First City Deal sets economic growth template

The Property Council of Australia has welcomed the signing of Australia's first City Deal, saying tripartite city-based growth plans will be increasingly vital for the economy.

“This is an Australian first – a city based economic plan agreed to by three levels of government that is about delivering jobs, productivity and prosperity”, said Ken Morrison, Chief Executive of the Property Council of Australia.

"At a time when economic growth is hard to deliver, Australia needs to look to its cities as productivity drivers.

“This is smart economic policy in a time when we need trajectories for growth.

“This deal proves that we can get all three levels of government on the same page, working to the same plan and aligning their infrastructure spending. As long-term proponents of City Deals we are delighted with the outcome in Townsville.

“We congratulate Federal Cities Minister Angus Taylor, Deputy Premier Jackie Trad and Townsville Mayor Jenny Hill on what is a substantive economic agreement.”

Mr Morrison said the Townsville City Deal stacks up fairly well against the Property Council's What makes a City Deal a 'real deal' policy paper released last month, but implementation was key.

"The Townsville City Deal exhibits most of the qualities of a 'real deal' city deal. It addresses Townsville's key economic drivers, commits to substantial initiatives, and sets out baseline indicators to measure progress.

"The limits of this City Deal lies in the amount of work still to do to deliver on its worthy objectives. 

"That means implementation will be vital - a City Deal can't just be a glossy document that sits on a shelf.

Mr Morrison said the complexity of the City Deal framework will need to take a considerable step up for the Western Sydney City Deal to be finalised in 2017.

"While the Townsville model is appropriate for a city the size of Launceston, Western Sydney will be whole different story. A Western Sydney City Deal will be a far more complex and difficult exercise, and this will require more work and more innovation than has been needed in Townsville.

"While many key Western Sydney infrastructure projects have been promised, bringing these together into a framework which not just supports population growth but maximises prosperity is vital.

"We look forward to working with governments on future City Deals. Today’s City Deal is a strong start that other cities can build on.”

Media contact:  Paul Ritchie  |  E pritchie@propertycouncil.com.au