New ‘Silicon Valley’ near Brisbane to create 6000 jobs
PLANS have been revealed to safeguard a new 'Silicon Valley' north of Brisbane that could house up to 6,000 jobs.
Speaking exclusively to The Courier-Mail, Mayor Allan Sutherland said Moreton Bay councillors would decide on Tuesday on whether to create a 'South Bank-style' governance body over The Mill precinct.
The proposed development, potentially worth $1 billion in economic activity a year, would incorporate the University of the Sunshine Coast's new Moreton Bay campus which opens next year.
The motion would envelope an area larger in land area than Brisbane's CBD and place all Moreton Bay Regional Council-owned lots into a beneficial enterprise, effectively shielding any future council's efforts to sell off the land to developers.
The motion would stipulate that all members of The Mills' new governing body would include "an independent recruiter to source the balance of the first full board of directors."
Mr Sutherland said Moreton Bay's councillors would vote on the new entity, which he compared to South Bank Corporation or Sun Central.
"We're putting a beneficial enterprise together, which is very similar to South Bank's model," he said.
"It's a model that we have put together to ensure that the site remains to the benefit of the people of Moreton Bay long-term."
Mr Sutherland, who won't be contesting the local government elections next year, said this model would mean future local councillors couldn't interfere or sell the land to developers.
"We want it to be a hi-tech hub, we definitely want it to be an area of innovation," he said. "It has the potential to create 6,000 jobs and deliver $1 billion in activity every year."
Mr Sutherland said the precinct was a once-in-a-generation opportunity which Moreton Bay Regional Council owed to its residents to get right.
He cited the region's low tertiary education rates as something the new precinct, including the USC campus, would aim to fix.
"This will help address that. The main reason kids can't go to uni is because they just can't get there from the outer suburbs," he said.
"It's less than a 30-minute train ride (to Brisbane's CBD)," he said. "The ability for people all over the northern suburbs to access this site is incredible."