AUSTRALIA'S first City Deal to grow Townsville's economy and transform the city centre was signed last week by the Prime Minister, Queensland Premier and Townsville Mayor.
The City Deal aims to deliver an integrated package of initiatives to make Townsville more attractive to investors, increase jobs and growth, and revitalise the city, including the creation of a new Townsville Development Corporation to deliver urban renewal.
Increased industry investment, export and jobs will be driven by an Industrial Development Board, which will help to activate economic activity in the State Development Area near the Port of Townsville.
Governments will also identify opportunities to partner with the private sector including through the Commonwealth's new Infrastructure Financing Unit to accelerate investment in the proposed expansion of the Port, the Townsville Eastern Rail Access Corridor and associated State Development Area, and urban renewal in the waterfront and CBD.
The Commonwealth has allocated $3 million to this work in addition to direct infrastructure funding, and will explore opportunities to leverage financing vehicles such as the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation.
A joint Taskforce will be created to identify solutions for sustainable, long-term water supply for Townsville. A Smart City Strategy will provide a flagship for a modern digital city and Local Government.
A combined government investment of $240 million – with $140 million from the Queensland Government and $100 million from the Australian Government - and the Council's contribution of waterfront land will see construction on the new Stadium commencing in 2017.
Financing expertise from the Commonwealth and Queensland governments will help the Council to progress development of a new entertainment and convention centre in the Waterfront precinct.
Mr Turnbull described the agreement to the City Deal as the beginning of a long-term collaboration between stakeholders, with the next phase of work including the development of a detailed implementation plan by March 2017.