Reducing cross-border issues

A recent cross-border agreement between New South Wales and Queensland is aiming to tackle long-standing border issues.

In January, NSW Cross Border Commissioner, James McTavish, made the announcement at the Border Marker at Tweed Heads/Coolangatta, alongside representatives from both Tweed and Gold Coast councils, the Member for Tweed, Geoff Provest, Member for Lismore, Thomas George and State Member for Currumbin, Jann Stuckey.

Governments will be tasked to address issues on a project-by-project basis in four key areas: regional economic development, alignment of services and sharing of information, local transport and issues of national significance.

Major border infrastructure projects and greater alignment of heavy vehicle regulations will also be addressed.

The Statement of Principles and Priorities for Regional Collaboration 2016-19 provides for better recognition of teacher registration and accreditation, joint planning and response to emergencies and the integration of cross-border bus and taxi services.

“There is a focus on things that matter; there is a very clear annual work list which provides transparency on what’s happening and there’s a governance structure in both NSW and Queensland to report progress,” Mr McTavish said.

“In this agreement, there is a very clear focus on issues that deeply impact people on the north coast to NSW and south east Queensland and there is a recognition by both NSW and Queensland that a more harmonious relationship here on the border will lead to better outcomes for all.”

Tweed Shire Council Director Planning and Regulation, Vince Connell said the plan was a positive step forward in addressing many of the entrenched cross-border issues that affect Tweed residents and businesses.

“Better collaboration by government agencies on both sides of the border will lead to better outcomes for our residents,” Mr Connell said.