The Mount Isa City Council and Barkly Regional Council in the Northern Territory are joining forces to bolster economic development and jobs creation in northern Australia.
Mount Isa Mayor Cr Joyce McCulloch said the Tennant Creek to Mount Isa Cross Border Commission is a big step forward for the region.
“I am extremely excited that we are now moving to formally step up our levels of collaboration and cooperation,” Cr McCulloch said.
“The Mount Isa City Council Economic Development Strategy identified the formation of the cross border commission as key to untapping the wealth generating potential of north and north west Australia.”
Cr McCulloch said they were already seeing significant and substantial developments along the corridor between Mount Isa and Tennant Creek, including the advent of the Northern Gas Pipeline and further work on the proposed Mount Isa to Tennant Creek Rail Link.
“By strengthening communication and coordination between our respective councils and actively involving other levels of Government, I am confident the region’s economy will grow and diversify more quickly,” she said.
Terms of reference and Governance arrangements are now being drawn up following an initial meeting of the Mount Isa and Barkly Council Mayors, Deputy Mayors and Chief Executive Officers.
The meeting was held in Tennant Creek, the administrative centre of Barkly Council.
Barkly Council Mayor Steve Edgington said the Tennant Creek to Mount Isa Cross Border Commission will bring greater focus and attention to the development of northern Australia.
“I am looking forward to working collaboratively to develop the economy of the corridor, including expanding investments in energy, roads, rail, agriculture, water and tourism,” Cr Edgington said.
“The two councils share many of the same objectives and experiences. Together we can be a much more powerful force for change.”
One of the first tasks of the Commission will be to develop a multi-year workplan.
“This will focus our efforts and provide clarity to policymakers and elected representatives at the state, territory and federal levels of government on the issues and opportunities in our region,” Cr Edgington said.
The Commission will hold its next meeting in Mount Isa in December to formalise the structure and begin project planning.
Among the economic opportunities between the two regions is the 622km Northern Gas Pipeline currently under construction by Jemena.
The first gas is set to flow in 2018.