Queensland Economic Advocacy Solutions

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Can the three tiers of Government finally work together: the SEQ City Deal

Residents of SEQ are always banging on about how the different tiers of government can never work together to fix the things that desperately need fixing. Well that may well change with the Coalition Government seriously considering supporting the SEQ City Deals proposition.

City Deals are long-term agreements between the federal, state and local governments to deliver a shared platform of investment and reform. 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).

The SEQ City Deal provides six transformational opportunities:

  • 45-minute region: 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.
  • Liveability Fund: Deliver and secure better open spaces, recreational areas and landscapes for our growing region, including through a new tripartite Liveability Fund to invest in critical blue and green infrastructure.
  • Trade and Enterprise Spine: 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.
  • Regional Coordination Board: 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.
  • Innovation Precincts: Ignite our nationally signi cant Innovation Precincts to deliver more high-value, knowledge- intensive jobs through enabling-infrastructure and a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship.
  • Smart Digital Region: 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.

The SEQ City Deal could potentially represent a rare and fantastic example of the three tiers of government working together with business, property and the broader community to boost our economy by a considerable $58 billion over 25 years.  This number was put together by KPMG (2018) after modelling the impact of a 0.25% increase in annual multi-factor productivity growth across the SEQ regional economy.

Given the higher productivity and flow impacts across the broader economy, the modelling estimated that the SEQ economy may be larger by up to $58 billion in 25 years (2017 dollars). Australian Bureau of Statistics estimates show that multi-factor productivity has grown by 0.73% per annum on average between 1994–95 and 2017–18. Over the same period, NSW multi-factor productivity growth has averaged 0.97%. The potential 0.25% increase in multi factor productivity used in the analysis was based on the impact required to close the historical multi factor productivity gap with NSW.

The actual impact of a City Deal on multi factor productivity will be dependent on the final terms of the deal struct with the Australian Government.

Given that a Federal Election is only months away I would wager that a SEQ City Deal will enjoy bipartisan support.  This is why I love elections …….. they are a wonderful opportunity to get a politician to do something useful. Putting this tongue in cheek aside, all those who worked on this deal should be congratulated. It represents a wonderful opportunity that will lift the standard of living in SEQ for decades.

Information on the SEQ City Deal can be found here

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