Regional cities unite

An alliance of New South Wales (NSW) regional cities will create a united voice to influence State Government policy and investment on issues such as population growth, regional infrastructure and investment.

Regional Cities NSW (RCNSW) will be comprised of the Mayors and Chief Executive Officers/General Managers of up to 16 large cities in regional NSW which share similar opportunities and challenges for growth and investment.

Dubbo City Council, Chair of the Economic Development Business and Corporate Committee, Councillor Greg Mohr, said Dubbo was well placed to benefit from the creation of the new organisation.

“Regional Cities NSW will push for real change in regional NSW. 

“Issues such as congestion and rapid population growth in metropolitan areas are an opportunity for Dubbo and other regional cities to continue to grow. 

“The NSW Government has also released $4.2 billion from the sale of the Snowy Hydro project to invest in regional NSW and RCNSW will aim to guide how this money is allocated.”

RCNSW would replace the existing NSW Inland Forum, which excluded councils that were located on the coast, such as Port Macquarie-Hastings and Coffs Harbour.

The new organisation would be based around the successful model that has been implemented in Victoria, where the 10 largest cities outside of Melbourne work cooperatively on issues and projects of mutual interest that affect regional cities in that State.

Cr Mohr said the new organisation would give regional cities the chance to achieve real policy development by working with the State Government.

“We have already seen the benefits of being part of the Inland Forum but Regional Cities NSW brings in some powerful new members that will boost our lobbying power.

“We know there are increased funding opportunities through the State Government and our Council believes this new organisation will give us additional opportunities to secure a greater share of them.”

The creation of Regional Cities NSW is dependent on getting a minimum of nine member councils.

The councils that have been invited to participate in RCNSW include NSW Inland Forum members Albury, Armidale, Bathurst, Dubbo, Orange, Tamworth and Wagga Wagga Councils, as well as Cessnock, Coffs Harbour, Griffith, Lismore, Maitland, Mid-Coast, Port Macquarie-Hastings, Queanbeyan and Tweed Councils.