Mount Isa and Tennant Creek Mayors find common ground

MEETING OF MINDS: Mayors Steve Edgington and Joyce McCulloch met in Mount Isa on Tuesday to discuss cross border cooperation.
MEETING OF MINDS: Mayors Steve Edgington and Joyce McCulloch met in Mount Isa on Tuesday to discuss cross border cooperation.

Breaking down borders and increasing cooperation between Queensland and the Northern Territory was the subject of a summit of regional leaders in Mount Isa on Tuesday.

Mount Isa Mayor Joyce McCulloch said the Mount Isa Tennant Creek Cross Border Commission was identified in the city’s economic development strategy.

“We invited Steve Edgington, the Mayor of Barkly Region (Tennant Creek) and cohorts from his council to meet with us,” Cr McCulloch said.

“We wanted to discuss ideas of collaboration between Tennat Creek and Mount Isa  and we’ve had presentations from Geosciences Australia, Jemena and Glencore and others covering tourism and what the Queensland government is doing for the North West Minerals Province.”

Barkly Region Mayor Steve Edgington said the Tuesday meeting was an opportunity to come together and get a good overview of what was happening between Tennant Creek and Mount Isa, listening to what Glencore is doing in Mount Isa and where Jemena were up to with the Northern Gas Pipeline and promoting the Overlander Way.

“We are also hearing about the potential for a railway line from Mount Isa to Tennant Creek, and there is still a strategic options paper being prepared for that and there’s a lot more work to be done,” Cr Edgington said.

“We really have to hold off till about April or May next year to learn a bit further where’s that at. There is the potential there to unlock opportunities particularly phosphate deposits, agriculture, water and minerals.”

Cr McCulloch said the Commission would emphasise Northern Australian development.

“This will push home to the federal government that there are towns and regions that are serious about northern development,” she said.

“This week I go to Canberra to launch the AMCA (Australian Mining Cities Alliance) with Kalgoorlie and Broken Hill so I’ll have a really good discussion with a couple of ministers and perhaps Steve and I will go to Canberra to have further discussion.”

When asked what he saw as a successful outcome from Tuesday’s meeting the Barkly mayor said it was about building a successful partnership with Mount Isa City Council.

“Mayor Joyce McCulloch has been a great advocate for building the relationship and we’re very pleased to be working with (her) council, and also with all levels of government,” he said.

“We’ll come together again early next year to continue those discussions.”