The Property Council has lodged a submission to the Treasurer on the Strong Choices Investment Program, and particularly the Local Government Co-Investment Fund (the Fund).
The Property Council strongly supports the Queensland Government in its commitment to seek a mandate to divest State assets at the next election.
Additionally we are supportive of striking a balance between infrastructure provision and fiscal surplus through a dedication of 25 per cent of the proceeds of the sale or lease of assets towards the Strong Choices Investment Program.
However, the submission outlines a number of concerns relating to the Local Government Co-Investment Fund – a line item under the Program.
The Property Council has identified two primary functions of the Fund:
- To incentivise local governments to adopt the recently instated ‘fair value’ infrastructure charges framework, and;
- To provide a rolling ‘bucket’ of funding to enable local governments to build the infrastructure that will support future economic growth.
In its current form, the Fund lacks the monetary value, detail and prioritisation framework to achieve either of these goals.
The submission advocates for the Fund to be implemented through an Economic Growth Partnership Model (EGPM), based on the highly successful ‘City Deals’ framework utilised in the United Kingdom.
The Property Council has referred the Treasurer to our scoping report on EGPMs released in partnership with the Council of Mayors (South East Queensland) and the State Government.