City Deals in Queensland

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 former 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.

Queensland is at the forefront of City Deals in Australia with the implementation of Australia’s first City Deal in Townsville during December 2016. On 12 February 2019, the Prime Minister committed the Commonwealth Government to develop Australia’s largest City Deal for South East Queensland (SEQ) in partnership with Queensland Government and the Council of Mayors (SEQ).


On 15 March 2019, the Commonwealth Government, Queensland Government and Council of Mayors (SEQ) signed the Statement of Intent for SEQ City Deal. The Statement of intent is a 20-year lifespan for the SEQ City Deal and consultation will be a key part of this process to ensure the Deal gets the right outcomes for the region’s communities.The Statement of Intent is available to download

TransformingSEQ: The South East Queensland City Deal Proposition

TransformingSEQ, released on 12 February 2019, is the joint pitch by the Queensland Government and the Council of Mayors (SEQ) to the Commonwealth Government for an SEQ City Deal. TransformingSEQ sets out our shared ambition to fully realise SEQ’s potential to contribute to Australia’s economic success – focussed on delivering one region that is connected locally and competing globally.

TransformingSEQ highlights 35 transformational opportunities for an SEQ City Deal – including regional game changers like:

  1. Building on Cross River Rail and Brisbane Metro to deliver the next wave of public transport projects that connect our key activity and growth centres – including rail to Flagstone, Ripley and the Sunshine Coast.
  2. Supercharging a new Trade and Enterprise Spine between the Toowoomba Trade Gateway and the Australia TradeCoast by connecting Inland Rail to the Port of Brisbane and unlocking new jobs in the south-west and western growth areas.
  3. Igniting our nationally significant Innovation Precincts to deliver more high-value, knowledge-intensive jobs.
  4. Establishing SEQ as Australia’s leading Smart Digital Region by leveraging the new International Broadband Submarine Cable; and
  5. Delivering better open spaces and recreational areas for our growing region.

The SEQ City Deal and transformational opportunities would focus on delivering significant liveability and productivity benefits for the region across six domains:

TransformingSEQ lays the foundation to transform the way federal, state and local government can work together to secure SEQ’s future success.

TransformingSEQ builds on the success of the SEQ Regional Plan – Shaping SEQ (2017) – and reflects five years of a strong collaborative partnership between the Queensland Government and the Council of Mayors (SEQ) around the City Deal concept towards the advancement of an SEQ City Deal with the Commonwealth Government.  Other reports which have been developed through this partnership include:

Townsville City Deal

The Strand, Townsville

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 former Prime Minister, Premier and Mayor of Townsville on 9 December 2016, with the implementation plan released on 24 April 2017.

The Townsville City Deal is now in its fourth year of implementation and the Queensland Government is continuing to deliver on key commitments in partnership with the Commonwealth Government, Townsville City Council and the local community. Key achievements in the past calendar year (2019) include:

  • Over 98 percent of construction completed as at 19 December 2019 on the North Queensland Stadium since the main stadium build commenced in May 2018 – the stadium will be ready for the first game of the 2020 NRL Premiership Season.
  • Commencement of preliminary work on the Port of Townsville Channel Upgrade project, with the first truckloads of rock delivered of at least 600,000 tonnes required to build the seawall for land reclamation.
  • Opening of the Townsville City Bus Hub, coinciding with the introduction of a new network-wide bus timetable to encourage more people to use public transport and travel to the CBD.
  • The Townsville City Council Defence Engagement Officer was appointed, with consultation established between representatives of the Department of Defence, Defence Jobs Queensland and the Townsville City Council.
  • Finalisation of a business case assessment for Stage 2 of the Haughton Pipeline and confirmation of full funding for construction to deliver a continuous water supply pipeline, in conjunction with Stage 1, from the Burdekin River to the Ross River Dam.

Further details on these and other key achievements are highlighted in the 2019 Annual Progress Report for the Townsville City Deal (released on 21 February 2020).  More information on the Townsville City Deal and previous progress reports can be found on the Australian Government website.

Further information

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

Direct enquiries about Queensland City Deals in Queensland to:

Last updated: 26 May 2020