An idea generated by the then Mayors of South East Queensland in 2014 came into being today, when the Australian Government, the Queensland Government and the Council of Mayors South East Queensland (CoMSEQ) signed the South East Queensland (SEQ) City Deal.
Sunshine Coast Council Mayor Mark Jamieson said he was pleased the City Deal had been finalised.
“I congratulate Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Brisbane Lord Mayor and Chair of CoMSEQ, Adrian Schrinner on finally landing a City Deal for SEQ,” Mayor Jamieson said.
“Naturally, our council welcomes the commitment of $35.3 million towards the Blue Heart Sunshine Coast, which will help us ensure the Maroochy River catchment continues to play its important flood storage role and maintain its biodiversity well into the future, as we respond to the challenges of a changing climate.
“Of the $35.3 million, $30 million is new money, with $5.3 million representing investments already made to date in the Blue Heart by council and its partners.
“We also look forward to the opportunity to access a range of new funding programs that are proposed to be established under the City Deal, for initiatives such as innovation infrastructure, public art, digital connectivity and green infrastructure such as active transport facilities.
“The City Deal also contains a proposed SEQ Liveability Fund which may potentially see $21.3 million in new State and Federal government funding allocated to council to deliver improved community facilities, urban amenity, environmental infrastructure and open spaces.
“While the SEQ City Deal delivers none of the major regional infrastructure priorities for the Sunshine Coast, I hope it will provide a platform for some of our region’s critical infrastructure needs to be considered by the Federal and State governments and funded in the future.
“Priorities like the delivery of the new rail connection and service from Beerwah to Maroochydore along the CAMCOS corridor, the Mass Transit solution, the second stage of the Mooloolah River Interchange and a convention and exhibition facility in the Maroochydore city centre all remain unfunded by the Federal and State governments.
“Yet all of these projects are critical to the future liveability, prosperity and connectivity of the Sunshine Coast and will be required well in advance of the next 20 years.
“While our Federal and State Members of Parliament have been vocal in their support of a number of these projects – as has our council – we are yet to see funding commitments to support their delivery.
“I hope that all representatives and candidates will see their way clear to deliver firm commitments to these critical projects in the lead up to this year’s Federal election.”
Image: Yandina Creek Wetland is part of Blue Heart Sunshine Coast. Courtesy of Unitywater.