26 May 2015, Written by Nick Nichols


BRISBANE has laid plans to put itself firmly on the global stage through a bold strategy that aims to encourage new-age thinking to build upon the success of last year's acclaimed G20 conference.

The Brisbane 2022 New World City Action Plan, prepared by the Lord Mayor's Economic Development Steering Committee, has handed down 40 key recommendations that it says are priorities that will fortify the city's economic base for decades to come.

The findings highlight improved tourism infrastructure, including upgraded cruise ship facilities, and a more focused approach to building on the education sector and the knowledge economy through the encouragement of start-ups.

The report in parts has come up with tried and tested formulae, including attracting regional bases of global organisations to the city and improving airline connectivity to growing international markets.

However, it also has called for Brisbane to become a leading Asia Pacific cultural hub by "escalating the prominence of the Asia Pacific Screen Awards, Brisbane Asia Pacific Film Festival and other cultural events".

To oversee the south-east region's support in this strategy, the report also recommends the appointment of a chief economist for the region to bring into focus the benefits of a unified approach to promoting Brisbane as a new world city.

The action plan, which has handed down more than 100 recommendations, has been developed in consultation with more than 1000 executives, entrepreneurs, students, government agencies, analysts, academics and leaders from the private public and not-for-profit sectors.

Lord Mayor Graham Quirk, targeting a doubling of the city's economy by 2035, says the plan recommends a shift in the city's approach to economic development.

The far-reaching nature of the recommendations also imply a cultural shift from both the government and corporate sectors. Questions of how the plan will be implemented and how much it will cost have yet to be determined.

"I now have to consider all the recommendations contained in the report 40 of them have been identified as key priorities," says Quirk, who officially received the plan at City Hall this morning.

"I support the overriding theme suggesting the adoption of a New World City model to shape Brisbane's economic development strategy and believe it heralds an exciting period of opportunity and prosperity for the city.

"This report is about positioning ourselves to drive job creation relevant to a globalising economy which benefits our whole community.

"Four years ago we delivered the Window of Opportunity plan that underpinned the city's growth strategy beyond the resources boom.

"And again, we must continue to keep pace with change, tackle emerging challenges and take advantage of every opportunity.

"My aim is to ensure Brisbane's influence as a serious player in the Asia Pacific region continues to grow and we are recognised globally as a new world city full of opportunity that attracts and retains talent.

"I anticipate the Brisbane 2022 New World City Action Plan will consolidate our efforts to date, set the direction for future initiatives, and drive the next wave of economic development through a collaborative Team Brisbane approach."

Ian Klug, the chairman of Brisbane Marketing, says the report identifies the need for a wider south-east Queensland outlook to achieve its goals.

"I believe the priorities and recommendations contained in the report will determine how effectively we move forward as Australia's New World City," Klug says.

"The multi-faceted components of what define a New World City have clear implications for how a city plans its growth and preserves an enviable lifestyle for residents and visitors."

Author: Nick Nichols





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