November 2020 Newsletter
November 2020 Newsletter
Congratulations to the State Government
The Committee for Brisbane congratulates Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and her team on a comprehensive election win last weekend.
For an election held in the most challenging of years, the ALP was strongly supported across the State, holding marginal seats, winning additional seats in SEQ and losing one.
The Committee for Brisbane looks forward to working with the Premier, her Ministers and Departments on ensuring planning for south east Queensland is a top priority.
A couple of days before election day, the Committee for Brisbane received a detailed response from the ALP, under the signature of Deputy Premier and Minister for Health, the Hon Dr Stephen Miles, to its 10 election policy requests – Committee of Brisbane_Miles MP Response
While some of the responses were general in nature, some specific commitments were made and those have been extracted and presented below.
Dr Miles signed off the letter with: “Should the Palaszczuk Labor Government be re-elected, we look forward to working with you for the benefit of all Queenslanders.”
We have already written the Premier and Deputy Premier to initiate discussions.
A Commission for the New Economy
Committee for Brisbane request: Establish a “Commission for the New Economy”, drawn from corporate leaders and senior government bureaucrats, that is charged with considering and stress-testing big ideas to present to the government to restructure and boost our State economy.
ALP response: It is important that a strong dialogue exists between government and industry about changes impacting the Queensland economy and industry, including COVID impacts, and Queensland’s future economy. A re-elected Palaszczuk Labor Government will discuss with your organisation, and other industry stakeholders, the most appropriate forum for that dialogue.
“Brisbane as HQ” program
Committee for Brisbane request: In partnership with the private sector, develop a suite of business and talent attraction incentives for companies to headquarter in Queensland.
ALP response: In relation to the additional incentive options for business and talent attraction you have outlined, the Palaszczuk Labor Government is generally supportive noting that:
• fast tracked approvals for new housing for relocated staff is usually the domain of local governments;
• a stamp duty holiday for interstate executive transfers is potentially available but has not been taken up;
• sliding scale pre-payments from government on commercial rents for interstate company relocations with a higher incentive to relocate to a Greenstar building could be applied through cash incentives; and
• an SEQ lifestyle rebate or tax treatment so interstate immigrants receive a “lifestyle credit” to spend on local tourism/hospitality outlets and stimulate spending in COVID-19 impacted industries may be administratively complex.
A re-elected Palaszczuk Labor Government will investigate the options you have raised, to assess the cost and benefits.
SEQ City Deal
Committee for Brisbane request: Re-engage with the Federal Government and COM(SEQ) to progress the south east Queensland City Deal as a matter of priority.
ALP response: The SEQ City Deal remains a priority for the Palaszczuk Labor Government.
… projects that were being considered as part of the SEQ City Deal have not been delayed but have instead in many cases been brought forward.
Economic stimulus has been the Palaszczuk Labor Government’s priority, and there is no intention to delay mooted SEQ City Deal projects until a Deal is finalised in 2021.
We have worked closely with the Council of Mayors SEQ since 2015 to promote an SEQ City Deal and will continue to do so. The SEQ City Deal still presents an enormous opportunity for the region and key to the success of the Deal will be the ongoing contribution from industry and councils.
The 45-minute region
Committee for Brisbane request: Fund the business case for a 45-minute region to connect our key activity and growth centres.
ALP response: Discussions to date between the City Deal partners have not proposed a singular business case for a 45-minute region. Work to date has focussed around developing a shared definition of a 45-minute region and potential key transport priority commitments that would contribute to achievement of this goal.
It is acknowledged that achieving this goal would drive productivity, improve liveability and lift the global competitiveness of the region, and pursuing this goal would leverage existing and proposed investments in the region, including Cross River Rail, Brisbane Metro and the Commonwealth Government’s Inland Rail.
Without further clarity or evidence, it is not clear how a singular business case for a 45-minute region would be of value, pragmatic or feasible given existing work being undertaken as part of the Palaszczuk Labor Government’s current programs in the form of ShapingSEQ, the State Infrastructure Plan and various transport strategies and plans.
The Palaszczuk Labor Government will also explore the opportunity to leverage federal funding to deliver major transport upgrades as part of any future Olympic bid.
Review of project financing and procurement
Committee for Brisbane request: Undertake a review to improve the financing, contracting, procurement and approval processes for development, construction and infrastructure projects – to stimulate and support economic recovery; and conduct a review to improve project risk-management/sharing.
