One of the areas that has been lacking in local government has been cooperation across councils to work pro-actively as a region. While there are some regional groupings in existence, there is a need for a more focused and proactive level of cooperation across the region.
This afternoon I joined my counterparts in Knox, Manningham, Whitehorse and the Shire of Yarra Ranges to sign an agreement of mutual support, which means that the five councils will work cooperatively on areas that have been identified as a priorities across the region.
The agreement aims to:
- Lend support of the Council’s activities as considered appropriate in matters of common interest or mutual benefit
- Be mindful of and take up opportunities to include other councils in activities that can provide economic, social and environmental benefit across the municipal boundaries
- Work cooperatively and pro-actively to provide a collective voice for the region in matters where a collective voice will give greater weight to regional issues and solutions
- Not replicate the activities of existing bodies, forums or like associations that already provide a collective voice for the councils covered by the agreement.
The structure of the agreement ensures that the member Councils will work cooperatively and not duplicate the efforts of other bodies, ensuring that it will be focused on making a difference towards the region. Initial priorities include advocacy for public transport improvements and regional facilities, whereby that the councils work together to deliver the best possible outcomes for the community. For example, each of the five member councils have provided letters of support in regard the proposed Maroondah Aquatic and Leisure Centre, reflecting its significance to the region.
The signing of this agreement signals a more collaborative approach between the Cities of Knox, Manningham, Maroondah, Whitehorse and the Shire of Yarra Ranges, ensuring that we work together to achieve collective results for the eastern region.