2013 will be a year we work together to create a better Brisbane and I need your help

Lord Mayor Graham Quirk

Lord Mayor Graham Quirk

Got a problem in your suburb that needs fixing? email me at lordmayor@bmag.com.au

Welcome back for 2013! I hope you had a wonderful Christmas break and are feeling reinvigorated because we have a big year working together ahead of us.

Last year we laid a strong foundation for success. The challenge for 2013 will be to ensure we build upon these achievements and take full advantage of future opportunities and I’m up for it. I want 2013 to be a prosperous year for Brisbane and its residents. In fact, my number one New Year’s resolution for 2013 is to generate more jobs for this city. I’ve got an economic development plan in place to ensure this one doesn’t fall by the wayside, including an ambitious target to generate 343,000 new jobs by 2021.

Part of this includes an aggressive push to attract more conferences and tourism opportunities as well as more four and five-star hotels to house them and their guests. We’ll also see Brisbane’s residents and businesses better connected to the world as we roll out more of our ground-breaking digital strategy and begin preparation work for the G20 summit.

But you also have a vital role to play in generating more jobs for the residents of this city. As I mentioned earlier, 2013 will be a year we work together to create a better Brisbane and I need your help to sell this message. You and I both know as locals that Brisbane shook off its ‘big country town’ label a long time ago. In fact, we are making great headway towards becoming an economic powerhouse in the Asia Pacific region. However, I need residents to be spreading the word about how great Brisbane is.

Obviously, more tourism is going to mean more money for local businesses and more jobs. But by promoting Brisbane as a city with an enviable lifestyle we’re also promoting more business investment. It’s no secret that international and interstate businesses look specifically for cities to set up bases that are not only economically connected and investing in vital infrastructure, but also places that offer their staff a high quality of life – three areas we’ve definitely got covered.

In the last year we saw major multinational corporations set up bases in Brisbane including Hitachi, Komatsu, Acciona, Conymet, Karcher, Talisman Energy and General Electric.

We will also work together in 2013 to shape Brisbane’s future when the new draft City Plan goes out to consultation in the first half of the year.  Have your say on the draft plan online at Brisbane City Council‘s website .

We will also celebrate together the official reopening of the people’s place, City Hall, after a three-year $215million restoration to save it from decay.

Another way we will work together in 2013 is to lobby for better infrastructure and lifestyle outcomes for Brisbane in the lead up to the federal government election later this year. We need to make sure that all parties putting up their hand to run this country understand the unique pressures that not only Brisbane, but South East Queensland as a whole, faces.

Tackling issues like traffic congestion is still high on my agenda as Lord Mayor of Brisbane and my team will continue delivering unprecedented investment such as the $1.5billion Legacy Way and a record $60million on suburban road resurfacing. However, we need to ensure that the federal government, no matter who is in charge, delivers their fair share for the region. The same goes for necessities such as education, health and disability and multicultural support, which are all essential in my plan to build a more accessible and inclusive Brisbane.

That’s why I will be working closely with the other mayors of South East Queensland in 2013 to come up with a list of issues across the region that need fixing. There’s strength in numbers as they say. Keep an eye on this column for more information about how you can join us in a united front to secure these vital funds or send your suggestions to lordmayor@bmag.com.au.