South-east Queensland could be green-lit for the biggest “city deal” in Australia, with a $58 billion proposal to guide its growth, and the prime minister announcing his support for the major plan.
With a focus on supporting diverse sectors within the region including housing and planning, tourism, manufacturing and education, the SEQ City Deal could also pave the way for government-owned land to be opened for development.
Queensland deputy premier Jackie Trad this week released Transforming SEQ, which highlights 35 “opportunities” that could be considered as part of the future City Deal, including six “game changers” for the region.
“Modelling by KPMG has shown a SEQ City Deal could stimulate an increase of up to $58 billion in our economy by improving the productivity and competitiveness of the region,” Trad said.
Prime minister Scott Morrison will be meeting with the SEQ Mayors and Queensland government to discuss the proposal this week.
The City Deal, which involves all three levels of government — council, state and federal — would see government working on priorities to drive the SEQ economy.
Under a City Deal plan, all three levels of government sign an agreement to set the priority infrastructure projects and initiatives.
Integrated land-use planning approach?
Property Council chief executive Ken Morrison described the announcement as “a game-changer for the region.
“Our growing cities and urban regions are the engine rooms of the Australian economy,” Morrison said.
“The city deal model brings together all levels of government around the same plan to boost productivity and jobs through targeted investment in city-shaping projects and infrastructure.”
Property Council Queensland director Chris Mountford said the council has been collaborating with state government and SEQ councils for nearly six years on the potential for a city deal.
“The State and local governments have also agreed in principle to a more coordinated integrated land-use planning approach,”
“Opening up under-utilised government-owned land for development has also been agreed as a clear opportunity to unlock economic activity, create jobs and build business confidence.”
The region’s current 3.5 million population is forecast to increase to 5.3 million within the next 25 years, ultimately requiring an extra 800,000 homes and additional one million jobs.
Focus has been placed on the recently released people mass movement study which identifies the impact of the expected population growth on the region’s ability to cope with future transport demand.
Minister for Cities Alan Tudge said he, along with the prime minister, will be meeting with the SEQ Mayors to discuss the Deal.
“We need to cater for this rising population and the SEQ City Deal will be a huge step forward,” Tudge said.
South-east Queensland is already home to over two-thirds of the state’s population.
The region is home to nearly one in every seven Australians.
The agreement marks the second city deal for Queensland following the policy being first established in Townsville.
So far, city deals have been developed for Western Sydney, Townsville and Launceston, and a further four more are currently under negotiation in Adelaide, Hobart, Perth and Geelong.
Sports grounds planned for Windsor after council approves land resumptions
A new sports facility is on the cards for the north Brisbane suburb of Windsor with Brisbane City Council planning to buy and demolish four houses located beside council-owned land, although one owner is protesting the resumption of her house.
The properties, which the council says are within a flood-prone area close to Breakfast Creek, will be purchased using dividends from the City of Brisbane Investment Corporation to create a 16,000-square-metre parcel of land.
Council will resume properties at 18 Cullen Street, 20 Cullen Street, 39 Northey Street, and 45 Windsor Street.
Lord mayor Adrian Schrinner said the CBIC dividends had returned a total of $20 million to the council this year, which would be put toward new projects greening the city and acquiring more bushland for conservation.
The new park between Cullen Street and Northey Street was flagged in the 2018-19 council budget.
Cr Schrinner said the council had already purchased a number of properties in the area that had been subject to flooding.
“There is a massive demand for more parkland in that part of Brisbane, so we’re buying up these houses, we will remove these houses, and we will create a new larger park for these residents to enjoy,” he told the council on Tuesday.
“I can’t think of a better way to put the dividends of our future fund into other than creating parkland like this.”
Three owners of properties made no objection to their houses being resumed by the council.
However, one owner objected, writing that the house was her planned retirement home and the council’s compensation would not be enough for her to purchase a new house in the same area.
“The council is justifying its decision to demolish my house based on the consideration that the properties are flood affected,” she wrote.
“My property is on stilts and has not been damaged by any flood in the past 20 years.
“It should therefore not be included in the justification to demolish this property.”
Greens Gabba Ward councillor Jonathan Sri said he was very supportive of the new park but expressed concern about the objections from the property owner.
“I think it is OK to be compulsorily acquire for the creation of new public green space in areas where there’s a need to do so,” he said.
