Cross border talks begin between Victoria and South Australia

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Thursday 27 June 2019

Regional leaders from Victoria's South West and South Australia's Eastern regions have begun conversations to prioritise greater collaboration and economic development across the Victorian and South Australian state border. 

Meeting in the border town of Edenhope, representatives from RDA Committees from Grampians, Barwon South West in Victoria and Limestone Coast and Murraylands and Riverland from South Australia met with the Victorian Cross Border Commissioner, Luke Wilson.

The meeting explored regional themes including workforce shortages, such as truck driver shortages in Portland and Mount Gambier and visitor attraction opportunities in the Green Triangle to increase tourism and lead to greater benefits for border towns were identified for collaborative cross-border projects.

The Victorian Cross Border Commissioner, Luke Wilson, was pleased to see the strong participation by all representatives and the initiation of the RDA committees to create these ongoing discussions.

“This meeting is an important step to bring neighbouring regions and states together and identify opportunities for economic development, job creation and growth,” said Mr Wilson.

“While each region has its own unique economic challenges, there were common themes addressed today and we are working together to find solutions which will lead to greater benefits for all Victorians.”

The involvement of the Commissioner is critical to giving a voice to cross-border challenges said RDA Barwon South West Chair, Bruce Anson.

“The Commissioners attendance today means he can understand these challenges in greater detail and heard firsthand from the regions what is affecting people on the ground,” said Mr Anson.

The Chair of RDA Grampians, Stuart Benjamin, said that there were opportunities for the RDA Committees cross regionally to work together.

“By having these discussions, we put regional people first. We look forward to continuing these conversations with bordering South Australian RDA committees and the Victorian Cross Border Commissioner to ensure investment is going to the right places and we identify gaps where they exist”

The four RDA committees are committed to continuing to engage on a regular basis to investigate and progress opportunities for collaborative projects to ensure that state border lines seize opportunities for economic development across the Victorian and South Australian borders.