MOU: Queensland and New South Wales

Statement of Principles and Priorities for Cross-border Collaboration 2016-2019



The Premier of Queensland, the Hon Annastacia Palaszczuk MP and the Premier of New South Wales (NSW), the Hon Mike Baird MP reaffirm the Queensland and NSW Governments' commitment to close collaboration between the two jurisdictions.

This agreement builds on the collaboration between the two jurisdictions including the inaugural Memorandum of Understanding signed by the respective Premiers in 2011. It applies to state agency activities on the Queensland and NSW border region, as well as the respective Local Government Areas.

Purpose of the Statement

The key purpose of this Statement is to provide an authorising environment for both governments to collaborate on areas of mutual interest, identify and resolve cross-border issues that impede regional economic development and provide efficient and consistent service delivery to communities.

The Queensland and NSW Governments acknowledge the importance of each other in the border region and the importance of working closely and collaboratively to improve service delivery, build local communities and further develop the region economically.

Sustained population growth, interdependent economic relationships and the complex issues of service delivery require a coordinated approach to support the region's future.

The Queensland and NSW Governments are determined to work to the best of their abilities to address cross-border issues where they believe it is practicable and desirable to do so. This Statement of Principles and Priorities for Cross-border Collaboration reflects this intent.

Benefits of a close working relationship between the Queensland and NSW Governments include:

  • enabling cooperative leadership and management of strategic growth issues in key population centres along the border
  • promoting action to improve service delivery, economic development and resource management in cross-border areas
  • encouraging the development of shared goals and strategies for the border region and the communities that work and live in them.

Principles for Cross-border Collaboration

The cross-border collaboration between Queensland and NSW is guided by a set of principles:

  • Cross-border collaboration will be outcomes focused.
  • Areas of focus will be driven by priority areas identified in this Statement, however cross-border collaboration on other areas may occur.
  • Collaboration will be driven by the responsible line agencies in each government and at the local level where possible.
  • Collaboration will take into account national and state objectives and work underway.
  • Consultation will occur with relevant ministers and their government agencies, local governments, communities, business and industry groups, and regional organisations to identify, consider and resolve cross-border issues.

Key Focus Areas

The Queensland and NSW Governments agree the key focus areas for cross-border collaboration are regional economic development, aligning services and sharing information, local transport and issues of national significance.

Regional Economic Development

Businesses and services in towns near the border are accessed by both Queensland and NSW residents. Taking a holistic view of the cross-border regions and towns when it comes to planning, infrastructure, connectivity and regional governance will make it easier for both governments to attract investment and develop the regional economies.

The priority areas are:

  • collaborative planning for future cross-border urban and regional developments
  • undertaking a systematic approach to addressing the issues in approved urban and regional developments in cross-border communities, with an initial focus on the Cobaki Estate
  • joint advocacy for major infrastructure projects
  • identifying infrastructure constraints and public domain improvements to encourage investment in cross-border regions.

Aligning Services and Sharing Information

Residents living in cross-border regions should have equitable access to services. The Queensland and NSW Governments need to maximise alignment of service delivery and avoid the need for individuals to navigate both service systems, where possible. Administrative arrangements should enable re-imbursement for the delivery of services to each other's citizens where appropriate.

In respect to vulnerable families and children, information sharing is central to providing appropriate services for families who may live or work across borders, or who may move from one state to another.

The priority areas are:

  • the protection of children
  • a person-centred approach to the access and delivery of health care services
  • keeping communities safe
  • enhanced sharing of information between agencies to support service planning and delivery.

Local Transport

Local public transport for people living in cross-border regions should be seamless.

The priority areas are:

  • greater efficiencies in delivering flexible border transport solutions
  • integrated border bus services
  • alignment of priority border road projects.

Issues of National Significance

Queensland and NSW will work together on issues of national significance.

The priority areas are:

  • the protection and wellbeing of victims of domestic and family violence
  • roll-out of the National Disability Insurance Scheme
  • expansion of mutual recognition arrangements
  • consistent action on waste management
  • harmonisation of heavy vehicle regulations, where applicable
  • sharing information to advance the Council of Australian Governments' reform agenda.

The Statement in Operation

Annual Work List

The Queensland and NSW Governments agree there will be a work list, updated annually, with actions addressing the key focus areas. The work list will be drafted collaboratively by each government's Premier's department.

Roles and Responsibilities

Recognising the need to identify the roles and responsibilities of the Queensland and NSW Governments under this Statement, it is agreed:

  • Premiers will write to their respective ministers outlining requirements and expectations to support implementation of this agreement.
  • Premiers' departments will serve as the key contacts and respective secretariats with regard to this Statement.
  • State ministers within each government may be tasked with delivering actions in the work list and reporting progress to their respective Premier.
  • Taskforces will be convened as necessary to consider key priority areas (particularly for complex issues requiring a multi-agency approach) and make recommendations to the Premiers or State ministers.
  • State ministers and their agencies remain responsible for the planning and delivery of state services.
  • State ministers and their agencies may refer matters to their respective Premier's department where appropriate.
  • This Statement does not limit the actions of ministers and agencies to proactively address other cross-border issues.

Meeting and Reporting

Officers from their respective Premier's department will meet annually to discuss implementation and update of the work list.

Government agencies in each jurisdiction may contact Premiers' departments to assist in resolving cross-border issues. The contacts in the respective departments are:

NSW Director, Intergovernmental Relations, Department of the Premier and Cabinet Email:

Queensland Executive Director, Intergovernmental Relations, Department of the Premier and Cabinet

NSW Cross-Border Commissioner

The Office of the NSW Cross-Border Commissioner was created by the NSW Government in 2012 to advocate for businesses, organisations and residents in border communities. The Commissioner will lead progress under the work list; identify emerging cross-border issues on the Queensland and NSW border; and participate in the annual meeting of officers from Premiers' departments.


The Queensland and NSW Governments recognise the importance of ongoing engagement with regional stakeholders, in particular local government and regional entities. These groups assist both governments in meeting the Statement's objective and delivering on key focus areas. The Queensland and NSW Governments recognise the importance of collaborative regional engagement with these entities and local communities and businesses.

Status of the Statement

The Queensland and NSW Governments acknowledge the Statement provisions are not legally enforceable but rely on the spirit of cooperation between the two jurisdictions.

This agreement is not intended to remove power from either government to make policy decisions.

Final policy decisions remain with each jurisdiction.

Review of this Statement

The Statement will be reviewed and formally updated every three years.

Key focus areas will be reviewed every 12 months, and any revisions will be approved by both Premiers.

The Statement may be amended at any time by agreement in writing of both parties.

Dispute Resolution

Where any dispute arises under this Statement, the Queensland and NSW Governments will take all necessary steps to resolve the dispute expeditiously by mutual agreement.


This Statement commences on the date of execution.