The Queensland Deputy Premier has released Transforming SEQ (South East Queensland) in a proposed $58 billion proposal to develop city-shaping projects and infrastructure. The proposal has been supported by the current Federal Government and has the potential to become the biggest “city deal” in Australia. Government-owned land could be opened for development to reflect the focus on supporting diverse sectors within South-East Queensland which include manufacturing, housing and planning, growth in education and tourism.
KPMG has provided modelling which shows that the SEQ City Deal proposal could stimulate up to $58 billion of economic development in the region through improving its productivity and competitiveness. There are, according to the Queensland government, six “game changers”. They are:
- Developing SEQ as a 45 minute region by building on Cross River Rail and Brisbane Metro while connecting key growth and activity centres by delivering planned Rail and Metro projects
- Connecting Inland Rail to The Port of Brisbane, thus super-charging a South East Queensland Trade and Enterprise Spine between the Toowoomba Trade Gateway and the Australia TradeCoast
- Using Innovation Precincts to foster a culture of entrepreneurship which will deliver better infrastructure and more knowledge-intensive high value jobs
- Leveraging the International Broadband Submarine cable to deliver a Digital Trade Hub; this will establish SEQ as the nation’s leading Smart Digital Region, creating a region-wide approach to data and digital connectivity
- Creating more and better landscapes and recreational spaces using a new tripartite Liveability Fund to co-invest in crucial blue and green infrastructure
- Through a new tripartite Regional Coordination Board deliver ongoing, greater collaboration between the three tiers of government: local, state and federal.
Under a City Deal Plan, initiatives and priority infrastructure projects will be determined and an agreement signed by each of the three level of government. To this end the Queensland Government has released Transforming SEQ the City Deal document to be discussed by the SEQ Mayors, State Government and the Prime Minister.
The CEO of the Property Council has described the announcement as “game-changing” for South-East Queensland. According to the Director of the Queensland Property Council the announcement brings to fruition six years’ collaborative work with SEQ Councils and State Government on the potential for a City Deal. An important part of this is to open up underused Government land. This is seen as building business confidence through promoting economic activity and creating jobs.
South East Queensland’s population is forecast to expand from 3.5 million to 5.3 million people in the next quarter century. A million new jobs (on average 40,000 per year) will be created and as a result the area will need to another 800,000 dwellings to support the population growth. The region is already home to two thirds of Queensland’s population and to 1 in 7 Australians. This agreement will be Queensland’s second, following the policy first established in Townsville and echoing similar agreements in Western Sydney and Launceston, Tasmania. It is essential for the region to cope with population growth and the consequent demand on transport.