Albury-Wodonga Two Cities, One Community working group launched

HISTORIC MOMENT: Council chiefs, from left, Frank Zaknich and Kevin Mack (Albury), Anna Speedie and Patience Harrington (Wodonga). Picture: JAMES WILTSHIRE

HISTORIC MOMENT: Council chiefs, from left, Frank Zaknich and Kevin Mack (Albury), Anna Speedie and Patience Harrington (Wodonga). Picture: JAMES WILTSHIRE

THE cross-border partnership struck between Albury and Wodonga councils will aim to deliver one major infrastructure project before the end of their present terms 2020.

Stalled developments such as the regional indoor swimming pool in Albury or Baranduda Fields sporting complex could be re-ignited with a united approach between the two councils following the signing of a deal to work closer together on Friday.

Wodonga mayor Anna Speedie confirmed the two councils wanted to see at least one project come to fruition.

“Absolutely that is our intent,” she said.

“We now have some really good strategic work to get done, but we also need to look at some of those major projects which are sitting on both sets of books and figure out a path forward that actually allows us to optimise everything for our community.

“The work begins now and today’s agreement gives us the launch pad to go further.”

Before the next council elections in 2010, the two councils will have a chance to pitch for funding in the lead-up to two state elections and a federal poll in 2019.

Albury mayor Kevin Mack said united fronts would be presented to state and federal governments in future funding applications.

Former mayor and the head of a group pushing for better aquatics facilities in Albury, Stuart Baker, said the partnership was a “promising initiative” which could deliver the $50 million pool complex.

“To sell the combination as a strength rather than separation is a good thing.

“With regards to the pool they are making the right noises.

“It just comes down to the where and how, but I still think something can happen.”

Cr Henk van de Ven and Cr Murray King will join Cr Mack as the Albury representatives on the Two Cities, One Community working party.

It will ultimately lead to a One Community committee comprising mayors, councillors and senior staff with its achievements to be reported to the community every six months.