The Prime Minister and Premier will unveil a 20-year, $1.8 billion pipeline of infrastructure projects in Brisbane’s new City Deal.
A pipeline of infrastructure projects worth $1.8 billion has been locked in for South East Queensland, with all three levels of government to approve a landmark City Deal that includes a major addition to the Brisbane Metro.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison, flanked by Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, will today unveil the 20-year pipeline of projects, with the announcement coming three years after at-times-bitter negotiations between the two governments.
The deal includes a $450 million 2032 Olympics-driven commitment for a new Woolloongabba Brisbane Metro station — making it a major interchange between the South East Busway and under-construction Cross River Rail.
It also marks the first time the State Government has contributed funds to the Brisbane City Council-led project.
The deal also includes $3 million for business case into a centre dedicated to First Nations culture, funding for a $190.5 million green bridge connecting Kangaroo Point to the CBD, and a $250 million Liveability Fund.
Outside Brisbane, $41 million has been committed to upgrading the ferry terminal at North Stradbroke Island, $40.5 million to road safety upgrades on the Brisbane Valley Highway, and $25 million to increasing housing stock in a priority section of Toowoomba.
The City Deal announcement, just weeks before the federal election, comes three years after Mr Morrison spruiked moves to start negotiations just before his 2019 miracle win.
He said the deal would deliver a “stronger economy and stronger future” for South East Queensland.
An artist’s impression of the proposed Kangaroo Point green bridge
“South East Queensland is one of the fastest growing regions in Australia, and with the population expected to continue to grow, it is crucial that we invest in the infrastructure it needs to thrive for decades to come,” he said.
“We all share a vision of a more connected, liveable and export-competitive region, and this brings that vision to life.
Ms Palaszczuk said the “co-operation between all levels of government would ensure that the region has the right infrastructure in place as the population grow”
“That includes new transport links for the Gabba in time for the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games,” she said.
Council of Mayors (SEQ) chair and Brisbane Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner said the deal would help manage population growth, deliver the best-ever Games and improve the lives of all residents through ongoing co-operation.
The SEQ City Deal — the ninth in the nation and the second for Queensland — comes after drawn out negotiations between the state government and the federal government that were meant to take up to 18 months but instead lasted three years.
It involved multiple spats over which projects would make the final cut, with bitter negotiations at one point prompting the State Government to refuse to pass $50 million of federal cash to council for the Brisbane Metro project — an issue that’s understood to now be resolved.
An artist’s impression of Woolloongabba Station Plaza
State Development Minister Steven Miles complained last October the City Deal, in its iteration at the time, was a bad deal and included no projects for the Gold Coast.
The Gold Coast still isn’t getting anything.
It is understood the State Government had also pushed hard for the Federal Government to chip in cash for the Wellcamp Entertainment Precinct near Toowoomba.
Despite the Federal Government declining to fund the Wagners-led development, the project is still listed in the City Deal with money coming only from the state.
The anchor project of the City Deal will be the $450 million Gabba Metro station, though there is little detail to explain why the new link to the Cross River Rail it is costing so much apart for the interchange creating “long-term improvements to the public transport network”.
Other key projects include a $285 million SEQ Liveability Fund to “deliver improved community facilities, urban amenity or enhanced liveability, and support environmental infrastructure and open spaces”, $150 million for the SEQ Innovation Economy Fund, and $105 million for a recycling plant.
An earlier list of projects negotiated for the City Deal from early 2021 included $205 million for water-related projects in the Lockyer Valley, though the final version appears to have whittled down the fund to just $13.3 million.
There is also $5 million to study infrastructure and land use planning in the southeast so that governments can make more informed investments to suit the growing population.
A further $20 million has been set aside for “Green Urban Infrastructure” to address urban heat and “encourage a more walkable SEQ”.
An artist’s impression of the $65 million Railway Parklands project in Toowoomba
All the projects in the $1.8 billion City Deal
Originally published on the Courier Mail HERE.