Cr Sutherland said the purchase was funded from council reserves set aside for strategic land purchases and would not impact on residents’ rates.
“We are currently seeking expressions of interest from higher education providers about their plans for the Moreton Bay region and how council can maximise work and study opportunities for our local residents,” he said.
“Securing this site gives our region a strategic advantage in guiding the development of any proposed new major university and community precinct from the ground up.
“With the right planning it could really shift the paradigm in our region’s favour, promoting less travel and congestion into the (Brisbane) CBD with more local job and study opportunities for school-leavers and residents already in the workforce.
“This site is an investment in the future prosperity of our region while also providing opportunities to retain environment corridors.”
Cr Sutherland said Moreton Bay was predicted to grow by more than 40 per cent over the next 20 years, which would take its population to more than 500,000 people, or “roughly the population size of Tasmania”.
“Growth like this requires a strong vision and a sensible approach that maps out the infrastructure needs of our region now and into the future, while protecting what we love about our region,” he said.
“Parcels of land this size in south-east Queensland are extremely rare, let alone at the junction of two urban rail lines, with easy access to major arterial roads such as Gympie Road and the Bruce Highway.”
Local Dickson MP Peter Dutton said he was committed to supporting the council’s vision in whatever way he could.
“It will create local jobs, cut down on the amount of time local residents have to travel and it will grow our local economy helping small businesses,” he said.
Luke Howarth, from the neighbouring electorate of Petrie – an electorate that does not take in the actual suburb of Petrie – said it would be a game changer for the entire region.
“Having a fairly unskilled workforce out here, I think it’s another option for young adults and school leavers,” he said.
“With the rail link being completed early next year as well – it’ll be at the junction of the Caboolture and Redcliffe lines – it’s a good spot and it’s definitely worthy of support.”