en­gaged di­rect.

“This is a unique op­por­tu­nity to work sideby-side with border com­mu­ni­ties to make liv­ing and work­ing in our border com­mu­ni­ties even bet­ter. We’ve lis­tened to our Re­gional Part­ner­ships and we’re getting on with it,” new Vic­to­ria Cross Border Com­mis­sioner Luke Wil­son said.

“Over the com­ing months, I will be meet­ing with many in­di­vid­u­als and or­gan­i­sa­tions, and am re­ally look­ing for­ward to hear­ing from you, and then getting things fixed. This is an ex­cit­ing op­por­tu­nity to ad­dress a real need.”

NSW Cross-Border Com­mis­sioner James McTav­ish was in town as part of the Yar­ra­wonga Mul­wala Strate­gic De­vel­op­ment meet­ing.

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