At Tuesday’s (January 19) City of Geraldton-Greenough Council meeting, council endorsed the formation of the proposed Western Australian Regional Cities Alliance. This is on top of the approval earlier in the week by the City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder and the City of Albany. The City of Bunbury will be considering endorsement early in February.
The alliance has been formed by the four regional cities of Albany, Bunbury, Geraldton-Greenough and Kalgoorlie-Boulder in a bid to remove the deeply entrenched “Perth-centric” way of thinking and approach to State planning in regional development, and the lack of population growth to regional cities.
The Geraldton-Greenough partnership of the alliance will be represented by Mayor Cr Ian Carpenter with deputy Mayor Cr Neil McIlwaine as proxy.
The four cities have proposed to sign a Memorandum of Understanding between themselves and both the State and Commonwealth Governments.
Consideration to form a regional alliance was born from the recognition that the lack of a regional planning concept was a major strategic risk to the State’s future prosperity.
“This is a proposal for a collaborative framework between the four major regional cities to provide engagement with the State and Commonwealth Government and to secure better economic, social and population outcomes for these regional cities,” said City of Geraldton- Greenough Mayor, Cr Ian Carpenter.
“The alliance members recognise regional cities cannot achieve maximum outcomes in isolation from their supporting regional frameworks.
“In a first for regional Australia it would see regional cities working in unison for the common good and to achieve a better outcome,” he said.
The draft MOU recognises that a future location to the north-west of the State would ultimately to be added to this grouping.