First step for SEQ City Deal

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Securing a City Deal for South East Queensland (SEQ) is one step closer with the release of of a far-reaching blueprint today by the State Government and the Council of Mayors (SEQ).

The Transforming SEQ proposal highlights the need for a genuine partnership between all tiers of government to deliver a future for one of Australia’s fastest growing regions that puts connectivity, livability and jobs first.  

Deputy Premier and Treasurer Jackie Trad said the proposal lays the foundation to transform the way federal, state and local government can work together to secure SEQ’s success.

“SEQ is growing and changing and we know that we have to work together to maintain the great lifestyle that makes this community special,” Ms Trad said.

“We have so much untapped potential, which is why we want to ensure growth makes our region better, not just bigger.

“Modelling by KPMG has shown an SEQ City Deal could stimulate an increase of up to $58 billion in our economy by improving the productivity and competitiveness of a region which is home to nearly one in every seven Australians.

“While I am glad the Federal Government has finally indicated they will support the push from the State Government and COMSEQ for a city deal for SEQ, we need to see this commitment formalized.

“It is also welcome to see the Federal Opposition reaffirming their commitment, first made months ago.”

Brisbane Lord Mayor Cr Graham Quirk, who is Chair of the Council of Mayors (SEQ), welcomed the Federal Government’s commitment to commence negotiations towards an SEQ City Deal, the scale of which would make it the nation’s largest City Deal to date.

“SEQ Mayors have been partnering with the Queensland Government for five years to develop a mature understanding of our region’s future needs. This work has built a strong, coordinated proposition for the Federal Government to join us in negotiating a SEQ City Deal,” Cr Quirk said.

“As this region grows beyond five million residents over the next 25 years, the challenges of accommodating growth in SEQ, while maintaining livability, requires long-term planning and investment.

“This will mean working in partnership across governments – something an SEQ City Deal is uniquely placed to deliver. 

“The growth policy challenges facing SEQ would be formidable for any one level of government alone to address and resolve, but collectively, there is great scope to collaborate on behalf of all current and future residents.

“We stand ready to commence negotiations with the Federal Government and become a partner in creating one region that is connected locally and competing globally.”

Transforming SEQ highlights 35 “opportunities” that could be considered as part of a future City Deal, including six “game changers” for the region:

  1.     Build on Cross River Rail and Brisbane Metro to move SEQ towards a 45-minute region by delivering the next wave of Rail and Metro projects to connect our key activity and growth centres.
  2.     Supercharge an SEQ Trade and Enterprise Spine between the Toowoomba Trade Gateway and the Australia TradeCoast by connecting Inland Rail to the Port of Brisbane and unlocking new jobs in the south-west and western growth areas.
  3.     Ignite our nationally significant Innovation Precincts to deliver more high-value, knowledge-intensive jobs through enabling-infrastructure and a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship.
  4.     Establish SEQ as Australia’s leading Smart Digital Region by leveraging the new International Broadband Submarine Cable to deliver a Digital Trade Hub and taking a region-wide approach to data and digital connectivity.
  5.     Deliver and secure better recreational spaces and landscapes for our growing region, including through a new tripartite Liveability Fund to co-invest in critical blue and green infrastructure.
  6.     Deliver greater coordination and collaboration between federal, state and local governments, including a new tripartite Regional Coordination Board to support strategic governance for the region.

The Australian Government has signed four City Deals in Australia since 2016 (Darwin, Launceston, Townsville and Western Sydney) and a further four more are currently under negotiation (Adelaide, Geelong, Hobart and Perth).

For more information: https://www.treasury.qld.gov.au/growing-queensland/queensland-city-deals/