A breakthrough deal for Townsville 

The Property Council of Australia has welcomed the signing of the Townsville City Deal – Australia’s first City Deal – and hailed it a big win for Townsville.

Property Council Queensland Executive Director, Chris Mountford, says that this City Deal will build Townsville’s economic muscle during a time when local unemployment is far too high.

“The long-term result of this deal is that there will be more jobs in Townsville and young people won’t feel like they have to move elsewhere to get ahead, Mr Mountford said.

“At their core, city deals are about the different levels of government committing to work together to strengthen a city’s economy over the long-term.

“The Townsville City Deal certainly ticks this box. It lays out a clear vision for the local economy, and entrenches a framework which will focus the energy of all stakeholders on actions which will deliver on this vision.

“Importantly, the Townsville City Deal includes a series of economic indicators that can be used to measure the impact of the deal over time. It also commits to an ongoing program of engagement, annual reporting and a three-year review. All of these measures ensure a level of accountability is built into the deal.  

“It is great to see the deal includes a focus on initiatives that have been championed by the local property industry, such as the establishment of a development corporation to drive the revitalization of the waterfront.

“Now the focus must shift to how this deal will be delivered. The Property Council looks forward to working with stakeholders over the next three months to finalise the implementation plan. This is a critical task that will make or break the success of the deal in the long run.

“Now that the City Deal duck has been broken, we’re also calling on the Commonwealth to commit to Queensland’s next City Deal. A City Deal for South East Queensland.

“The South East Queensland Councils, Queensland Government and the Property Council have been working collaboratively for 3 years on an SEQ deal. Strong foundations have already been laid, and the only player missing from the table is the Commonwealth.  

“And while the Townsville City Deal is a solid prototype for future regional City Deals in Australia, a City Deal for a major metropolitan area such as South East Queensland involving multiple councils and more complex challenges, will need to be far more sophisticated.

“An SEQ deal will take longer, and require more rigour. But all indications are that the State and councils are ready for this challenge.    

“Today is good day for Townsville, and a good day for urban policy in Australia. Congratulations to the three tiers of Government that made this a reality.

Media contact:  Chris Mountford |  M  0408 469 734|   E  cmountford@propertycouncil.com.au