Historic deal set to fast track fast train to Brisbane
FAST rail should form the "spine" of a three-tiered government collaboration to transform the southeast into a "45-minute region", Fisher MP Andrew Wallace believes.
A South East Queensland City Deal awaits the Coalition's support after Brisbane mayor Graham Quirk and Deputy Premier Jackie Trad this week met with business leaders on a mission to collaborate with the LNP.
If successful, the deal would establish a rolling funding agreement between all levels of government to deliver a pipeline of investment spanning 15-20 years and unaffected by election outcomes.
Council of Mayors South East Queensland (SEQ) is driving the City Deal push, which would become the largest of its kind in Australia and incorporate 10 council areas.
Townsville's North Queensland Stadium is testament to the success of one city deal, with others struck in Western Sydney and Launceston.
The deal would affect about three million people and prioritise connecting the Sunshine Coast with Brisbane and the Gold Coast. A Council of Mayors (SEQ) spokeswoman said this would allow people to "live and work anywhere they choose".
Cr Quirk said he wanted to see a "three-quarter region" which required fast rail between all three centres.
Mr Wallace said he would back a deal with benefits beyond the Brisbane municipality, but said terminology aside, existing priority infrastructure projects with "money on the table" demanded state funding.
He and LNP colleague, Member for Fairfax Ted O'Brien, stressed the rail duplication between Nambour and Beerburrum was a "prerequisite" to fast rail, but required a further $230 million from the state to match the LNP's 50 per cent funding commitment.
Shadow Infrastructure Minister and Glass House MP Andrew Powell echoed their concerns and said despite potential benefits for the Sunshine Coast, a City Deal could not come at the cost of "delaying projects that are already urgently needed and overdue".
The agreement would also deliver projects focused on jobs and skills, innovation, digital economy, investment in infrastructure, governance, city planning and regulation, housing, liveability and sustainability. Work to confirm a deal is expected to take between 12 to 18 months if negotiations start.
Council of Mayors (SEQ) consists of 11 mayors representing the Sunshine Coast, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Ipswich, Lockyer Valley, Logan, Moreton Bay, Redland, Scenic Rim, Somerset and Toowoomba.
Sunshine Coast Mayor Mark Jamieson was unavailable to comment.
Do you want to see a "three-quarter region"?
This poll ended on 10 August 2018.
Not at all, I don't want to become part of Brisbane.
It will take too long to actually happen.
Absolutely, it would make commuting a lot easier.
This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.