20 Sep 2019

Clock starts ticking on south-east Queensland city deal

A timeline towards signing Australia’s most complex, multibillion-dollar "city deal" should be nutted out at meeting in Brisbane on Thursday.

The formal south-east Queensland city deal is expected to be signed in mid-2020.

Reports supporting the concept estimated it could grow the net worth of the south-east Queensland economy by $50 billion over 20 years by improving efficiencies and adding new industry.

The city deal will bind all three levels of government to agreed funding promised in five key areas to provide suitable infrastructure for an additional 1.9 million people by 2041.

South-east Queensland is also bidding for the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Deputy Premier Jackie Trad, Brisbane lord mayor Adrian Schrinner and a federal government representative, believed to be Cities Minister Alan Tudge, will meet on Thursday to firm the steps towards signing the agreement in mid-2020.

Queensland began exploring city deals in 2015 and, since 2016, several have been put in place in Townsville, Darwin, Launceston, western Sydney, Adelaide, Hobart, Geelong and Perth.

The "deals" are based on an idea applied in Manchester and Aberdeen in the UK, and aimed at marshalling local, state and federal governments to work with businesses to trigger jobs and investment.

Ms Trad said it was important for the greater Brisbane region to move towards that 2020 timeline.

“This would be one of the most complex city deals undertaken thus far, so it’s important we identify the main issues and move towards a deadline,” she said.

The three levels of government signed a short statement of intent in March to agree to a south-east-Queensland city deal by mid-2020.

Cr Schrinner, the chairman of the Council of Mayors (SEQ), said Thursday’s meeting was “the next step towards a city deal for south-east Queensland".

“It is about how we can progress as quickly as possible to get everyone signed up as quickly as possible and delivering infrastructure.” Cr Schrinner said.

The city deal does not include the state government-funded Cross River Rail project, nor Brisbane City Council’s metro mega-bus project to expand busways through the inner-city.

The Brisbane Metro has already been promised $300 million from the federal government.

The city deal is likely to include ways of sharing funding for future yet to be defined fast rail projects, improved airport and port facilities and urban planning issues.

Last week, Mr Tudge last described western Sydney’s city deal as closest to the ideas being proposed for south-east Queensland.

SOURCE ; https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/national/queensland/clock-starts-ticking-on-south-east-queensland-city-deal-20190821-p52jgy.html

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