Canberra Region calls for new deal

Released 21/03/2019

The Canberra Region Joint Organisation (CRJO) and the ACT Government are calling on the next NSW and Federal Governments to support a three point plan to shape the future of the Canberra Region.

“From the Snowy, through the Tablelands and down to the Coast, the Canberra Region is a vision for a borderless South East NSW with Canberra at its heart,” said Yass Valley Council Mayor Rowena Abbey, Chair of the CRJO.

“We have identified a clear set of priorities for the incoming Federal and NSW Governments to help realise that vision, taking a regional focus to deliver national impacts.

“With the right support the Canberra Region can relieve population pressures on large cities like Sydney and Melbourne and thrive as a region of choice for people to live, work and play,” Mayor Abbey said.

The CRJO has identified investment in east-west freight, tourism and commuter connections between the inland and coastal towns as a key priority, to better connect Inland Rail at Wagga Wagga to global connections at Canberra Airport and the coastal corridor from Nowra to Eden.

“Further investment which realises the opportunities that the Canberra Region’s access to air, rail, sea and road affords can alleviate congestion concerns at Australia’s second busiest port, Port Botany, while also opening up commuter, tourism and trade connections from the western inland regions to the east of NSW” Mayor Abbey said.

“The Canberra Region Deal is a summary of priorities that we have been pursuing for some time, from faster rail to more health infrastructure,” said ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr.

“The ACT is uniquely important to the Commonwealth Government as the National Capital, and a critical partner of the NSW Government in providing and cross-border services to thousands of NSW residents in the regions surrounding Canberra.

“We want to ensure that both Government realise the opportunities of the region by supporting infrastructure investments and increased service delivery

“We’re excited to continue working with NSW and the Commonwealth, regardless of their election outcomes, as the Canberra Region grows in both population and economic significance,” Mr Barr said.

The proposed Canberra Region Deal would:

  1. Enhance transport and connectivity for passengers and freight, opening up tourism and other economic opportunities
  2. Create borderless services for ACT and South East NSW communities, to enhance delivery of healthcare, higher education, waste management and recycling
  3. Continue developing a National Capital befitting of modern Australia.

Key actions include:

  • Investing in a faster rail connection between Canberra and Sydney that sets a pathway toward, and is inclusive of, future high-speed connecti
  • Duplicating the Barton Highway to improve efficiency and safety of freight and passenger movements to and through the ACT.
  • Investing in Port of Eden upgrades to expand tourism and freight opportunities
  • Investing in the NRL Initiative of Using Sport to address Social Issues
  • Supporting the continued roll out of the Country Universities Centre across regional NSW to support retention and education of youth in regional towns.
  • Investing in a business case to design closed loop recycling of products and potential export within the region
  • Increasing funding for blackspot reception areas in the Canberra Region to improve digital connectivity
  • Developing an overarching Intergovernmental Agreement for the management of the National Capital that recognises the Commonwealth’s role working with the ACT Government towards the creation of a nation capital befitting a modern Australia.

View the prospectus for a Canberra Region Deal here.

CRJO media contact: Gabrielle Cusack, mobile: 0418 940 137, email:

- Statement ends -

Section: Andrew Barr, MLA | Media Releases

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