On 14 May 2009, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed by Parliamentary Secretary, Gary Gray, and Premier, Anna Bligh on behalf of the Australian and Queensland Governments. The MOU establishes the framework for the establishment of Regional Development Australia in Queensland. It also signals the start of a new State and Federal Government partnership to create a network to work with and grow the regions in Queensland.
Governments have agreed that 12 newly incorporated RDA Committees will be established, and will be based on local government boundaries.
By 2012, Moreton Bay RDA is recognised as actively contributing to the shaping of the region and building prosperous inclusive communities.
RDA Moreton Bay will work in partnership to promote integrated regional economic growth, community and environmental well being by:
- Being identified as a key stakeholder in regional planning
- Adding value and making a difference
- Being recognised as a central point of contact and information by government, community and business
- Encouraging cross boundary working between government, business, community and environment
- Influencing, advocating and lobbying on behalf of the region
- Articulating regional issues, challenges, priorities, and opportunities
- Fostering an innovative and collaborative approach to local solutions
- Stimulating and challenge existing practices, thinking and policy
- Building relationships and connections
- Strengthening community capacity
- Identifying additional funding and resources.
The Vision and Mission of RDA Moreton Bay will be achieved through delivery against the following five outcomes contained in the RDA Charter:
Consultation & Engagement with the Community:
- Work with local communities to identify issues and opportunities, develop solutions and articulate priorities
- Initiate and participate in regional consultations and strategic planning
- Advising government on ways to reduce duplication and streamline the delivery of programs.
Informed Regional Planning:
- RDA committees are expected to be actively involved in regional planning
- Facilitate a coordinated approach to regional planning and development in the region.
- The whole-of-government policy approach is based on collaboration, regional needs, flexibility, accountability and leadership
- RDA Committees can be the first point of contact for information about Australian Government programs, services and initiatives.
Promotion of Government Programs:
- Promotion of government programs and initiatives
- Inform and provide advice to the regional communities on how they can engage with government programs, policies and initiatives.
Community and Economic Development:
- To support the capacity of the region to identify priorities, develop resilience and access the resources needed for sustainable social and economic development, and environmental management
- Promotion of economic and employment growth
- Contribute towards business development and investment attraction.
RDA Moreton Bay’s Regional Roadmap is a living document which is updated annually reflecting regular engagement with all key stakeholders, including Australian, Queensland and Local Government, business, non profit organisations, community organisations, and the general community.
RDA Moreton Bay’s Regional Roadmap articulates the RDA committee’s economic, environmental and social vision for the region, and underpins the work and priorities of the committee.
The Regional Roadmap is a strategy for the region and describes the region, its attributes, industry and employment base and key advantages. It sets out the economic, environmental and social vision for the region, articulate the drivers for change, identifies strengths, weaknesses and priorities, which can be addressed by the RDA committee for action.
The Regional Roadmap produced by Regional Development Australia Moreton Bay Inc. articulates the committee’s economic, environmental and social vision for the region.
The Regional Roadmap outlines four regional priorities, plus a focus on economic development and job creation. A brief introduction to these priorities is outlined below. Further detail including the Regional Roadmap and actions can be found on the RDA Moreton Bay website www.rdamoretonbay.org.au
Priority One: Investing in Infrastructure
The Moreton Bay Regional Council area is the third largest local government area by population in Australia. The population is expected to increase from 332,882 (2006) to 585,895 by 2031 (ABS 2009; Qld Treasury 2009) an increase of 56.8% making it one of the fastest growing regions in South East Queensland and Australia.
The Moreton Bay Region has also contributed 12.8% towards Queensland’s overall growth, however, this has attracted only 3% of regional investment in infrastructure (SEQIP). These patterns of growth and under investment have been consistent over a number of years.
This significant regional growth will require an equally significant increase in infrastructure spend within the region by both the Federal and Queensland Governments. The region needs greater certainty of and investment in infrastructure to support this population growth. A clear requirement also exists for long term planning to tackle the provision of jobs and services in the region to match population growth.
