Fast-growing SEQ council says it won’t be ‘Brisbane’s Parramatta’

“I will not stand by and allow the same to happen to us between Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast.”

He said traffic congestion was a “Brisbane CBD problem” and needs a new way of thinking.

Wide angle view of the Powerhouse Museum site in Parramatta. Work has been stalled due to a number of issues including flooding.
Photo Nick Moir 5 May 2022
Credit:Nick Moir.

“The mapping that was released with this report shows us all exactly what Brisbane’s challenge is: it’s their CBD,” Cr Flannery said.

“As [transport expert] Professor Matthew Burke said after this plan was released: ‘There are no regional job centres outside of Brisbane’s CBD, and there aren’t any plans for it’.”

Moreton’s answer is to create regional job centres outside the Brisbane CBD, Flannery said.

It’s a similar approach tried by Ipswich and Gold Coast – and to a lesser extent – Logan councils.

Moreton is calling it the “polycentric city” approach.

The state government’s recent Caboolture West interim development plan proposes specific job-generating districts.

“A polycentric city is made up of a web of smaller centres, with high connectivity between commercial and residential precincts, Flannery said.

“It means you can work closer to home, which means less time spent in traffic.”

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His argument is by planning early, congestion can be reduced.

“That includes consideration for public transport in planning, specifically public transport mode-share,” he said.

“That includes building an entirely new Bruce Highway to the west, so people in Caboolture and Morayfield and Petrie aren’t all forced into the existing congestion.”

Unfortunately, as RMIT urban policy professor Jago Dodson identified recently, the proposed Caboolture West does not have a rail link.

Meanwhile, a Chermside business group, who used 2017 census data to propose three blocks of Gympie Road around Westfield Chermside become a tunnel to address congestion problems welcomed proposals for both road and rail corridors through Brisbane’s north-west corridor.

A tunnel was proposed for three blocks of Gympie Road at Chermside in 2019 as a business lobby group argued for a high planning profile for regions outside the CBD, an issue again raised by Moreton Bay Regional Council.

A tunnel was proposed for three blocks of Gympie Road at Chermside in 2019 as a business lobby group argued for a high planning profile for regions outside the CBD, an issue again raised by Moreton Bay Regional Council.Credit:Suburban Futures 2019

On Saturday, a new underground rail station at Chermside was revealed as part of a proposed underground eastern corridor link to Carseldine.

Suburban Futures director Steve de Nys said there needs to be greater emphasis on suburbs and regional centres as jobs-growth centres.

“We believe that rather than being considered as the ‘dormitory’ for the city, the suburbs should be repositioned as the ‘engine room’ and receive appropriate attention through policy and investment,” de Nys said.

“The pandemic has shown how important the suburbs are to the economic and wellbeing of a city.”

“This proposal for north Brisbane is not just a transport solution but the opportunity to facilitate the revitalisation and renewal of suburbs that have long been ignored.”

Their report identified that in Nundah a decade ago $55 million in traffic design led to about $800 million in new private investment to transform the Nundah community.

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