Key questions about becoming a city

To have your say on the future of the Moreton Bay Region, visit the Your Say Moreton Bay webpage.

Why is Moreton Bay Regional Council considering becoming a city now?

Several big milestones are on the horizon, like the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games, the SEQ City Deal, and the State Government’s review of the South East Queensland Regional Plan. They are critical opportunities to influence how Moreton Bay is perceived by decision-makers and give us the best chance of harnessing benefits for our communities.

The Olympic and Paralympic Games will draw visitors to South East Queensland and provide a platform to introduce Moreton Bay to the world. This is a once in a lifetime chance to showcase our natural beauty and attract visitors from our shores and beyond.

Developing a recognised regional identity is an important part of our economic development strategy, which has set the course for us to become a $40 billion economy by 2041. Achieving that goal relies, in part, on attracting more visitors to our region, who will spend money in our centres. That spending translates to increased economic activity, which opens the door to more local jobs to service tourist demand.

The recently signed SEQ City Deal will unlock increased investment in our region, and it is critical we secure our fair share. Our chances of success will be bolstered by Federal parliamentarians knowing who we are and where we are.

The Mayor has encountered a common misconception on his visits to Canberra about our location, with many mistakenly believing we are a rural or remote council. This needs to change if we are to compete for investment to manage the growth we are experiencing as the closest northern neighbour of Brisbane.

The State Government’s upcoming renewal of the South East Queensland Regional Plan is also a major opportunity to shape local growth. This plan sets out how many residents council will have to accommodate through the delivery of new homes in communities like Caboolture West as well in existing suburbs.

We need to be actively participating in the review to ensure the State’s plans reflect our objectives and how we want to evolve.

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Why did we become a regional council in the first place?

During the State Government’s amalgamation of Queensland councils in 2008, it was decided if three or more councils amalgamated the new council would be classified as “regional”. That means if we had been an amalgamation of two councils, we would likely already be classified a city.

Our council was formed through the amalgamation of three councils: Caboolture Shire, Pine Rivers Shire, and the City of Redcliffe.

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How would we change our classification from a regional to a city council?

Becoming a city involves changing our local government area classification from “regional” to “city” under the Local Government Act.

To change this classification, we must write to the Minister for Local Government. The Minister will then refer our request to the Change Commission, which is part of the independent Electoral Commission of Queensland, for assessment.

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When would we become a city?

Council is in the process of considering the benefits changing our classification might bring and the effort pursuing a change might entail.

A social and economic impact assessment was requested by council at the end of 2021 and this was delivered in March 2022. Early engagement is also happening with the community before an open survey if council decides to continue exploring reclassification.

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How much would it cost to become a city?

The preliminary exploration of the re-classification and associated costs will be covered under existing department budgets. That means council won’t be adding to any budgets to undertake this work.

If council chooses to continue exploring city classification, further investment will be made in large scale community engagement before making a submission to the Electoral Commission of Queensland (ECQ). If the ECQ approved the change in classification, then the name of the council would change.

The most expensive elements of re-branding are usually the physical assets, for example signage and printed materials, which would not be updated at once. As has been Council’s policy since amalgamation, signage will only be updated as it becomes necessary. This will limit the costs associated with a potential name change.

Most of the printed materials are limited to merchandise, which again would not be replaced until supplies had been exhausted. The cost of replacing the logo for digital assets such as the website, social media and corporate documents, would be nominal and updating would be at minimal expense other than staff time.

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