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

The TransformingSEQ 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, liveability and jobs first.  

Ipswich Interim Administrator Greg Chemello won’t be in Canberra, but said he wished the Southeast Queensland team well with their important mission.

“Ipswich is an important part of the Southeast Queensland fabric, and it’s important that we play a role in the future plans for the region.”

Mr Chemello said a future City Deal had plenty of upside for Ipswich ratepayers and residents.

“Key infrastructure includes provision for an Ipswich-Springfield-Ripley rail line, and faster rail from Ipswich to Brisbane. Imagine an express service which takes people from Ipswich Central to the Brisbane CBD in 18 minutes,” he said.

“Another major advantage is a prospective SEQ Trade and Enterprise Spine between Toowoomba and the Brisbane port, which will provide huge benefits for Ipswich industrial areas, and indeed our rapidly growing and changing logistics sector.”

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.

“The City Deal is also focussed on the next wave of transport projects that can help deliver a 45-minute region with 30-minute cities.

“With a federal election looming, we are urging both sides of politics to commit to the SEQ region and prioritise negotiations for an SEQ City Deal.”

Brisbane Lord Mayor Cr Graham Quirk, who is Chair of the Council of Mayors (SEQ), said that whilst the Federal Government had signed four City Deals in Australia since 2016, the scale of the proposed SEQ City Deal would make it the nation’s largest City Deal undertaken 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 liveability, 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 undertake these and invite the Federal Government to become a partner in creating one region that is connected locally and competing globally.

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).

Highlights

TransformingSEQ 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.

Grow with your city. Grow with your region.