Suburban Alliance fights for priority while funding and infrastructure pours into CBD renewal

Written by Charlie Peel, The Courier-Mail: Suburban Alliance fights for priority while funding and infrastructure pours into CBD renewal

The political focus on urban renewal has led to suburban neglect, according to a new industry advocacy group. And with almost 90 per cent of southeast Queensland residents working outside the CBD, everyday Queenslanders are being overlooked.

The Suburban Alliance plans to fight for areas that have been overlooked by “misinformed” policymakers hellbent on reviving inner-city areas at suburbia’s expense.

Property industry figurehead Ross Elliott said suburban areas were missing vital “place-making” infrastructure.

He said Census data from 2006 to 2011 showed that while the number of jobs in the Brisbane CBD grew during that period, it was outstripped by job growth elsewhere.

“But you don’t see that thinking in the policy that is being pushed and the infrastructure that is getting funding and attention,” Mr Elliott said.

Masterplanned retail and commercial developments such as the Brisbane Airport office park, the Brisbane Technology Park at Eight Mile Plains, and the Southgate Corporate Park at Cannon Hill were examples of the new wave of knowledge-based hubs being created outside the CBD. Mr Elliott said diversification of employment hubs in suburbs such as Chermside, Springwood, Ipswich and North Lakes could help solve property affordability issues.

“We’ve done such a good job on urban renewal in 15 or 20 years, but in that whole time no one has turned their attention to suburban renewal,” he said.

“To build up some of these suburban business centres as hubs of employment, education, health and technology makes a bucketload of sense because you are using transport infrastructure both ways and it helps solve the affordability problem.

“The new economy worker doesn’t need to be in the CBD.”

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