State of the Region 2022 - Mayor outlines ambitions for green future

Published 01 December 2022

State of the Region

Moreton Bay Council is going into 2023 with the ambitious goal of protecting 75% of its landmass from development.

In his inaugural ‘State of the Region’ address Mayor Peter Flannery also announced residents will receive green bins for garden organics, ahead of a full-scale Food Organics Garden Organics (FOGO) service being rolled out, and he said Council wanted to work towards net zero carbon emissions for its operations.

“It’s time for Moreton Bay to become a 21st Century Council,” declared the Mayor.

“I know these are all incredibly ambitious goals, but we represent an ambitious region, so we must stretch to meet our residents’ expectations.

“I’ve repeatedly said we must learn from the mistakes of other cities, and in 2023 we will start putting that into a positive plan of action that will make Moreton Bay look and feel different to the rest of southeast Queensland.

“I believe Moreton Bay is the only Council now capable of preventing southeast Queensland becoming a mega city that sprawls from Coolangatta to Coolum.

“We need to contain our urban footprint to 25% of our region. By protecting 75% of Moreton Bay from urban development we’ll ensure we retain important, productive rural areas, greenspace and habitat for wildlife.

“If we do this, not only will we be the green belt between Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast, we will become the lungs of southeast Queensland.

“Of course that means limiting new unplanned greenfield housing construction, which means a serious conversation as a community about how we manage growth, and a big part of that is building up, rather than out.

“Specifically, where can we sustainably create greater density in order to provide for human population growth in order to protect the homes of native animals.

“But I want to be honest and authentic with our community about these challenges, so that we are transparent in the tough decision we have to make.

“For example, unlike other Council’s and organisations, I don’t want to just purchase carbon credits. I want us to do the hard work ourselves to make a real difference.

“Right now, over half of our emissions come from waste, so introducing FOGO will go a long way to addressing the issue. I also want to divert 85% of waste from landfills and increase our recycling rate by 70% by 2040.”

Mayor Flannery said today’s inaugural ‘State of the Region’ was a time to reflect on the difficulties we’ve all overcome but, more importantly, look forward to 2023 with a sense of purpose.

“Factors like COVID, devastating floods, construction cost pressures and inflation have all put a strain on all of us over the past couple of years, but we’ve also achieved so much in that time too,” he said.

“The State of the Region outlines our roadmap for balancing economic, environmental and social priorities with a host of new ideas and initiatives to continue ‘Going Green As We Grow’.

“I’m proud that despite difficult economic conditions, our region is starting 2023 energised and with an ambitious new agenda ready to go.

“We’ve continued to smash our enrolment expectations for the region’s first university campus with an increase of around 11%, which has allowed University of the Sunshine Coast to start works on their Stage 2 expansion ahead of schedule.

“We helped secure The Dolphins the 17th NRL licence by being the lead investor to bring Moreton Daily stadium up to national quality, which is an investment we expect to return up to $74 million to the community per year starting from 2023.

“We managed to get the entire region’s state and federal politicians into the same room to secure $32.75 million to start works next year on a new Young’s Crossing Bridge and to solve one of the region’s longest standing infrastructure problems.

“This all ties into our plan to reclassify as a city council and our plan to direct investment away from one single central business district (CBD) by building up our existing community centres.”

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Video transcript