Council's back - and unveils four-year plan

Published 12:00am 8 April 2024

Council's back - and unveils four-year plan
Words by Nick Crockford

The new Moreton Bay City Council has held its first meeting with Mayor Peter Flannery setting out its key projects and goals for the next four years and beyond.

Infrastructure, housing, jobs, environment and liveability were in the spotlight at Council’s Declaration of Office, with CEO Scott Waters, and post-election meeting on Friday.

Major projects include the Buchanan Rd corridor, Bruce Highway Western Alternative, removing level crossings to improve east-west connections and funding to investigate a Moreton Bay ferry service.

There was also a call for the State Government to “take notice”.

Mayor Peter Flannery and Councillors Jodie Shipway (Div 4), Yvonne Barlow (Div 7), Darren Grimwade (Div 11), Brooke Savige (Div 1) and Cath Tonks (Div 9) were returned uncontested. Jodie Shipway has been reappointed Deputy Mayor.

Councillors Mark Booth (Div 2), Matt Constance (Div 10), Adam Hain (Div 3), Tony Latter (Div 12), Sandra Ruck (Div 5) and Karl Winchester (Div 6) retained their divisions.

In Division 8, Jim Moloney replaces Mick Gillam, who has retired.

Mayor Peter Flannery. right, with Council CEO Scott Waters today

“I take our return as a vote of confidence that we are making great progress in our city,” Mayor Peter Flannery said.

“We’re committed to listening to our communities to ensure together, we can grow in a balanced way well beyond this current term."

But, he said Council could not continue the “unsustainable cost-shifting” other levels of Government are pushing on to ratepayers when getting just three per cent of tax revenue.

“This term is crucial for the city’s future planning and now is the time to lay sustainable foundations for this growth,” the Mayor said.

“We have an enormous task ahead of us and this means continuing to advocate strongly for much-needed funding from other levels of Government to alleviate pressure.

“Expect to see ambitious initiatives, environmental progress and local jobs with a strong focus on liveability.

“We’ll play a key role in solving South-East Queensland’s housing crisis with our greenfield sites and with infrastructure uncertainty we’ll hold State Government to account and push for our fair share.

Launch of the Bruce Highway Western Alternative - Federal Member for Longman Terry Young, Mayor Peter Flannery and former Transport Minister Mark Bailey.

“Roads are already at breaking point, even without the new supply of housing required for population growth.

“It is vital to our residents we have a resilient road and public transport network to manage liveability and affordability.

“However, we will continue to work hard to plan a more liveable city, one that is green as we grow, even with increasing population.

“We envisage a city where natural green spaces are the norm, where our promise of preserving 75 per cent landmass as green space is on target.”

The Mayor said this term will see the introduction of household green waste bins as part of the Food Organic Garden Organic (FOGO) initiative and work towards a climate target commitment of net zero for Council operations by 2039.

“Housing diversity is a must,” the Mayor added. “As the third largest Local Government Area in Australia, we need a mix of housing that provides options for all residents.

“In response to our community’s changing needs, amendments to our planning scheme will showcase the opportunities that good planning and diverse housing brings.

Council's back - and unveils four-year plan

“The State Government must address the current shortfall of crisis accommodation for people experiencing homelessness within Moreton Bay as an urgent priority.

The Mayor said waiving development fees and infrastructure charges in 15 suburbs for affordable and social housing will continue and open a new housing and homelessness services hub will open at Redcliffe.

“With cost-of-living pressures front of mind, we’ll balance our budget so you can balance yours,” he said.

“We’ll do everything possible to achieve value for money when it comes to your rates - in return delivering on important local assets such as libraries, sporting fields and maintaining our many parks, footpaths and facilities.

Council will “also continuing to support local community and sporting groups, Council events and much-needed support services that significantly benefit our communities”, the Mayor said,.

“We’ll continue to push for opportunities that attract new social and economic benefit, create jobs and drive sustainable change.”

“We’re not starting from scratch though; we’re taking all the things we hold dear and charting a bold future. Take notice - we’re rewriting the rule book."

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