The Property Council of Australia has urged Premier Peter Beattie to capitalise on his overwhelming majority to restructure Cabinet so it is suitable to take on the new challenges of the 21st Century.
Property Council Queensland executive director Ross Elliott said the best way for the State Government to achieve their aims of a “smart state” was to create new, more relevant portfolios.
“We cannot continue to service our economy in terms of traditional public policy approaches,” he said.
“Queensland is continuing to rely on the old fashioned tribes of transport, industry, agriculture, fisheries, state development, mining and so on.
“These all serve a purpose, but the new economy, the knowledge nation and the smart state will all require new policy approaches. New Ministries to support these agendas ought to be on the Premier’s shopping list.”
Mr Elliott pointed to the success of the former Federal Labor Government’s “Better Cities” program in creating interest and investment in urban renewal as one example.
“Sadly, Better Cities was scrapped by the Howard Government, but there is no reason Peter Beattie cannot create a Better Cities or Urban Affairs portfolio for Queensland,” he said.
He suggested other new Ministerial portfolios could include infrastructure, industrial innovation, information technology, and biotechnology.
“We need new institutions and organisational strategies to help innovations, strategic direction and learning cultures to flourish,” Mr Elliott said.
He pointed to the poor performance of the Queensland economy, and especially the urban economy of Brisbane relative to other capitals, as evidence of the need to introduce new approaches.
“There has been growth in Queensland but nowhere near the growth achieved in many other states over the past five to six years. We are lagging behind and need some fresh approaches."