New Council brings experience and stability to City of Moreton Bay

Published 05 April 2024

City of Moreton Bay CEO Scott Waters stands with Mayor Peter Flannery.png

Council today declared their stable and experienced team will immediately get to work with a focus on the key challenges of infrastructure, housing, jobs, environment, and liveability and called on the State Government to take notice.

Mayor Peter Flannery and five Councillors, including Jodie Shipway, Yvonne Barlow, Darren Grimwade, Brooke Savige and Cath Tonks, were uncontested in the March 16 election. 
Councillors Mark Booth, Matt Constance, Adam Hain, Tony Latter, Sandra Ruck and Karl Winchester retained their divisions, while Division 8 sees newcomer Jim Moloney replace Mick Gillam who has retired after 30 years.

At their Declaration of Office with Council’s CEO Scott Waters, and post-election meeting on Friday April 5, Mayor Peter Flannery said with the majority of Councillors returning, the team offers stability to the residents of Moreton Bay.

Councillor Jodie Shipway was again appointed Deputy Mayor for the new term.
“I take our return as a vote of confidence that we are making great progress in our city,” Mayor Flannery said.

“We too are residents, and genuinely want the best for our community and families, so are collectively dedicated to a positive and thriving future for City of Moreton Bay. 

“We’re committed to listening to our communities to ensure that together, we can grow in a balanced way well beyond this current term of Council."

Mayor Flannery however stated that Council can’t keep taking the unsustainable cost-shifting that other levels of Government are pushing on to local ratepayers when Councils only receive 3% of tax revenue.

“As South East Queensland’s fastest growing city, almost equal to the entire population of Tasmania, we will reach a population of 1 million in only 20 years’ time.

“This term is crucial for the city’s future planning and now is the time to lay sustainable foundations for this growth.

“It’s not enough to just deliver on the basics of roads, rates, and rubbish anymore.

“We have an enormous task ahead of us and this means continuing to advocate strongly for much-needed funding from other levels of Government to alleviate pressure now and into the future.

“Key projects include the Buchanan Road corridor, the Bruce Highway Western Alternative, removal of level crossings to improve east-west connections, and funding to investigate a Moreton Bay ferry service.

“As a Council, we’ve already proven that we are proactive and driven. Expect to see ambitious initiatives, environmental progress, and local jobs with a strong focus on liveability that will be the envy of progressive cities worldwide.

“We have the unique opportunity to design and deliver a new city model. One that continues to protect the qualities that make City of Moreton Bay distinctive while focusing on what a well-planned, modern, and innovative city can achieve.

“We’ll drive big picture projects including playing a key role in solving South East Queensland’s housing crisis with our greenfield sites.

“With infrastructure uncertainty we’ll hold the State Government to account and push for our fair share. Roads are already at breaking point, even without the new supply of housing required for population growth. It is vital to our residents that we have a resilient road and public transport network to manage liveability and affordability.

“However, growth and positive environmental outcomes are not exclusive, and we will continue to work hard to plan a more liveable city, one that is green as we grow, even with increasing population.

“We envisage a city where natural green spaces are the norm, where our promise of preserving 75% landmass as green space is on target and we chart a new way of living within the environment not against it.

“This term we’ll introduce household green waste bins as part of the Food Organic Garden Organic (FOGO) initiative and work towards our climate target commitment of net zero for Council operations by 2039.

“Housing diversity is a must. Not everyone wants, nor can afford, a standalone house on block of land, and as the third largest Local Government Area in Australia, we need a mix of housing that provides options for all residents.

“In response to our community’s changing needs, amendments to our planning scheme will showcase the opportunities that good planning and diverse housing brings.

“We’ll also continue our strong advocacy on housing. The Government funded social housing system has not kept pace with the pressure that has been put on it, and that pressure has increased locally.

“The State Government must address the current shortfall of crisis accommodation for people experiencing homelessness within Moreton Bay as an urgent priority.

“With the role of local government growing in the wake of the current housing and cost-of-living crises, City of Moreton Bay will continue to explore every reasonable option to help combat the effects of the national housing crisis locally.

“We’ll continue our landmark initiative to waive development fees and infrastructure charges in fifteen suburbs for affordable and social housing and will open a new housing and homelessness services hub at Redcliffe.  

“With cost-of-living pressures front of mind, we’ll balance our budget so you can balance yours. We’ll do everything possible to achieve value for money when it comes to your rates - in return delivering on important local assets such as libraries, sporting fields and maintaining our many parks, footpaths and facilities, while also continuing to support local community and sporting groups, Council events and much-needed support services that significantly benefit our communities.

“I’d like to thank our hardworking staff whose award-winning ideas and outcome focused, and collaborative approach has supported Council’s vision and seen City of Moreton Bay Council grow as an employer of choice locally and a leader of innovative ideas.

“With City of Moreton Bay’s enviable reputation, it’s no wonder the secret is out, and people are flocking to our city.

“We’ll continue to push for opportunities that attract new social and economic benefit, create jobs and drive sustainable change.

“We’re not starting from scratch though; we’re taking all the things we hold dear and charting a bold future. Take notice - we’re rewriting the rule book."