Introducing Australia’s Newest City: Moreton Bay!

Published 17 May 2023

Deputy Premier Steven Miles with Mayor Peter Flannery.jpg

Moreton Bay Region will soon undergo a classification change to become known as Moreton Bay City.

In order for a local government area to be declared a city, it must provide commercial, industrial, health and public sector services for the region.

Additionally, for the past three years, the area must have had a population of at least 25,000, a population of at least 15,000 in its urban centre, and a population density of at least 150 people for each square kilometre of its urban centre.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Local Government Steven Miles referred a request from the Moreton Bay Regional Council to the independent Local Government Change Commission for assessment last year. The Change Commission concluded its assessment and recommended the change proceed.

The Deputy Premier has recommend the change for consideration by Governor-in-Council, with the change likely to take effect before the end of 2023.

“Living in Moreton Bay with my family, it’s easy to see why the region is booming,” Mr Miles said.

“The Moreton Bay Local Government Area is one of the fastest growing in the country with a population of more than 480,000. This is forecast to grow to close to 700,000 by 2041, a larger population than the state of Tasmania.

“It also has a larger population than several of Queensland’s seven ‘cities’, including Logan, Redland, Townsville, Mount Isa and Ipswich, and is only eclipsed in population by Brisbane and Gold Coast.

“Council met all the criteria for a name change set out in the Local Government legislation, and, after considering the Change Commission’s assessment, I agree with the change and have recommend to the Governor in Council for the change to take effect.

“Changing the name of the council will help put the region on the map, bringing with it more visitors and more jobs.

“It is the first time a Local Government Area has requested a reclassification under the current Regulation.”

Mayor Peter Flannery said this was a coming of age moment for Moreton Bay.

“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.

“We have advocated for this change due to the size of Moreton Bay and also in recognition of our contribution to the SEQ economy.  

“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 investment, and helps us start to realise our potential as Australia’s third largest council (by population).

“This announcement will also help us give more shape to our polycentric city vision, to strategically invest in the unique potential of our existing centres and townships, rather than funnelling all our resources into a single centralised CBD.

“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.”