ALP response: The Palaszczuk Labor Government agrees there is merit in progressing discussions around project financing and procurement. Considering alternative models for project funding and financing, that better enable private sector investment, recently became the primary focus for the Infrastructure Industry Steering Committee.
A framework for considering alternative models to activate further private investment in the delivery of infrastructure has been drafted, and a re-elected Palaszczuk Labor Government intends to convene a number of workshops which bring industry and government representatives together to consider different models and opportunities for Government/business partnerships.
Working from home here to stay?
We surveyed Members to ask about recent and future work-from-home practices – the results are sobering for our inner city.
90 responses were received (which was an excellent response rate of 41%).
• 84.4% of respondents said their main office was in the CBD/city centre, 15.6% in the suburbs.
Respondents said, on average, that:
• 90% of their workforce worked from home sometime during the past six months
• 55% of their workforce was back fulltime in the main office
• They expect that 70% of their workforce will be fulltime in the main office from 2021 onwards
• 84.4% said that working from home (full- or part-time) will be a permanent part of their workforce culture, 11.1% said it would not, and 4.4% were not sure.
What could that mean for our CBD and inner city?
We will start to explore that question at the 2020 Inner City Vitality Report on 19 November. Tickets are available here
Progressing the Olympics and Paralympics legacy
The smaller Working Group from our Brisbane 2033: Olympics and Paralympics Legacy Taskforce has met several times over the past few weeks to develop a draft suite of legacies for south east Queensland, should we be successful with the current bid.
The Committee for Brisbane kept a low profile on the 2032 candidature during the State election campaign, to avoid contributing to some of the anti-Games politicking from minor parties, particularly those focussed on seats outside the south east corner.
Instead, we used the time to consider the sorts of legacies our communities could benefit from, using the focus of the Games bid as a catalyst.
Within the next few days we will have completed a set of legacy proposals to present to the new State Government, and will share those ideas with Members.
Our next State Government - what can we expect?
Over the past few weeks, CEO Barton Green was invited to write a number of opinion pieces on the State election. Here is a collation of his articles:
Queensland is about to experience its first four-year, fixed-term State Government.
Will it be a good experience or a bad experience?
On the upside, we have a majority government that should use the opportunity to map out a comprehensive strategic plan – relying on the surety of four years to curate beneficial policy and funding initiatives.
On the (potential) downside is the concerning level of short-termism we saw in the election campaign.
Policy and funding announcements by both major parties were focussed on the immediate or near term. Not always, but often.
The ALP’s announcement, for example, of hundreds of millions of dollars for the “Coomera Connector” highway duplication project was welcome, but where was the bigger strategic objective?
Using this example, such a significant infrastructure project should be about more than dealing with congestion (as important as that is). Where was the narrative about linking/creating new economic hubs to deliver on the State’s or region’s long-term Vision?
COVID is a game-changer that should be a catalyst for substantial economic and policy reform. For vision.
As CEO of the Committee for Brisbane, whose Vision is for “greater Brisbane to be the world’s most liveable place”, my job is to work with governments, universities and the private sector to develop and drive strong agendas towards that goal, across a range of themes: connectivity, creativity, equity and enterprise.
Based on the election campaigns by both major parties that largely ignored Queensland’s most populous region, I have concerns about the next government’s focus on tackling the big challenges.
The State’s own forecasts say about two million more residents, needing 800,000 new homes, will live in south east Queensland in the next 25 years.
Putting that into language that should resonate with politicians, that’s 50 to 60 additional State electorates in SEQ (on today’s average of about 33,000 electors per State seat). For context, there are 93 State electorates in 2020.
What does SEQ want, therefore, from our re-elected Premier and State Government?
Top of the list is a commitment to resurrecting the “delayed” South East Queensland City Deal.
The Committee for Brisbane and many other peak bodies have been strong supporters of the proposed SEQ City Deal and were disappointed with its postponement until sometime in 2021.
The steps to SEQ’s economic recovery, post-COVID, should include the City Deal and the work done to date on long-term structural planning.
As the Federal Government states: “City Deals are a genuine partnership between the three levels of government and the community to work towards a shared vision for productive and liveable cities”.
We seek a commitment to long-term planning, with local, state and federal governments working cohesively, with industry, to deliver the infrastructure and services to sustain Australia’s third largest urban region and the State’s economic powerhouse.
The real opportunity for the SEQ City Deal is to improve regional connectivity, drive more knowledge jobs and export jobs, and enhance our lifestyle advantages to attract and retain talent.
