The need for Victoria’s Cross Border Commissioner to broker agreements with other states for improved regulatory and service outcomes has long been recognised by border communities.
In 2016, the issue was taken up by the Mallee Regional Partnership.
The Partnership region shares borders with New South Wales and South Australia, while six other Regional Partnerships also share a border with these states.
In late 2017, Regional Development Victoria consulted with a range of organisations including local councils, state government agencies, industry associations and stakeholder groups to inform the development of a business case to establish Victoria’s Cross Border Commissioner.
All organisations consulted supported the establishment of the Commissioner role, many citing examples of barriers faced by citizens and businesses in the areas of education, transport, labour mobility and access to markets. For example, people working in construction trades, education and hospitality need dual accreditation and licenses to work across states, while the consultation heard of people travelling for hours to access further education when the same course was offered close to home, but just across the border.
In Budget 2018/19, the Victorian Government committed $760,000 to fund Victoria’s first Cross Border Commissioner for the first two years.
In September 2018, Luke Wilson was appointed as Victoria’s first Cross Border Commissioner.