August: Mayor’s message to the business community
Mayor’s column | Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce monthly newsletter
New Ipswich Planning Scheme hits key milestone
A new Ipswich Planning Scheme to help manage the city’s state-leading growth is a step closer to completion after Council endorsed a first draft of the scheme for State Government review.
Council prepared the draft after a series of community engagement activities and it will now be reviewed by the State Government before further community consultation, expected in 2023.
The current scheme has helped provide a framework to manage the growth of the community by 100,000 people, however the challenges our city faces today and into the future are not the same as they were when the current scheme was developed.
Our city’s population of 241,000 is expected to more double in the years ahead to 558,000 by 2041.
To manage this growth, we need a planning scheme based on current best practice planning principles to ensure the extra 112,000 dwellings our city will accommodate by 2041 are developed in a sustainable way that enhances our city’s way of life.
In preparing the draft scheme, Council has worked closely with the community to understand how residents want to see their city grow.
Studies on key issues including flooding, vegetation management, commercial and industrial land supply, waste, housing density and major growth suburbs, such as Spring and Ripley, have also been carried out to ensure the new scheme addresses our city’s challenges.
Residents and stakeholders will remain at the forefront of the scheme’s creation with a further round of formal community consultation expected to be held in 2023 after the State Government’s review of the first draft.
The new scheme is being developed alongside a new Local Government Infrastructure Plan (LGIP).
The Local Government Infrastructure Plan is about planning for the network of roads, open space and land for community facilities across the city. This is massive piece of work and is one of the core strategic documents for the council to use in guiding investment decisions.
Major companies eyeing investment opportunities in Ipswich
Ipswich is attracting significant investment in projects across the region with almost $1.5 billion in potential value which could create up to 1,500 additional jobs for Ipswich residents.
The work going on in Bio Park Australia at Augustine Heights is definitely a highlight in this respect. This is a dedicated precinct for science-based industries and has already attracted strong interest from across the nation. The precinct is anticipated to create 700 highly skilled jobs on a dedicated 22h site.
This alone is a significant opportunity that will boost our sovereign manufacturing capacity in Australia’s bio tech future and benefit all of Ipswich. It is a sign of the investment attraction interest in our region.
The numbers are extremely encouraging and reflected council’s business drive in the region.
The $1.5 billon is just the tip of the investment iceberg. There are numerous other investors and business owners moving here from locally, interstate and overseas to set up or expand their operations in our city.
It’s an exciting time, and I’m looking forward to sharing more great news with you all in this space over the coming months.
Council endorses new Community Projects and Events Funding program
Changes to the program were endorsed at the recent council meeting and have been made to make it easier for community groups to access funding for events and community projects.
Community groups now can apply for financial support of up to $5,000 for events all year round, rather than waiting for specific funding rounds.
One-off projects and activities can apply for funding up of up to $15,000 in three funding rounds per year.
The changes also explicitly articulate that elected representatives, that is myself and my fellow councillors, are not part of the assessment process. Assessment is undertaken by council officers against the criteria outlined in the guidelines.
The final change is a request that groups receiving funding acknowledge Council’s support at their event or in any media they do.
As an example, council provided $15,000 towards the supply and installation of a coldroom and Refrigeration System for Vedanta Centre’s new purpose-built kitchen; the Maa Sarada kitchen in Springfield Lakes.
The funding support and new kitchen will enable the centre to expand their food assistance programs to continue their support of vulnerable members of the community.
This project is perfectly aligned to council’s community development pillar of ‘wellbeing’, where we strive to ensure community members have a sense of belonging and purpose and enjoy a good sense of health, wellbeing and happiness.
Next stage of transformation set to launch at Redbank Plains Road
Big changes to Redbank Plains Road have kick off this August as the major upgrade project enters its third stage. Stage 3 of this catalyst project will be transforming the section from Kruger Parade to Keidges Road.
This important upgrade is part of council’s 10-year Transport Infrastructure Plan and will ensure our city has increased capacity, safety and accessibility.
Ipswich is set to welcome another 330,000 residents to our community by 2041, and Redbank Plains is consistently one of the fastest growing suburbs. The infrastructure needs to be in place to cater for that demand.
the project will convert the 1.5km section into a four-lane carriageway with features such as shared use pathway, on-road bicycle lanes and additional traffic signals.
There has been $14.96 million committed this financial year for the ongoing project, including a contribution from the State Government of $705,000.
Stage 3 of Redbank Plains Road upgrade has been funded by the Queensland Government through the Transport Infrastructure Development Scheme (TIDS) and Ipswich City Council.