Cross-border cooperation on Tralee

FEDERAL member for Eden-Monaro, Mike Kelly, says he'll push for increased cross-border cooperation to ensure roads and infrastructure planning at Tralee goes ahead smoothly.

Mr Kelly said he'd like to set up a regular planning panel made up of himself, state member John Barilaro, Queanbeyan mayor Tim Overall and ACT chief minister Katy Gallagher.

"I'm concerned now that we should all get together cross-border, now that the ACT election is out of the way and the Council elections are out of the way, I want to form a cross border mechanism...where we can actually sit down and work through some of these cross-border issues," Dr Kelly said.

"We are joined at the hip [with the ACT]; we're a joint economy, and we need to work together. I think we should be in discussions as equal partners. I'm very keen to make sure Queanbeyan is not just the doormat to the ACT. We have our own ambitions, needs and interests here, and we need to be treated like equal partners, and I'm determined to make sure that happens," he said.

However Queanbeyan Mayor Tim Overall said Council already enjoyed a "strong, constructive relationship" with the ACT Government, and said he'd be entering into preliminary talks with Ms Gallagher in the next few weeks.

"At this stage we'll be taking matters forward quickly with a preliminary meeting with the chief minister to acquaint her with the approval and conditions of approval. We'll also be discussing the options regarding sewerage and water and also road infrastructure connections.

"The chief minister has previously given assurances to work with Council on cross-border infrastructure, and has repeated those assurances now Tralee has been approved," Cr Overall said.

A connection between Tralee and the neighbouring Monaro Highway is likely to be on the agenda in the coming months, and Queanbeyan City Council will also continue to seek state and federal funding for Dunns Creek Road, of which Tralee developer The Village Building Company has already agreed to pay half.

Meanwhile, Dr Kelly has distanced himself from comments made by his colleague, federal infrastructure minister Anthony Albanese, who labelled the rezoning approval a planning mistake.

"Any objective analysis would say this is compatible with everyone's interests," Dr Kelly said.

"I do understand Minister Albanese's general policy principals that he's taking to this, but we just don't see eye to eye on this," he said.

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