However, he said he was concerned the owner was not being satisfactorily compensated.
Opposition spokesman Peter Cumming said the city always needed new parks but after considering the information in detail he said there were six pieces of land originally indicated by the council as needing to be purchased, however only four came to council.
“I don’t know what happened to the other two and some comment in that regard would be appreciated,” he said.
“The other issue that is raised by some of the residents living in that area is what is needed in that area is additional parking.”
Cr Cumming questioned how the council would manage the need for additional parking alongside a new sporting facility.
Brisbane Cruise Terminal Set to Welcome One Million Passengers
Brisbane’s first cruise ship terminal is under way, with premier Annastacia Palaszczuk turning the sod on the $158 million project on Tuesday.
The long-awaited terminal is scheduled to open in October 2020, with bookings already open for Brisbane’s first cruise season.
Publicised as a significant economic boost for Queensland’s tourism industry, the premier said that the terminal will eventually host more than a million passengers each year.
“Building this one piece of infrastructure flows through our entire economy.
“Ships that were too long, too high and too deep to dock at Brisbane’s Hamilton facility will have a dedicated cruise terminal.”
Deloitte’s latest business outlook shows strong population growth numbers bolstering Queensland’s economy as “crazy” house prices send buyers north. Tourism numbers are also looking positive, with an expected economic upswing coming from tourism and mining.
“The renewed (albeit modest) falls in the Australian dollar over the past year augur well for renewed strength in tourism numbers ahead,” Deloitte partner Chris Richardson said.
“That will be accommodated by the recent increased and ongoing investment in hotel capacity in some of the tourism hubs of the state.”
Tourism minister Kate Jones said that Queensland’s cruise industry was booming.
“Last financial year we saw 520 ships port in Queensland — 11 per cent growth year-on-year, making the Sunshine State Australia’s undisputed cruise capital.”
The terminal is expected to handle over 1,100 vessels and at 1.8 million passengers within its first five years.
The global cruise ship industry is growing, with at least 60 per cent of the cruise ships calling in to Australia by 2020 estimated to be “mega” cruise ships — with a gross tonnage larger than 120,000.
The Queensland government has confirmed that construction company Hindmarsh will deliver the $158 million building.
The Star to Announce Contractor for Brisbane Casino Resort Within Weeks
Excavation work at the site of the Queen’s Wharf resort nears completion, the actual construction phase is slated to begin in late 2019
The winning bidder for the construction of the A$3.6 billion Queen’s Wharf luxury integrated resort in Brisbane will be announced within weeks, news outlet the Sydney Morning Herald reports.
Geoff Hogg, Managing Director Queensland for Australian casino operator The Star Entertainment Group, said today that “somewhere in the next four to six weeks” they will announce the successful tender that “will start building the main core and shell of the Queen’s Wharf development.”
The Star is the leading partner in Destination Brisbane Consortium that was selected back in 2016 as the winning bidder for the development and operation of an integrated resort in Brisbane’s Central Business District. The company won the race over its biggest archrival Crown Resorts.
Mr. Hogg went on to explain that the soon-to-be-announced winning tender will be tasked with the “core concrete and […] shell” of the resort. Tenders for internal fit-outs will follow at a later stage. Announcing the winning tender for the primary construction work will mark an important milestone and the shift from excavation toward the start of construction, Mr. Hogg said today.
Excavation work began early in 2017. Mr. Hogg explained today that phase is now almost complete. Workers have so far demolished a number of government-owned buildings to prepare the site for setting the foundations.
Mr. Hogg explained that they expect to reach an important milestone in mid-2019 when all 450,000 cubic meters of soil and rock would be taken out and the hole in the ground would be finished. Foundation work is slated to begin shortly afterwards. Actual construction work is likely to commence by Christmas.
They expect to be ready to begin ground level work by mid-2020. The luxury resort will feature a massive underground car park.
The Star targets 2022 opening of a major part of its property. The launch will include three hotels, one operating under The Star brand, as well as Dorsett-branded and Rosewood-branded hotels, food and beverage facilities, public spaces at the flagship Sky Deck, The Landing, and Waterline, and retail spaces.
The gaming and hospitality giant currently runs Brisbane’s Treasury Casino. That facility will be closed when the main resort is finished and The Star will relocate its license to a larger casino at its the Queen’s Wharf resort. As for its old gaming operation, it will be transformed into a retail center.
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