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‘Game-changing’ City Deal could unlock $58 billion in South East Queensland

Leading industry bodies have welcomed a Federal Government commitment to support a “game -changing” City Deal for South East Queensland.

On the same day that the Queensland Government and a Council of Mayors (SEQ) unveiled a TransformingSEQ blueprint with the potential to stimulate the Queensland economy by up to $58 billion, Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Minister for Cities, Urban Infrastructure and Population Alan Tudge announced their support for a City Deal.

The Federal Government had been due to be officially presented with the blueprint on Wednesday and the pre-emptive support was well received by the Property Council of Australia.

“We congratulate the Prime Minister and Cities Minister, Alan Tudge, for their national leadership on city deals, and the Queensland Government and the Council of Mayors for bringing a City Deal to fruition,” Property Council Chief Executive Ken Morrison said.

“The SEQ City Deal is a substantial piece of work that focuses the big economic drivers of the region.”

The blueprint also got the thumbs up from the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland.

“South East Queensland takes in Australia’s third and sixth-largest cities in Brisbane and the Gold Coast respectively which, from a population standpoint, continue to grow rapidly,” the Chamber’s Head of industry Dan Petrie said in a statement.

“Business welcomes a plan that will better connect our regions, allow for the greater flow of commerce and be at the forefront of the incredible digital transformation which is currently upon us.”

City Deals bring together the three levels of government, the community and the private sector to align planning, investment and governance.

Key goals are to accelerate growth and job creation, stimulate urban renewal and drive economic reforms – and ultimately, to secure the future prosperity and liveability of Australian cities.

City Deals are already in place for Townsville, Launceston, Western Sydney and Darwin, and are being negotiated for Adelaide, Hobart, Geelong and Perth.

The Perth City Deal would revolve strongly around the WA Government’s flagship METRONET rail project, helping to tackle congestion and providing confidence for industry in the development of station precinct developments around the new infrastructure.

In Queensland, the TransformingSEQ document outlines plans for the region to deal with population growth past the five million mark in South East Queensland over the next 25 years, and highlights 35 opportunities to be considered as part of a City Deal – including six potential “game-changers.”

They include:

  • Delivering a next wave of public transport infrastructure to make SEQ a “45-minute region”
  • Taking advantage of the Port of Brisbane being five hours closer by sea to Asian hubs, through a better connection to the Toowoomba Trade Gateway
  • A focus on innovation precincts and fostering a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship
  • Delivering better recreational spaces and landscapes, including through a new tripartite Liveability Fund to co-invest in critical blue and green infrastructure.

If formalised, the City Deal would involve planning and infrastructure needs being jointly tackled by a conglomerate of the Federal Government, the Queensland Government and the Brisbane, Ipswich, Lockyer Valley, Logan, Moreton Bay, Redland, Scenic Rim, Somerset, Sunshine Coast and Toowoomba councils.

Importantly, it would remove project funding for next generation of infrastructure development from the political cycle by locking it in place – ensuring the population growth in South East Queensland is supported, and that the private sector can plan and invest with confidence.

And that’s got to be a great outcome for all players.

Peta Baldwin is Cannings Purple’s State Director in Queensland and an expert in investor relations and the resources industry, who has worked in in-house roles at Mount Isa Mines, Alcoa and most recently AngloGold Ashanti. Contact Peta

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Photo by Michael on Unsplash