It includes long-discussed, but yet-to-be-defined projects to get interstate freight to Brisbane port more efficiently and side benefits from Brisbane’s new cruise ship terminal at the port.

This modelling will be put to federal MPs, including Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten on Wednesday.

“We want to see words match the funding,” Ms Trad said.

“Real funding against real projects that will alleviate congestion and population pressure in our communities.”

South-east Queensland wants to leverage strong growth from its four airports at Brisbane, the Gold Coast,  the Sunshine Coast and Toowoomba Wellcamp, the City Deal proposition released on Tuesday shows.

It wants to capitalise on the Port of Brisbane being five sailing days closer to Asia than either Sydney or Melbourne.

“KPMG modelling indicates the SEQ economy may be up to $58 billion bigger than ‘business as usual’ if we realise an ambitious City Deal that turns the dial on our region’s productivity and competitiveness,” the Transforming SEQ report says.

Queensland has promoted the idea for more than three years, with Ms Trad, as planning minister, studying the funding model in the United Kingdom in 2015.

Ahead of the 2019 federal election, the Queensland government and the mayors of south-east Queensland will travel to Canberra on Wednesday to push their final case for the region to receive a City Deal from the federal government.

They will push five sectors of the south-east Queensland economy seen as comparative advantages; advanced manufacturing (defence), agribusiness, health and education, and transport and tourism.

They will meet with both the Coalition government and Labor opposition in Canberra to present their City Deal case over the next two days.


Under a City Deal arrangement, all three levels of government sign agreements to jointly fund chosen projects over 10 to 15 years.

Before Wednesday’s meetings in Canberra, a string of Queensland-based federal MPs – most on marginal seats – said they would support a City Deal for south-east Queensland.

Queensland is key to the fortunes of the federal government at the next federal election, likely in May.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison campaigning in south-east Queensland in January 2019.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison campaigning in south-east Queensland in January 2019.Credit:AAP

Ms Trad on Tuesday said she was “surprised” to read on Tuesday morning of the federal government supporting a City Deal for south-east Queensland.

“We have written numerous letters, nine letters in total over three years,” Ms Trad said.

“Some of them have been responded to, most of them not.

“Our fourth Cities Minister in the space of three years, Minister (Alan) Tudge, finally responded to two pieces of correspondence that I sent to him in October and November last year, in response to our request for the Commonwealth government to come to the table to start discussing a City Deal with the government and with mayors.”

Treasurer Jackie Trad has tabled a 2019 Transforming SEQ document showing how growth at airports and Brisbane's port could grow the economy.

Treasurer Jackie Trad has tabled a 2019 Transforming SEQ document showing how growth at airports and Brisbane’s port could grow the economy.Credit:Attila Csaszar

Ms Trad questioned the timing of Mr Tudge’s reply.

“With the federal election only weeks away, what we have seen is a desperate Morrison LNP government following in the footsteps of federal Labor, who months and months and months ago said they are willing to pursue a city partnership with Queensland and with the mayors of south-east Queensland corner to progress a city partnership for Queensland,” Ms Trad said.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk signed a memorandum of understanding in November 2016 with former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull to develop City Deals for Queensland.

Mr Turnbull was dumped as leader by the Liberal Party in August 2018.

Lord mayor Graham Quirk will speak about the Transforming SEQ report on Tuesday afternoon before heading to Canberra.

The key advantages Queensland wants to expand in its City Deal, according to the Transforming SEQ study, are south-east Queensland’s airports and the Port of Brisbane.

“Four international airports, including Brisbane Airport, which operates 24/7 without a curfew, is the largest airport by land size in Australia, and will soon benefit from the opening of a second [sic] runway,” it says.

Brisbane Airport already has a second runway. A parallel runway to the airports main runway is in the final stage of construction.

Brisbane Airport

Brisbane AirportCredit:Glenn Hunt

On the Port of Brisbane, the report notes: “The Port of Brisbane, which is up to five sailing days closer to Asia than Sydney or Melbourne and one of the fastest growing and least-constrained container ports in Australia.”

Tony Moore is a senior reporter at the Brisbane Times

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