THE Albury-Wodonga regional deal is hinging on the backing of Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews' cabinet.
The much-anticipated deal involving federal, state and local government was due to progress to the signing of intent stage late last year before being called off at the last minute when the relevant Victorian minister, Jaclyn Symes, couldn't attend due to a competing commitment on the nominated day for the ceremony.
But at Wodonga Council's first meeting of 2020 last night, mayor Anna Speedie said: "We are still waiting and dependent on state, particularly Victoria, to come to the table.
"We are continuing to work with them and it has to go before cabinet.
"The last discussion we had with the minister is it was in March when it will go before cabinet at state level.
"We continue to work with some sense of urgency to get this across the line so we can get on and do the rest of the planning that dovetails into the actual planning for Two Cities, One Community."
Cr Speedie was quizzed on the regional deal status by Cr Danny Lowe, who said it would be a game-changer for both cities.
"This has never been done before and this is an opportunity for governments at all levels, all around, to really make a statement and this is what can happen when we take out the border," Cr Lowe said.
"The government should get a little bit of a move on."
The update followed council agreeing to move forward with a bid for more facilities at the Birallee Park regional cricket hub.
In addition to applying for state government funding for improved lighting at Kelly Park, Cr Kat Bennett successfully move an alternate motion to seek state government support for outdoor cricket nets for the indoor cricket training centre which is nearing completion.
Cr Bennett's motion was contingent on $25,000 from Cricket Albury-Wodonga and $137,500 from Albury Council being confirmed before the application deadline.
IN OTHER NEWS
The council would then make a bid for $100,000 to the state government's community cricket program and $50,000 from the Australian Cricket Infrastructure Fund.
Wodonga Council will also commit $137,5000 for the $450,000 project.
Cr Bennett revealed councillors had discussed the cricket funding option earlier in the day.
"With this motion it does safeguard our funding," she said.
"It relies on other stakeholders coming to the table."
Cr Ron Mildren seconded the alternate motion and said "some fairly significant cricket events" would be secured if all the funding bids came to fruition.
"We really need to push hard to make sure we get these grants," he said.
Cr Speedie acknowledged lobbying efforts of CAW president Michael Erdeljac and stressed Albury Council was yet to tick-off its part.
"We will continue to work with Albury," she said.
"They have yet to consider this, but it is a terrific project and is a good one to have forward and actually have up."