Statement from City of Moreton Bay Mayor Peter Flannery
Published 25 January 2024
At today’s last General Meeting of the term, it’s appropriate to reflect on the past four years and highlight our key achievements.
We commenced this term in 2020 alongside the COVID pandemic where we embraced our new kind of normal.
To build community and business resilience Council secured $27.2 million in COVID stimulus funding from State and Federal Government, in addition to Council’s injection of funding for community projects, and we released our Moreton Bay Recovery Plan with 163 actions established from extensive consultation.
We kept ahead of the curve and launched our Regional Economic Development Strategy (REDS) with a plan to make Moreton Bay Bigger, Bolder and Brighter because we want people to have good jobs closer to home and see existing businesses thrive and new businesses created.
Our recent report card estimated:
- $700 million in additional Gross Regional Product
- More than 4,000 new jobs
- More than 800 new businesses.
These achievements are propelling us closer to the goal of a $40 billion economy by 2041.
As part of the REDS, we committed to providing regional awareness, pride and attractive lifestyles amongst our communities to ensure our city is a great place to live, work and play.
Part of this commitment was to deliver an annual calendar of events.
Over the past two years we have delivered over 50 business, community events and festivals delivered each year with a commitment to continue this into 2025.
Our support to secure tertiary education in Moreton Bay has excelled with UniSC Moreton Bay commencing operations in 2020 and currently has more than 4,700 students enrolled.
UniSC is projected to grow to 10,000 students by 2035 or earlier.
The statistics on first in family, indigenous enrolment and those with an identified disability are strong which contributes to the creation of a liveable city for all.
When I became Mayor in 2020, I set myself and Council the goal to put politics aside and work constructively with both the Federal and State Governments.
Collaboration with the other levels of government is essential if we are to meet the ongoing infrastructure and service needs for our growing population.
To accomplish this, in 2021 and 2023 we held the Leaders’ Forums, bringing together the city’s elected representatives from all levels of government.
We also held State Shadow Leaders Forums in the same years.
As a blueprint for collaboration, in 2021 Council launched its first-ever Advocacy Plan.
As part of this, in mid-2023, we proudly launched and created the City of Moreton Bay, with the project work winning a 2022 National Award for Local Government.
Caboolture CBD is a key centre in our polycentric city model and the revival of this CBD is on our agenda.We conducted a market sounding process for its transformation and made strong commitments with $44 million to support projects over the next five years.
At our grass roots, helping protect our communities from dangerous dogs is essential.
Following sustained lobbying by Council and my participation in Minister Furner’s taskforce, the State Government introduced legislation in November 2023 to strengthen animal management laws.
Most recently, our advocacy to the State Government resulted in a parliamentary inquiry into copper and other metals theft after we highlighted the impact this was having on our communities.
To improve our community standards and liveability, in 2021 we embarked on a sweeping review of our local laws to better regulate our growing communities through Your Say Moreton Bay.
From this, 13 new local laws took effect late last year to suit needs and lifestyles of our residents.
Also in 2021, we secured $4.5 million in SEQ Community Stimulus Program funding from the State Government including:
- $3 million for Redcliffe Homelessness Hub
- $1.5 million for Sylvan Beach upgrades
The SEQ City Deal was signed in March 2022 which included $210 million for a Growth Area Compact for Waraba as well as access to other funding programs including a guaranteed $45.54 million from the SEQ Liveability Fund.
We received $15 million in loan funding from the State Government’s Building Acceleration Fund for Unitywater infrastructure at Waraba.
Federal Government funding for Youngs Crossing was boosted by $25 million to $32.75 million in 2021 and was protected from cuts in the 2023 Infrastructure Review.
Moving to major sports projects, Moreton Bay was confirmed as co-host for the 2032 Olympics and Paralympics with an $85 million Indoor Sports Centre to be built at The Mill.
We established the Mayor’s 2032 Legacy Working Group, the first in South East Queensland, to maximise legacy outcomes from the 2032 Olympics and Paralympics Games.
Council finalised the $22 million Moreton Bay Women’s High Performance Football Centre at South Pine Sports Complex.
Along with many upgrades to multiple facilities across the city including Griffin Sports Complex, Peterson Road and too many others to mention.
We secured and successfully hosted Brazil at Moreton Bay Central Sports Complex for the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023.
And supported the successful bid to secure the 17th NRL license for the Dolphins who kick off their second season in just a few weeks.
In roads and transport, we continue to lobby for the gazettal of the Bruce Highway Western Alternative and sensible solutions for our community.
And we have also conducted a demand analysis for a Moreton Bay Ferry Service to better connect our bayside suburbs.
We helped lobby for a State Government business case for a new bridge to Bribie Island and conducted a campaign to keep the old bridge as a ‘Green Bridge’.
In the environment, the Food Organics Garden Organics project saw major progress with Council awarding a $63.5 million contract for an organics service that will be launched later this year.
This project was achieved with extensive engagement with Council of Mayors to obtain State Government funding.
Council endorsed the use of its land at 420 Old Gympie Road, Dakabin for the establishment of a wildlife hospital, and preparation of a master plan for the site is underway.
In our commitment to ‘go green as we grow’, we introduced the Land Buyback for Environmental purposes with over 100 hectares secured into public ownership.
These important changes have improved outcomes for koalas and the other 118 priority species that call Moreton Bay home, by increasing connectivity between existing green corridors and protected areas.
Growth is on our doorstep across all our key centres.
We’ve maintained our commitment to preserve 75 percent of our city as rural and natural landscapes without urban development.
In housing, we reviewed over 1,700 Council land holdings to identify properties suitable for social and affordable housing.
We developed a new policy to provide remissions of fees for community housing providers and amended Council’s Community Leasing Policy to attract social and affordable housing.
As we finish this term, cost of living pressures are impacting our communities.
We recently released a Housing and Homelessness Action Plan.
Our priority focus has been to ensure there is support for people sleeping rough, well-managed public spaces, stronger partnerships with Government and stakeholders along with diverse housing options.
With our continued focus on liveability, we implemented rates remissions for self-funded retirees for the first time, as well as part-pensioners.
We continued our strong commitment to help create a future where everyone has full and equal access.
With one in five people living with a disability in Moreton Bay, it’s the simple things that make a big difference through our bin collections, library services, accessible beaches, facilities for both adults and children, playgrounds and Auslan interpreters.
I’d like to thank all departments for the collaboration in the delivery of all the projects I have spoken on today.
Councillors, I’m sure you will agree these are a remarkable achievement for the City of Moreton Bay and I want to thank you for your cooperation, hard work, and collaboration to see them through to delivery.
Our residents can be assured that Council will not rest on these laurels.
Work is already underway for the 2024 to 2028 term which will continue to protect the lifestyle City of Moreton Bay offers.