Queensland City Deals

City Deals are a key mechanism of the Commonwealth Government’s Smart Cities Plan (2016) and provide a new approach for all levels of government to work together to plan and deliver transformative outcomes for Australian cities.

In November 2016, the Prime Minister and Premier of Queensland signed a historic memorandum of understanding (MOU) that sets out how the Commonwealth and Queensland Government will work together cooperatively with local governments on City Deals in Queensland. The MOU outlines arrangements for the Commonwealth Government and Queensland Government to agree priority locations for City Deals that will focus on economic growth, jobs and housing, reduced travel times, and improved environmental outcomes to deliver measurable improvements to peoples’ quality of life and standards of living.

Townsville City Deal

Townsville was Australia’s-first City Deal; established in partnership between the Commonwealth, Queensland Government, Townsville City Council, and the local community. This City Deal is delivering a prosperous economic future for Townsville and positioning Townsville as a vibrant, liveable and innovative Queensland city. The deal is a 15-year commitment and was signed by the Prime Minister, Premier and Mayor of Townsville on 9 December 2016, with the implementation plan released on 24 April 2017.

The inaugural Annual Progress Report was released on 3 April 2018. It identified the key achievements since the City Deal’s signing and updated the key milestones to be delivered over the next 12 months. Key achievements include:

  • Commencement of construction on the $250 million North Queensland Stadium.
  • Delivery of an interim report on securing Townsville’s water supply providing recommendations and options, some of which are being implemented by Townsville City Council following a $225 million commitment by the Queensland Government.
  • Finalisation of the Port Channel Capacity Upgrade project business case and environmental approvals, and commitment of $75 million in funding by the Queensland Government.
  • Completion of the Townsville Eastern Access Rail Corridor business case for consideration by the Queensland Government.

SEQ City Deal

In May 2017 Commonwealth Government invited the Queensland Government, Council of Mayors (SEQ), and SEQ councils to jointly develop a City Deals strategy for South East Queensland (SEQ).

The development and establishment of Queensland’s second City Deal will provide a tripartite focus on investments and actions that will help align planning, investment and governance to accelerate growth and job creation, stimulate urban renewal and support the future prosperity and liveability of the SEQ region.

A four-gateway approach is being utilised to develop the SEQ City Deal:

Gateway 1 was completed in late 2016 and addressed the core themes (competitive economy, connectivity, skilled labour force, liveability and stewardship) and considerations for a SEQ City Deal.

Gateway 2 is underway and will inform the development of design parameters and an outcomes framework to consider priority investments to be included in the SEQ City Deal.

The development of the SEQ City Deal is being guided by a regional vision, desired outcomes and a dimensional employment and economic development plan that focuses on how the outcomes will be delivered.

The Queensland Government commissioned the SEQ Benchmarking Report to inform the development of the SEQ City Deal. The report examines the relative economic, environmental and social performance of SEQ against nine overseas regions with similar-sized economies to demonstrate the factors that make the SEQ region internationally competitive. It also identifies lessons and insights that can be learned from other city regions.

The Queensland Government has also worked with the SEQ councils to prepare the SEQ Economic Foundations Paper, which builds on the benchmarking report and provides:

  • a detailed analysis of the economic geography of the SEQ region and the sectors that will drive the growth of SEQ’s traded economy
  • a thematic overlay of the SEQ region’s economic corridors, clusters and urban growth fronts.

Other reports which have been developed through this partnership are:

The Queensland Government and the Council of Mayors (SEQ) and SEQ councils are utilising their strong collaborative partnership to prioritise agreement on governance arrangements and actions to advance the SEQ City Deal with the Commonwealth Government.

Further Information

Further information on City Deals is available from the Commonwealth Government’s City Deals website.

Direct enquiries about Queensland City Deals to: CityDeals@treasury.qld.gov.au.

Last updated: 24 December 2018