News: Cross border alliance to boost region's future

Barkly Regional Council and Mt Isa Town Council are joining forces to bolster economic development and jobs creation in the region.

Posted: Thursday, 5 October 2017

Barkly Mayor Steve Edgington said the Tennant Creek to Mount Isa Cross Border Commission is a big step forward for the region. “I am extremely excited that we are now moving to formally step up our levels of collaboration and cooperation,” he said.
Mount Isa Mayor Cr Joyce McCulloch echoed Cr Edgington's sentiments.
“The Mount Isa City Council Economic Development Strategy identified the formation of the cross border commission as key to untapping the wealth generating potential of north and north west Australia," said Cr McCulloch.
“We’re already seeing significant and substantial developments along the corridor between Mount Isa and Tennant Creek, including the advent of the Northern Gas Pipeline and further work on the proposed Mount Isa to Tennant Creek Rail Link.
“By strengthening communication and coordination between our respective councils and actively involving other levels of Government, I am confident the region’s economy will grow and diversify more quickly.”
Terms of reference and Governance arrangements are now being drawn up following an initial meeting of the Mount Isa and Barkly councils Mayors, Deputy Mayors and Chief Executive Officers in Tennant Creek.
Cr Edgington said the Tennant Creek to Mount Isa Cross Border Commission will bring greater focus and attention to the development of northern Australia.
“I am looking forward to working collaboratively to develop the economy of the corridor, including expanding investments in energy, roads, rail, agriculture, water and tourism,” he said. 
“The two councils share many of the same objectives and experiences. Together we can be a much more powerful force for change.”
One of the first tasks of the Commission will be to develop a multi-year workplan.
“This will focus our efforts and provide clarity to policymakers and elected representatives at the state and federal levels of government on the issues and opportunities in our region,” Cr Edgington said.
The Commission will hold its next meeting in Mount Isa in December to formalise the structure and begin project planning.