Green light for Moreton Bay City

Published 11:00am 28 April 2023

Green light for Moreton Bay City
Words by Kylie Knight

Moreton Bay Region is one step away from becoming a city after the Local Government Change Commission recommended reclassification go ahead.

Mayor Peter Flannery says there is one more step – the State Government needs to consider the recommendation and make a decision.

“This is very exciting for Moreton Bay, but I’m not counting my chickens,” Mayor Flannery says.

“The Commission’s recommendation now goes to the Deputy Premier (and State Member for Murrumba) Steven Miles for consideration.

“I’m hopeful that he will support our submission and the Commission’s recommendation.

“The fact that he is a local who understands both Moreton Bay’s growth challenges and critical need for infrastructure funding is beneficial.”

Today’s announcement follows public consultation by Moreton Bay Regional Council in May 2022 and by the Electoral Commission of Queensland (ECQ) in November and assessment by the independent Local Government Change Commission.

“We have advocated for this change due to the size of Moreton Bay, the fact that our population is already larger than cities like Canberra, and also in recognition of our contribution to the South East Queensland economy,” Mayor Flannery says.

“While this reclassification won’t have any major impact on the day-to-day lives of locals, it will be a gamechanger for us politically and for our business community.

“It puts us on equal footing to cities like Brisbane and the Gold Coast for funding and helps us start to realise our potential as Australia’s third largest Council area.”

Green light for Moreton Bay City

Breaking down barriers

Mayor Flannery has previously said many politicians, bureaucrats and investors mistakenly think Moreton Bay Region is in regional Queensland.

|“We are a region but were never regional, so city status will cement our place as a power player in SEQ and hopefully make the nation sit up and pay attention to Moreton Bay,” he says.|

Mayor Flannery says the announcement will allow council to shape its polycentric city vision – a city with multiple centres and townships, rather than one with a central business district (CBD).

“We’ve seen the transport and logistical issues this traditional city model creates, so we will instead strive to be something more modern and more efficient,” he says.

“I see this as the start of Moreton Bay’s coming of age and an exciting new chapter in our story, as we await the Government’s final decision.”

Mayor Flannery says if the reclassification is approved by the State Government, it will not disrupt Council’s business-as-usual approach to updating signage or other branded material. This will happen only when it is needed.

What the commission said …

Local Government Change Commissioner Pat Vidgen said the Change Commission considered the arguments presented in submissions from the Council and the community, along with the criteria for changing a local government classification and local government principles outlined in legislation in making their decision.

“After reviewing all available material and the legislative provisions, the Change Commission recommended that there be a change to the classification of the Moreton Bay Regional Council to the Moreton Bay City Council,” Mr Vidgen said.

“The criteria for changing a local government classification is set out in section 13 of the Local Government Regulation 2012, and this includes population size and population density and the Moreton Bay region meets this criteria.

“Considering the potential social and economic benefits outlined by the Moreton Bay Regional Council and that the proposed change is consistent with legislative provisions, the Change Commission decided that, overall, a change in classification would be in the public interest.”

There were 103 submissions received during the consultation process and submissions have been published on the Electoral Commission of Queensland’s website.

“I want to thank all parties involved for their input and cooperation in this process, including council and the community.

“We know there are strongly held views in the community about issues such as these and we didn’t make this recommendation lightly,” Mr Vidgen said.

The Moreton Bay Regional Council’s request for a review was referred to the Change Commission by the Deputy Premier and Minister for Local Government Steven Miles on 16 September 2022.

Mr Miles confirmed he had received the recommendation and will consider it.

You can read the final report on the Electoral Commission of Queensland’s website.

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