Murray River and Campaspe Shire councils sign Memorandum of Understanding

By Lachlan Durling

COUNCILS both sides of the border have officially recognised their collaboration by signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) last week.

The inaugural agreement signifies a commitment with Campaspe Shire Council and Murray River Council continuing to work closely and collaboratively.

Campaspe Shire mayor Adrian Weston said the collaboration focuses on improving service delivery, strengthening community and further developing the regions economically.

“It is a special occasion to formalise what we have been doing for a long period of time as two councils,” Cr Weston said.

“It’s about ensuring we continue, as this council and future councils, to work together not only for the benefit of Echuca-Moama but for our respective, broader council regions.

“Specifically we will look at regional development, aligning services and sharing information, local transport and issues of regional and national significance.

“A recent example is joining together to lobby for increased train services to Echuca to meet community needs.

“By combining our forces to lobby as one demonstrates a unified approach for the benefit of all.”

Campaspe Shire Council already provides a library service, with funding contribution from Murray River Council. This recognises the need not to duplicate infrastructure.

The MoU is underpinned by a number of agreed principles, which establishes the basis for mutual commitment between the councils, being:

¦ Collaboration will be outcome-focused;

¦ Information is captured, shared and innovation supported;

¦ A commitment to maximise service delivery opportunities that meet a common community need as well as seeking to reduce costs and eliminate duplication, and;

¦ To develop an effective local platform to work with other levels of government to achieve better whole of government outcomes for the community.

“Our councils already enjoy a close relationship as a result of our cross-border circumstance, but we are looking to further strengthen the partnership to ensure we are in the very best position to enhance local services. Murray River Council mayor Chris Bilkey said.

“We have many issues that can be turned to our advantage if we work collaboratively, there is increasing evidence that advocating from a united position with other players is more effective than two separate voices advocating by themselves.

“This agreement encourages collaboration on areas of mutual interest, where we can strive to identify and resolve cross-border issues that impede local development and provide efficient and consistent service delivery to communities.”