25 September 2023

Cross border progress edges forward

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A progress report on the impact of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the ACT and NSW Governments aimed at dismantling a range of cross-border differences and limitations has been released.

In a joint statement, ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr and NSW Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW, John Barilaro said the MoU was a key priority in the 2018-19 ACT-NSW Work Plan.

Mr Barr said he and Mr Barilaro were strong supporters of Canberra International Airport’s potential as a regional airfreight hub, particularly for time-sensitive fresh meats, fruits and dairy products.

Mr Barr said progress under the MoU was also strengthening the ACT Government’s vision for a borderless region.

“The local visitor economy particularly benefits from a borderless region,” Mr Barr said.

“Tourism is one of the key drivers of our economy and given the ACT’s popularity with local and overseas visitors, it is only sensible to pursue a shared vision with NSW to further open up the opportunities for our regional experience seekers.”

He said the joint collaboration between Destination Southern NSW and VisitCanberra under the MoU had enabled the development of regional tourism promotion, industry development and co-investment activities.

Mr Barilaro said that under NSW’s Future Transport 2056 Strategy, Canberra was identified as a Global Gateway City, hosting an airport with both domestic and international freight capabilities and potential access for regional NSW businesses.

“The collaboration between our Governments, as well as alignment with our Local Government strategies, is good news for our southern NSW and ACT producers seeking easy and fast access to markets, particularly in Asia, with additional flow-on benefits to cargo flights and passenger services,” Mr Barilaro said.

Other key projects identified in the MoU include the expansion of automatic mutual recognition for holders of certain categories of occupational licences; implementation of a cross‑border land and housing monitoring framework; and continued alignment of container deposit schemes.

Joint opportunities to improve the Sydney to Canberra rail line were also considered a priority.

The 22-page Progress Report can be accessed at this PS News link and the 18-page Annual Work Plan for 2018-19 can be accessed at this PS News link.

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