The Council of Mayors (SEQ) has urged the Queensland Government to investigate an alternative funding model to deliver the infrastructure needed to service South East Queensland’s growing population.
In response to the Queensland Government’s Delivering an Infrastructure Plan for Queensland directions paper, the SEQ Mayors have pushed for further investigation of the ‘UK City Deals’ approach to fund public infrastructure.
Consultants KPMG were asked by the Southeast Queensland mayors to investigate transferring the UK City Deals scheme, which now operates in Birmingham, Leeds, Liverpool, Newcastle, Nottingham, Sheffield and Manchester, to Queensland.
This model is being investigated by Deputy Premier Jackie Trad as she tours London, Singapore, Bonn and Dusseldorf speaking with transport and infrastructure funding bodies.
The model does not involve adding an extra levy or charge on developers, but taps into the increasing rates, infrastructure charges, stamp duty and levies paid to state government and councils.
Ms Trad has specifically rejected imposing extra levies on property developers.
“Developers already make a contribution towards the cost of trunk infrastructure, including water, sewer, stormwater, community infrastructure and parks,” a spokeswoman told the Brisbane Times.
“It is deliberate scaremongering for the LNP to allege home owners near major transport facilities will be taxed,” she said.
“This claim is false and completely bogus.”
A review of how the UK City Deals approach might work successfully in Queensland has already been the subject of a report jointly commissioned by the Council of Mayors (SEQ), Property Council of Australia (QLD) and the former Department of State Development, Infrastructure and Planning.
Council of Mayors (SEQ) Chair Cr Graham Quirk has called on the Queensland Government to explore innovative and sustainable infrastructure funding and financing models to deliver economic growth and improved development outcomes for Queenslanders.
“With a projected population of 4.4 million by 2031, SEQ faces the challenge of planning for, and delivering, the infrastructure and services needed to improve productivity and reduce cost of living pressures,” Mr Quirk said.
“This is the opportunity to explore a new and sustainable approach to address SEQ’s growing infrastructure needs.”
The Council of Mayors’ (SEQ) submission also welcomed the proposed integration of infrastructure planning and land use planning, as well as calling for better integration of infrastructure delivery at Federal, State and Local Government levels.
In principle, the Council of Mayors (SEQ) supports the Queensland Government’s proposed direction in the development of a State Infrastructure Plan. Further consultation between the Queensland Government, the Council of Mayors (SEQ) and SEQ Councils is still needed to address the region’s infrastructure backlog.
The Council of Mayors’ (SEQ) proposed infrastructure funding model and list of key regional infrastructure priorities are outlined in Investing in Queensland’s Core Growth Region: 2015 Queensland State Election Advocacy Document- Urban Developer.