My other area of concern is about how we pay for the election cash splash, whoever wins.
Funds were promised for infrastructure, housing, tourism, health and manufacturing – which was reasonable and expected. But how will it be paid for?
The ALP’s default setting was “we will borrow more”; which actually means every Queensland citizen will borrow more, and pay for it for at least another generation. That’s your kids and mine.
Queenslanders are at risk of being held to a debt ransom because both major parties refuse to consider another option: asset sales or recycling.
Economic recovery from COVID is not tacit permission for government to keep borrowing and placing a huge debt burden on us and our children.
Economic recovery from COVID is an opportunity to start with a blank sheet and objectively consider all funding options.
Asset sales should be part of that objective consideration.
We owe it to our children.
Committee for Cities and Regions Network
On October 19, our colleagues at the Committee for Melbourne facilitated a meeting of the 20 Committees for Cites and Regions across Australia and New Zealand.
It was interesting to hear from our peers about the different responses to, and effects from, COVID in their communities.
One universal observation was that communities in which government and industry were working closely together on economic recovery and reform were seeing more positive outcomes than those communities where the level of engagement was limited or poor.
The meeting included four presentations from:
• Jim Gall, CEO Clemenger BBDO: COVID-19 recovery campaign brief
• Amy Auster, Chief Adviser, Markets Group, Federal Department of the Treasury
• Gavin Williams, Chief Development Officer, Regional Development & Engagement NBN Co
• Katharine Hole, Project Director, Australian Infrastructure Plan, (Infrastructure Australia) – on Australian Infrastructure Plan 2021
Reminder: Annual General Meeting
The 63rd Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Brisbane Development Association Inc [trading as the Committee for Brisbane] will be held at 5.30pm (Brisbane time) on Tuesday 10 November 2020 at the offices of BDO, Level 10, 12 Creek Street, Brisbane.
The Notice Paper and all supporting documents can be found here .
Due to COVID protocols, it is critical that we know how many Members will physically attend the AGM.
• If you will attend the AGM, please RSVP with your confirmation to: firstname.lastname@example.org
• If you are unable to attend the AGM, please send your apology to: email@example.com
• If you would like to appoint a proxy to vote in your absence at the AGM, please complete the Proxy Form and return to the Secretary prior to the commencement of the meeting or return to: Committee for Brisbane, GPO Box 3008, Brisbane Q. 4001 or firstname.lastname@example.org prior to the commencement of the meeting.
Candidates for 2021 Management Committee
As a result of more nominations being received than positions available, there will be a secret ballot at the AGM to elect up to 10 Members of the Management Committee. Candidate profiles can be found here .
We thank the Nominees for their interest in contributing to the Committee for Brisbane:
1. Anthony Simmons
2. Dai Gwynne-Jones, Portfolio Design Group
3. David Hertweck, Port of Brisbane Pty Ltd
4. Debbie Smith, PwC
5. Gavan Ranger, Arkhefield
6. Gavin Adams, GHD
7. Heidi Cooper, Transurban
8. James Hepburn
9. John Vidas, Accenture
10. Kate Meyrick, Urbis
11. Kelvin Dodt, The Star Entertainment Group
12. Kristan Conlon, McCullough Robertson Lawyers
13. Liza Valks, Ethos Urban
14. Luke Fraser, Howard Smith Wharves
15. Martin Ryan, Brisbane Airport Corporation
16. Meredith Hartigan, Tract
17. Owen Rayment, Telstra
18. Paul Turner, RACQ
19. Simon White
20. Steve Wilson, Racing Queensland
Brisbane's Brightest Ideas wrap up
On 13 October we welcomed Members back to a sold out, in-person event which explored greater Brisbane’s competitive position to attract investment, talent and infrastructure to support innovation.
Guests heard from an expert panel:
• Dr David Finn, Founder and Chief Growth Officer, Tritium
• Chris Jeffery, CEO Field Orthopaedics and Executive Director, Robotics Engineering Research Labs, and
• Dr Eeshan Kulkarni, Commercialisation Officer, St Baker Energy Innovation Fund
The Committee looks forward to further exploring Brisbane’s ability to be a centre for innovation success and talent attraction.
Thank you to the major event sponsor St Baker Energy Innovation Fund.
New Members welcomed
We welcomed eight new members over the past month.
• NBN Co
• QYAC (Quandamooka Yoolooburrabee Aboriginal Corporation)
• Natalie King
• Neil Melloy
• Andy Radice
• Sofie Pringle