City of Moreton Bay: the burning questions

Published 2:09pm 17 May 2023

City of Moreton Bay: the burning questions
Words by Kylie Knight

What does becoming a city mean for the Moreton Bay Region, how quickly will it happen and how much will it cost?

These are some of the questions Moreton Daily asked Deputy Premier Steven Miles and Moreton Bay Mayor Peter Flannery at Mango Hill this morning.

The pair met for coffee, along with Deputy Mayor Jodie Shipway, to discuss the city announcement and what it means for the region.

Moreton Daily was invited along to ask a few questions at the end of their meeting.

Here’s what they had to say on this historic day.

Deputy Premier and Local Government Minister Steven Miles

What will this mean for the region and your constituents?

“I think this might not make much difference locally, but I think it means when we’re talking about this place in town or down in Canberra or when businesses are talking to investors around the world, they’ll have a sense that Moreton Bay is a big city. It’s half a million people. I guess we outgrew the regional title and that will continue as we see another couple of hundred thousand people move here over the next couple of decades,”

You’ve mentioned this process should be finalised by the end of the year, do you know how it will take?

“The mayor’s just asked if we can speed that up a little bit. We’ll see if we can get it to the Governor just as quickly as we can and that’s really the last step – her signing off on it – and then it will get gazetted. I know that council’s been working on this for a couple of years now. There’s been a whole series of steps that they went through, asking me to approve it and then I asked the Electoral Commission to review all of the steps that had been taken. It’s been a long time in the making and we’re going to make sure we can do it just as quickly as we can.”

Are you personally excited about this?

“Yeah. I grew up around here and live here now and I think we’ve all seen it grow incredibly from when it was the three little shires, really, put together into Moreton Bay. Since then, the train line, the university … it really has become a city and it’s fitting that we should call it that.”

Moreton Bay Mayor Peter Flannery

What does this mean for the region?

“I’m very excited today. It’s a historical day today for Moreton Bay. We’ve taken that next step, going from regional to city classification. It reflects who we are now. It’s recognition the size we are – the third largest populated local government area in Australia, not just Queensland. Every other council between us and the New South Wales border is a city council. Now we can compete with them, if not be better than them, which is what our aim is.

It also supports our vision moving forward and our polycentric city model. There’s very exciting times ahead. The day-to-day stuff probably won’t change for the residents. This is about attracting investment for infrastructure, from both the State and Federal Governments, investment from businesses to boost our economy. In the lead-up to the 2032 Olympics, it’s very important we put ourselves on a good footing to attract investment and present ourselves to the world when that time comes.”

What are the next steps for the council? Do you start getting things ready or do you have to wait a little bit longer?

“We’ve got to wait until it legally becomes Moreton Bay City Council, but we’ve been working on some refreshing of our brand and how we’re going to present ourselves to the community which is very exciting … modifying our logo to represent the City of Moreton Bay which is how we will market ourselves out there. Legally, we’ll be Moreton Bay City Council as far as our contracts go and all our paperwork goes, but we will be marketing ourselves as City of Moreton Bay.”

How much will it cost ratepayers to do this?

“We’ve got a program of replacing signs … we’re still replacing signs from the old amalgamation 15 years ago. That program will continue, we’ll just change the logos that are on there now. It will be very minimal, the cost involved. We’re going to do a refresh of our brand … a couple of thousand dollars here and there. It’s about not being a huge cost to the ratepayers, it’s about changing who we are and slowly introducing that as and when needed.”

What reaction are you expecting from the business community?

“Businesses are going to be over the moon. They’ve been behind us 100 per cent of the way. They understand the importance of this. They understand the ability and the opportunities that this brings as well. I’m very excited for the businesses to hear about this and once they do, it’s the next chapter in Moreton Bay’s future.”

What does this mean for rural townships?

“This isn’t about building high-rises and skyscrapers everywhere in Moreton Bay. This is about our polycentric city model. We know that the CBD model with one CBD, like Brisbane, doesn’t work and has failed and is failing all around Australia in capital cities. This is about having a number of city centres, that support each other rather than cannibalise each other. When we have cities (city centres) in Caboolture, the new Caboolture West … there’s going to be connection, and business and job opportunities for people who live in the townships and little villages around them. It’s not about changing them into a city, it’s about supporting them, keeping their identity as they are and the uniqueness as they are but bringing the ability for people to live, work and play closer to their home. So, people have a better work/life balance. Our hinterland areas are an asset … it’s about keeping that, protecting that but we’re all part of one family. This is everyone’s big backyard.

Read more about the city announcement here

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