Yandina Creek Wetland Credit Unitywater_SC

The Federal and Queensland Governments, alongside the Council of Mayors South East Queensland (CoMSEQ) have signed the South East Queensland (SEQ) City Deal, aiming to transform the region and deliver much-needed infrastructure.

The signing of the SEQ City Deal, announced on 21 March 2022, signals the start of two decades of investment in the South East Queensland region; from three levels of government working in collaboration to deliver regionally significant projects.

The SEQ Mayors initiated the push for a City Deal for South East Queensland in 2014, as a way to drive economic growth in the region and enable a successful 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games. 

Sunshine Coast Council Mayor, Mark Jamieson, said he was pleased the City Deal had been finalised.

“I congratulate Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Brisbane Lord Mayor and Chair of CoMSEQ, Adrian Schrinner, on finally landing a City Deal for SEQ,” Mayor Jamieson said.

“Naturally, our Council welcomes the commitment of $35.3 million towards the Blue Heart Sunshine Coast, which will help us ensure the Maroochy River catchment continues to play its important flood storage role and maintain its biodiversity well into the future, as we respond to the challenges of a changing climate.

“Of the $35.3 million, $30 million is new money, with $5.3 million representing investments already made to date in the Blue Heart by the Sunshine Coast Council and its partners.”

Featured Image City Deal Announcement: Federal Member for Groom Garth Hamilton, Toowoomba Regional Council Mayor Paul Antonio and the State Member for Toowoomba North Trevor Watts. Image: Toowoomba Regional Council

Featured image (from left to right): Federal Member for Groom Garth Hamilton, Toowoomba Regional Council Mayor Paul Antonio and the State Member for Toowoomba North Trevor Watts. Image: Toowoomba Regional Council.

Mr Jamieson said that the Council looks forward to having the opportunity to access a range of new funding programs that are proposed to be established under the City Deal, for initiatives such as innovation infrastructure, public art, digital connectivity and green infrastructure (such as active transport facilities).

“The City Deal also contains a proposed SEQ Liveability Fund which may potentially see $21.3 million in new State and Federal Government funding allocated to Council to deliver improved community facilities, urban amenity, environmental infrastructure and open spaces,” Mr Jamieson said.

“While the SEQ City Deal delivers none of the major regional infrastructure priorities for the Sunshine Coast, I hope it will provide a platform for some of our region’s critical infrastructure needs to be considered by the Federal and State Governments and funded in the future.

“Priorities like the delivery of the new rail connection and service from Beerwah to Maroochydore along the CAMCOS corridor, the Mass Transit solution, the second stage of the Mooloolah River Interchange and a convention and exhibition facility in the Maroochydore city centre, all remain unfunded by the Federal and State Governments.

“Yet all of these projects are critical to the future liveability, prosperity and connectivity of the Sunshine Coast and will be required well in advance of the next 20 years.

“While our Federal and State Members of Parliament have been vocal in their support of a number of these projects – as has our Council – we are yet to see funding commitments to support their delivery.”

Ipswich and Toowoomba benefit from investment deal

Ipswich City Council is also set to benefit from the SEQ City Deal after it secured a $10 million tripartite commitment for the Ipswich to Springfield Central Public Transport Corridor (I2S).

Ipswich Mayor, Teresa Harding, said, “It is a great feeling to be able to kick off our Federal Election campaign with a commitment to our highest priority project.”

“A tripartite commitment of $10 million to the Ipswich to Springfield Central Public Transport Corridor will fund both the Options Analysis and Detailed Business Case to move this project to shovel-ready status.

Additionally, in Toowoomba, more than $38.48 million of funding will kickstart priority affordability, tourism and liveability projects, and the region will have access to more than $400 million in regional funding pools through the SEQ City Deal.

Toowoomba Regional Council Mayor, Paul Antonio, said the Deal’s investment highlighted the important role Toowoomba and the south-east would play in the future prosperity of Queensland and Australia.

“Enhancing our Region’s liveability is also a Deal priority with a $13.48 million investment for community infrastructure that could include sporting facilities that will help provide our region’s youngest residents a running start to 2032,” Mayor Antonio said.

“We’re also a decade away from the Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games, this presents a unique chance to showcase the region to the world while establishing a legacy that can continue to deliver for the generations to come.

“This City Deal puts us on a path to manage population growth, deliver the best-ever Games and, importantly, improve the lives of all of our residents through ongoing co-operation.

“We look forward to continuing to work closely with industry and the other levels of government to empower the SEQ City Deal to deliver the needs of our rapidly growing region.”

Image: Yandina Creek Wetland is part of Blue Heart Sunshine Coast. Courtesy of Unitywater.

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