Investment is required in road and public transport infrastructure; housing (including affordable housing); business development; employment creation; social and community infrastructure; telecommunications (including the NBN); utilities; education and health care.
Priority Two: Promoting an Innovative & Smarter Region:
The Moreton Bay Region through the coordinated use of its strategic assets, educational facilities, medical precincts and business community has an excellent opportunity to become a more integrated and smarter region. This builds on the Queensland Government's Smarter Communities initiative.
In the current economic climate, the Moreton Bay region needs to be a place of choice to establish a business, a place where businesses want to be located and a place where people want to live. Smart communities is about mixing residential facilities and knowledge based businesses with universities, research institutes and hospitals.
A driver behind Smart Communities is to strengthen Queensland’s capacity to be globally competitive and sustain innovation-led growth in to the future. The Moreton Bay region has the potential to promote, attract and retain high quality businesses and talent.
The region is expected to undergo significant population growth which will provide opportunities for business growth and development, new investment and infrastructure. Regional connectivity, educational assets and medical precincts, the region’s diversity, high quality environment and lifestyle attributes support this focus.
The benefits of a smart region and community include generating higher levels of employment and investment, acting as incubators for creativity and entrepreneurship and drivers of the innovation process.
RDA Moreton Bay considers that a key element of being a ‘Smarter Region’ is to have a regional brand and identity, which would better enable the region to attract new investment, new jobs, residents, businesses and tourists.
Priority Three: Environmentally Sustainable Region:
The problem of growth of population and the ripple effect which goes with it is the single most important issue regarding environmental sustainability in the Moreton Bay Region. The region relies on a healthy natural habitat as the essential building block for sustainable communities and sustainable local economies.
Government reports and programs reinforce the need to take action on climate change and environmental sustainability. They highlight travelling smarter, biodiversity, climate ready infrastructure, sustainable businesses, sustainable local economies, sustainable communities, green belts to enhance urban planning, green buildings, the carbon potential of native vegetation and water management.
Creative strategies and full scale engagement with communities, educational agencies and industry will be required to enable the potential threats to the environment and to the development of sustainable local economies to be turned into opportunities which will grow a far more environmentally sustainable region.
If the population growth and infrastructure is managed wisely there will be a positive impact on the environmental sustainability of the region.
Priority Four: Building a Strong, Connected and Inclusive Community
Continued population growth combined with structural ageing of the population, large numbers of families and youth, increasingly complex social, health and cultural needs and a higher cost of living places increased social pressures on the region. Local services will struggle to meet future demand.
There is a high level of demand for affordable and social housing and the current trend in the region for detached dwellings and lone person households, reduces the housing options available. There is a need for additional social housing and diverse and affordable housing options within the region.
There are gaps in the provision of community infrastructure such as neighbourhood centres and community hubs and current neighbourhood centres are at capacity and require relocation or upgrade.
RDA Moreton Bay will work with State Government and community agencies to identify gaps and pressure areas and to review future planning, policy making and the provision of services and programs to meet demand for hard and soft social infrastructure. This includes a collaborative and targeted response for identified pockets of social disadvantage in the region.
Economic Development & Job Creation:
A strong economy creates employment, diversity and opportunities for residents. The following four key elements are considered to be the cornerstone of economic development within the Moreton Bay region:
1. Diversifying the economic base of the region:
The Regional Roadmap has articulated the importance of the existing business base and particularly the small business sector to the future economic development of the region.
2. Investment Attraction:
The attraction of new investment is important to regional development as it diversifies the region’s economy, generates new employment and training opportunities, and additional value through the creation of supply and demand chains. The development of a successful investment attraction strategy raises the profile of the region as being proactive, business friendly and also the business location of choice.
3. Job Creation & Workforce Development:
The emphasis is to increase the percentage of residents living and working within the region. The move to create more regional employment opportunities will also contribute towards the future sustainability of the Moreton Bay region.
To develop effective partnerships and relationships with Government agencies, Chambers of Commerce and other business networking groups to promote the importance of business growth and job creation to the Moreton Bay Regional economy.