Businesses back Moreton Bay City Vision
Published 25 May 2022
Moreton Bay’s business community has come out in bold support of a reclassification to a ‘City’ Council after a presentation delivered to more than 100 prominent local businesspeople on Friday (May 20).
Mayor Peter Flannery said the audience was overwhelmingly positive to the keynote delivered by Archipelago Architect and Director Peter Edwards, with 71% of the respondents saying they ‘strongly support’ the reclassification.
“Moreton Bay will always be a ‘region’ but we’ve certainly outgrown our ‘Regional Council’ title with a population that’s already much larger than other cities like Canberra, Newcastle and Hobart,” he said.
“I’m sure there were plenty of sceptics in the crowd on Friday prior to the presentation, but the overwhelming response afterward was that people were strongly in favour of the change.
“In fact, 71% of the audience who responded said they support the proposal to reclassify Moreton Bay from regional council to a city council.
“The fear is that a ‘City’ will turn Moreton Bay into a carpark or concrete jungle, but actually the complete opposite is true.
“I want to embrace our many existing communities and towns to spread opportunity and reduce traffic to one central location, to create Queensland’s first subtropical ‘polycentric city’ with many centres.
“This will create more job opportunities locally, better traffic flow, more greenspaces, and a better connection to our beautiful existing environment.
“And when I meet with federal politicians in Canberra to secure funding for our region, they won’t think of Moreton Bay is a backwater shire in rural Queensland.
“Further questions revealed that 42% of people said a reclassification was ‘very important’ to their day-to-day life and work in the region followed by 32% who said it was ‘somewhat important’.
“We asked the businesspeople in the room what issues came to mind, and the most prominent words were ‘environment’ and ‘cost’ which is hugely encouraging to me.
“Council is focused on ‘Greening as we grow’ through multiple initiatives like our new Land Buyback for Environmental Purposes Program and the rollout of our new Food Organics Garden Organics (FOGO) service.
“And I can categorically say Council won’t be rushing out to change signage or any paraphernalia, and it won’t come at a major cost to ratepayers.
“But most pleasing was the number of respondents who said, ‘Just do it!’, so please get online and make your voice heard before the survey timeframe ends on May 30.”
Testimonials from businesspeople:
Sally Eberhardt, Caboolture Neighbourhood Centre Board Member:
“It has cleared up a lot of things. I didn’t know what the advantage was, why does a city classification matter? What does it mean? And basically, more funding, more opportunity and a chance to promote the region. I think it’s great.”
Sean Gordon, SchoolAid found and CEO:
“I like the possibility of us being seen as city in stature. I like the opportunity that it provides for equity, for access, for connectivity and for jobs and so forth. It ticks a lot of boxes for me.
Kathryn Dearing, The Sebel Margate beach General Manager:
“I think it was very exciting for the region. I love the idea of the polycentric centre. I think we need to understand the area needs more accommodation, more hotels, so not just come to the beach, but come to the hinterland.”
Edith Cuffe Abbey Museum and Festival Director:
“The Moreton Bay Region has been a place that you go through to get to somewhere else. This has the capacity to put us on the map as a place to visit, to go to, to invest in, without losing that sense of country that we have and environment which is so beautiful.”
Michael Bailey Open Architecture Studio Director:
“For locals it’s probably a minimal impact, it’s probably a mindset change for many people. It gives us a reason to be proud of what we’ve got and think about everything we’ve got in a new way.”
Sharon Armstrong Embrace Life Director:
“More connectivity, more liveability, you can have urban centres, you can have lovely country villages, and seaside towns and I think being a city just gives us a bit more prestige for our amazing area.”
Ty Hermans Venlo Holdings General Manager:
“I think the opportunities are absolutely massive, and surely outweighs anyone’s concerns. I’m scratching my head as to what someone could have a negative thought as to why the change to a city could be a problem.”
Mary Di Marco The Hills & District Chamber of Commerce:
“I think it’s fantastic, it’s the best thing that could happen to our region, it’s so decentralised in so many ways. We’ve aquaculture, agriculture and tourism.”
Craig Shim The Hills & District Chamber of Commerce:
“The benefits that come from having a city status are immense when it comes to inbound investment and just the recognition that we really deserve it.”
You can fill out the survey by visiting the Your Say website: Reimagining Our Moreton Bay | Your Say Moreton Bay
Visit Council’s website for more information: https://www.moretonbay.qld.gov.au/News/Around-The-Region/Moreton-Bay-City-Vision