Mayor Peter Flannery is coming up to one year in office and like most politicians he is keen to show he is now across his brief and ready to stamp his own mark on the job. Good on him, but no one can say he does things in half measures. Instead of modest midterm regional development planning to grow existing infrastructure and support existing business growth he has gone all out in an ambitious long term Corona Virus recovery plan.
The Mayor says that two decades from now Moreton Bay will boast a $40 billion economy, be home to an additional 240,000 people and will have created 100,000 more local jobs.
That’s the ambition of the Regional Economic Development Strategy 2020-41, unanimously endorsed by Councillors and launched publicly recently.
Mayor Flannery told attending business, political, and community leaders that this is a ‘crossroads moment’ for the region.
“Since the outbreak of coronavirus, nothing is business as usual, which is why we’re responding with a plan to transform our economy into a nimble and resilient powerhouse and we’re already on the road to recovery,” he declared.
“Our surging population has underpinned the success of this region and made us one of the fastest growing areas in the country, so now we can afford to strategically and deliberately diversify our economy to unlock the jobs and opportunities of tomorrow.
“This is a blueprint for our region to evolve and adapt to the challenges of modern market pressures and a changing climate.
“I believe we must be single-minded about attracting new industries, advancing established businesses, increasing trade and investment, we must innovate, and we must be willing to take entrepreneurial risks.”
The Regional Economic Development Strategy 2020-41 outlines a plan to make Moreton Bay Region bigger, bolder and brighter.
Bigger: our region will become bigger, with our economy reaching $40 billion in 2041, more than double its current size.
Bolder: we act bolder, with the creation of 100,000 new jobs and 16,000 new businesses by 2041. We will focus on ensuring our residents have the necessary skills and knowledge to access these jobs.
Brighter: our region’s future will be brighter, by focusing on our growth and talent and making Moreton Bay one of the top 10 regional knowledge and innovation hubs in Australia.
The strategy was developed collaboratively with contributions from local businesses, chambers of commerce, business and industry associations and many other stakeholders. Domino’s Pizza CEO Don Meij, whose company started in Moreton Bay, said the region’s forecast and potential growth was an opportunity to seize.
“When you think about so many other communities, this is one that's just a rocket ship at the moment so why not lean in and grab a hold of that opportunity,” he said.
“This is one of Australia's fastest growing regions and it’s going to be bigger than Tasmania by 2041.”
The Moreton Bay Regional Council area is one of the largest and fastest growing local government areas in Australia, with a population of approximately 470,000 that’s projected to grow more than 50 per cent to 690,000 people by 2041.
Mayor Flannery said the region still has plenty of room to grow and that the smart money will recognise the opportunities here.
“Everyone already knows that our unique combination of affordable housing, employment opportunities, natural environment and Council’s investment in essential infrastructure make this the perfect place to live, work and play,” he said.
“What we need investors to understand is our ease of access to markets; like our proximity to the Brisbane CBD, port and airport and the fact that our transport network provides access to one of the largest workforces in the country, with more than one million workers just a 30-minute drive from our region.
“Then of course there’s the sleeping giant that’s about to awaken, The Mill at Moreton Bay, which is expected to deliver 8,600 ongoing jobs and add $813 million into the regional economy per year on average (once fully realised).
“This 460-hectare site holds untold potential as the largest greenfield innovation precinct in Australia with a developable space twice the size of the Brisbane CBD.
“On behalf of MBRC I want to thank the 300 businesses that engaged with Council and contributed to the REDS strategy.
“There has never been a better time to borrow or build, to create jobs and to strengthen our economy.
“So don’t be left on the bench, this is your opportunity to join #teammoretonbay as we embark on the journey to make our region bigger, bolder, brighter.”
The Local and Surrounds has noted that Redcliffe, Caboolture and the hinterland have been very active in consulting with Council over the Regional Economic Development Strategy 2020-41 however the campaign press release was short on detail about the Bribie area.
It is imperative that our business groups engage with council and lobby for our fair share of investment in the area. Better still if you are passionate about a local initiative, for example a Fast Cat from Bribie to Moreton Island, get in touch with council today to stake your claim in this strategy. If we don’t our next opportunity could be in 2042!
Council accepts feedback via https://yoursay.moretonbay.qld.gov.au/