NSW and ACT sign MOU to tackle cross-border issues including Riverview housing development

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The Canberra Times December 12 2016 Kirsten Lawson

The ACT and NSW signed a memorandum of understanding on Friday that the ACT says will progress discussions on moving the border to take in the new suburb being built on the border at West belconnen.

The agreement also allows ACT seniors access to NSW Opal card travel discounts without having to reapply for temporary cards every six weeks.

David Maxwell announcing the Riverview suburban development in 2013. David Maxwell announcing the Riverview suburban development in 2013. Photo: Katherine Griffiths

The agreement was signed by Chief Minister Andrew Barr and NSW Premier Mike Baird in Canberra, and follows the first MOU between the jurisdictions in 2011.

The Riverview development is being discussed between NSW and the ACT, and authorities are trying to sort out the complications of separate services, rubbish collection and rates systems for a suburb that will straddle the border.

Three suburbs will sit on the ACT side of the border, with 6500 homes housing 16,900 people. On the NSW side of the border, the development envisages 5000 homes and 13,000 residents.

The area is being developed over 40 years and the first 1800 homes on the ACT side will be ready by 2022. The NSW side is not due for development until after 2033.

The Labor-Greens parliamentary agreement signed after the October election commits to "actively progress discussions with the NSW government and Yass Valley Council regarding moving the ACT/NSW border in West Belconnen".

The MOU says population growth, interdependent economic relationships and the complex issues of service delivery require a co-ordinated approach. It will identify the issues that get in the way of efficient and consistent service delivery. It will establish a way to deal with "impediments to co-ordination" and a way to "identify and address potential issues before they escalate".

The two governments will prepare an annual "work list". They have agreed to:

  • Work on automatic mutual recognition of interstate occupation licences
  • Improve transport links across the border
  • Look at integrated planning of health care, expand training placements across the region for health workers, and share data on NSW residents using Canberra Hospital
  • Establish a joint committee on catchment management
  • Jointly fund a regional website and develop a regional tourism product between Visit Canberra and Destination NSW
  • Jointly fund economic modelling of freight opportunities across the region Co-ordinate responses to illegal waste dumping Conduct joint meetings and scenario testing by ACT and NSW emergency services agencies
  • Develop a joint economic development guide for the region.

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