May: Mayor’s message to the business community
Mayor’s column | Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce monthly newsletter
As Chamber members will be aware, the Federal election is now well underway, with the campaign reaching its mid-point ahead of the 21 May election day.
Candidates have been in the field, officially, for several weeks already, with many having active campaigns for many months now.
For its part, Council has launched a major advocacy push to make sure our city’s needs and voice is heard loud and clear by both the local candidates standing for election, and decision-makers in Canberra.
One of our key advocacy priorities is securing investment in the Ebenezer Regional Industrial area, which has the potential to generate 3,500 full-time equivalent jobs and generate billions in economic benefit for our city.
Council delivered a Social and Economic Impact and Benefits Study for the Ebenezer Intermodal Terminal in 2020 and is seeking a commitment from Federal candidates to deliver infrastructure upgrades to unlock this important future employment precinct for Ipswich.
We need to see the Cunningham Highway, the backbone to Ipswich’s transport network, urgently upgraded to meet both current and future demand, and both federal and state governments have allocated some funding towards this, with $20 million earmarked for future planning along this highway.
New Ipswich Deputy Mayor appointed
Division 1 Councillor, Jacob Madsen, has been unanimously voted as Deputy Mayor of Ipswich.
The appointment was the result of a decision by all councillors, two years ago, to rotate the Deputy Mayor role every year of the four-year council term.
Cr Madsen is also Chair of the Governance and Transparency Committee, and Deputy Chair of the Economic and Industry Development Committee.
Representing the residents of Ipswich is an honour and I know Cr Madsen, who has lived in Ipswich all his life, will bring his passion for this city to the role. I look forward to working with him over the next year.
On behalf of council, I would also like to thank Cr Jonic for her performance in the role over the past year. She was able to raise the profile and advocate strongly for residents who were impacted by the 2020 Halloween Hailstorm and the recent flood.
Mixed results for Ipswich in 2022-23 Federal Budget
The 2022-23 Federal Budget delivered a mixed bag for Ipswich as council welcomed the Commonwealth’s commitment to the Ipswich to Springfield Central (I2S) Options Analysis, but missed out on key commitments to support the city’s significant population growth.
The cost of living relief measures will be welcomed by Ipswich residents and business owners, as will increased investment in new apprenticeships and training. Investment in Defence, defence industry and cyber security will also create more local jobs in our local economy.
We will continue to advocate for Ipswich with a list of road, public transport, sporting and community projects needed to support our fast-growing city.
New facility available for the community to connect
A new community building is now available to be booked by local community groups and associations for small meetings and gatherings at Augustine Heights.
We are very pleased to be able to open the new Augustine Heights Community Hub, which will improve our social infrastructure and provide an opportunity to strengthen our community by providing a cost-effective venue to meet
The Hub – transferred to council at no cost to ratepayers – was a house and land sales office previously occupied by a developer and features a basic kitchenette and toilet with disability access, and is adjacent to a small children’s playground and car park.
Local community and not-for-profit organisations can connect at this central location by booking at Ipswich.qld.gov.au/parks search.
April rates notices come with discounts and relief measures
This month, quarterly rates notices came with the usual discounts for on-time payment, plus relief measures for flood-impacted property owners.
More than 550 flood-impacted households and businesses should have received a one-time $250 concession as part of council’s flood relief program, applied automatically to help minimise red tape.
Council is also offering waived or reduced fees and charges to flood-impacted households and businesses in relation to planning, building, plumbing and drainage where required for the rebuild or repair of an eligible flooded property.
Review established to examine Ipswich’s 2022 flood response
The city’s response and recovery to the recent flood event will be examined in a comprehensive review.
It will endeavour to capture what worked, what needs improvement, and how we can all work together when faced with adversity.
The council-led review will gather first-hand knowledge and experience of Ipswich community members impacted by the flood event, and there will be opportunities in coming months for people to be involved, online or in person.