Becoming a city council

Moreton Bay residents enjoy an enviable lifestyle with unique natural places and green spaces. It’s little wonder more people want to call Moreton Bay home, and that’s why we are one of Australia’s fastest growing regions.

It is possible to balance our region’s much-loved natural places and green spaces with the needs of a growing, multi-centre city. To do that we need to accommodate residents in every new and established suburb and provide local jobs. This will enable us to live in balance with our natural surroundings and work close to home if we choose, which means less time spent in traffic.

With great schools and our own university, Moreton Bay’s growing local economy has the potential to create 100,000 new jobs over the next twenty years. By building the necessary services and infrastructure to support growth - of people, their work and the economy - we can keep Moreton Bay strong. It will also mean we can connect with the natural, social, and lifestyle amenities we need to rest and recharge.

By working together, we can maintain and enrich our lifestyles. We can preserve and strengthen the fabric of our suburbs, provide jobs, keep housing affordable, and ensure that everyone benefits as Moreton Bay evolves into a different kind of city with many unique urban centres that reflect our diversity.

The requirements

To help support our ambitions for Moreton Bay, Council voted to ask the Minister for Local Government to reclassify us from a ‘regional’ to a ‘city’ council.

The Electoral Commission of Queensland (ECQ) assesses classification change as part of their role under the Local Government Act 2009. You can read more about the process in this factsheet provided by the Local Government Change Commission (Change Commission). Only the responsible Minister can refer a proposal to the Change Commission for assessment.

The journey

In December 2021, the Mayor outlined his ambitions for the region and the challenges and connotations associated with being a “regional” council when advocating to the Federal Government. Following on from that, council started exploring the possible social and economic benefits a change in classification might bring to benefit the region.

In March 2022, the Council received a report providing an overview of the findings from early community focus groups. At that briefing Council sought to continue exploring the potential for City classification by expanding community consultation to gather broader feedback.

In May 2022, Council asked our communities to read the discussion paper, Reimagining Moreton Bay: A city of amazing places & natural spaces, to better understand how Moreton Bay might become a 21st century lifestyle-focused polycentric city with a number of connected business and community centres interwoven with a network of natural ecological expanses.

Our communities were then invited to share their views about the potential of becoming a city via an online survey. This survey closed on 30 May 2022.

On 20 July 2022, the survey findings were reported to Council and informed Council’s decision to seek the Minister’s approval to reclassify Moreton Bay from a ‘regional’ to a ‘city’ council under the Local Government Regulation 2012.

Read the Engagement Summary Report.

In April 2023, the Local Government Change Commission (the Commission) recommended that Moreton Bay be reclassified as a city. The recommendation needs to be considered by the Queensland Government.

Read the Change Commission's Recommendation Report.

In May 2023, the Minister for Local Government recommended the change for consideration by Governor-in-Council.

On 28 July 2023, the Queensland Government notified a formal amendment under the Local Government (Moreton Bay City Council) and Other Legislation Amendment Regulation 2023. This step was required to formally amend the Commission’s recommendation that Moreton Bay Regional Council be classified Moreton Bay City Council, and make transitional provisions for previous references in Acts, documents and other regulations.

Read the Queensland Government's explanatory notes on the Local Government (Moreton Bay City Council) and Other Legislation Amendment Regulation 2023.

As part of the Moreton Bay Leaders' Forum on 21 July 2023, City of Moreton Bay launched itself as Australia's newest city.