The designation still has to be approved by the Deputy Premier Steven Miles who lives in the region and mayor Peter Flannery said he was not yet counting his chickens.
The council claims being designated as a region has potentially disadvantaged it and led to perceptions that it “was not urban”. It also claimed it had already exceeded population density thresholds with about half a million residents.
“We have advocated for this change due to the size of Moreton Bay, the fact that our population is already larger than cities like Canberra, and also in recognition of our contribution to the south east Queensland economy,” Flannery said.
“While this reclassification won’t have any major impact on the day-to-day lives of locals, it will be a gamechanger for us politically and for our business community.
“It puts us on equal footing to cities like Brisbane and the Gold Coast for funding and helps us start to realise our potential as Australia’s third largest council (by population).
“We are a region but were never regional, so city status will cement our place as a power player in SEQ and hopefully make the nation sit up and pay attention to Moreton Bay.
“I see this as the start of Moreton Bay’s coming of age and an exciting new chapter in our story, as we await the Government’s final decision.”
The region has also become an important area for new housing developments and a independent assessment of city status found it would lead to more investment, improved perceptions and “brand equity”.
There has been some opposition to the move through a petition to State Parliament with about 1100 signatures. It argued that there had been little input from residents, although community consultation was done.
The Change Commission said it may wish to consider the issues raised in the petition during the assessment phase of the proposal.