GROWTH FOR THE FUTURE: A regional cities deal would push development, jobs and housing projects to the top of the priority list.
GROWTH FOR THE FUTURE: A regional cities deal would push development, jobs and housing projects to the top of the priority list. PAUL BEUTEL

Property prices a key for city deals

BUNDABERG'S affordable housing prices makes it a key contender to be allocated a regional cities deal - according to Regional Capitals Australia's Building Up and Moving Out report.

The report, handed out last week by the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Infrastructure, Transport and Cities - named Bundaberg as one of five regional Queensland cities including Toowoomba, Mackay, Rockhampton and the Fraser Coast eligible for a regional cities deal.

With the average house price in Bundaberg at $225,000, the region sits well behind Brisbane's median house price of $517,000 - making it an attractive option for those looking to live outside of major capital cities.

The report gave 37 recommendations to support growth including the development of a 50-year national settlement plan, developing a plan to grow regional capital cities, and lead progressive infrastructure development in the region.

Four million people live in regional capital cities, and over the next decade a further one million will be making the move.

Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt has been lobbying for the electorate to receive a deal, with a petition signed by over 700 locals to date.

If successful, a regional cities deal would prioritise infrastructure development, investment, jobs, liveability, sustainability and housing projects to accommodate for the future population growth of regional cities.

Deputy chair of Regional Capitals Australia (RCA) Cr Col Murray said a deal would help make population growth viable in regional cities and may help with "easing the metropolitan squeeze".

"As the population ticked over to 25 million recently, debate about the speed at which the country is growing has increased, and people are just starting to realise not everyone needs to live in Melbourne or Sydney."



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