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 Edenhope last Wednesday, representatives from RDA Committees representing the Grampians, Barwon South West, Limestone Coast, and Murraylands and Riverlands regions caught up with the Victorian Cross Border Commissioner.
The RDA committees, funded by the Commonwealth and State Governments in Victoria as well as local government in South Australia, are part of a national network of local leaders who work with all levels of government, business and community groups to support the economic development of their regions.
The meeting on Wednesday 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.
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 Chair of RDA Grampians, Stuart Benjamin, said that there were opportunities for the RDA Committees to work together.
“By having these discussions, we put regional people first. We are working together to find the best solutions using the knowledge and experience of people from neighbouring regions to leverage our unique positions and bring opportunities and challenges to government in a coordinated and collaborative way,” said Mr Benjamin.
“The Commissioners attendance today means he can have a greater understanding of these issues which will lead to better decisions for our regions.”
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.