15 February: The Scenic Rim is among 10 local government areas that stand to gain from a City Deal that would create generational change in South East Queensland, one of Australia's fastest growing...
The Scenic Rim is among 10 local government areas that stand to gain from a City Deal that would create generational change in South East Queensland, one of Australia's fastest growing regions, through a focus on connectivity, liveability and employment.
Released this week by the State Government and the Council of Mayors South East Queensland, the TransformingSEQ City Deal Proposition is a blueprint highlighting the need for all levels of government to work together to improve the productivity and competitiveness of a region which is home to one in every seven Australians.
Scenic Rim Mayor Greg Christensen this week joined Brisbane Lord Mayor Graham Quirk and Queensland Deputy Premier Jackie Trad in Brisbane for the launch of the proposition. He then travelled to Canberra as part of a delegation which met with Federal Minister for Cities, Urban Infrastructure and Population Alan Tudge to discuss the proposal which, according to modelling by KPMG, could unlock $58 billion in economic growth for South East Queensland.
"The announcements of this week represent an exciting opportunity for the certainty of a sustainable future for South East Queensland and Scenic Rim as a part of that region," Cr Christensen said.
"The City Deal proposition is not just about infrastructure for the sake of infrastructure, it's about creating an economic powerhouse for the future so that everyone has the jobs and lifestyle that go together in this great part of Queensland.
"This is not a short-term fix. This is a program that will be inter-generational and lay out a plan that enables strong economic growth whilst ensuring we also protect the character and nature that makes our region great."
As the population of South East Queensland is predicted to grow beyond five million over the next 25 years, the challenges of accommodating that growth while maintaining liveability require long-term planning and investment.
The Council of Mayors South East Queensland has been working with the State Government for the past five years to develop an understanding of the region's needs which has contributed to a strong and coordinated proposition to the Federal Government to negotiate a City Deal.
Aligned with the Australian Government's Smart Cities Plan, City Deals represent a partnership between the three levels of government and the community to work towards a shared vision for productive and liveable cities by aligning planning, investment and governance.
"This is the beginning of a process to ensure the needs of the region are met over the next 20 plus years," Cr Christensen said.
"It recognises that we can't do everything at once but need to take a logical and sequential approach to deliver the best outcome for all.
"The success of South East Queensland relies on the participation of all South East Queensland councils as we will all share the impact, the burden and the joys of population growth and economic growth on our lifestyle."
The Transforming SEQ proposition outlines six transformational opportunities for South East Queensland.
Of particular relevance to the Scenic Rim are a trade and enterprise spine between Toowoomba and the trade coast, connecting Inland Rail to the Port of Brisbane to unlock new jobs in the south-west and western growth areas; innovation precincts which will incorporate agriculture and agribusiness technology; and upgrades to public transport which aim to make South East Queensland a 45-minute region by reducing commuter travel and congestion on roads.
"All of us in the Council of Mayors are keen to move forward," Cr Christensen said.
"A common focus and joint leadership from all levels of government will serve our communities best in delivering a strong sustainable future for South East Queensland."
Published: 19 February 2019