Mayor’s message to the business community
Ipswich is the fastest-growing region in Queensland, and Springfield is powering our city’s transformation. Robelle Domain, Orion and Springfield Fair shopping centres, the University campus and business activity across greater Springfield are reminders that our region has a bright future ahead, despite the shockwaves being felt from the global coronavirus pandemic.
Small Business Friendly Council
This Council is committed to supporting your recovery through these challenging times. Ipswich became Queensland’s first Small Business Friendly Council on 2 October. Chairperson of Council’s Economic and Industry Development Committee, Cr Nicole Jonic and I signed the charter with your President, Neil Coupland and Ipswich Region Chamber President, Phillip Bell. This launched a collaborative partnership with the Queensland Small Business Commissioner, Maree Adshead, which will see Ipswich City Council continue to strengthen our support for small businesses across the region.
Small Business Funding Program Round 2
I’m pleased to share that the second round of Council’s Small Business Funding Program is now open, with a total pool of $130,000 available. Eligible businesses can apply for up to $1,000 for professional services, inventory, COVID specific expenses and membership incurred from 1 March 2020. To check your eligibility, see the full guidelines and apply, visit https://www.ipswich.qld.gov.au/services/funding-and-support.
Ipswich Leaders Alliance
Council is working closely with the Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce on the issues that matter to our community, following the signing of our joint partnership agreement earlier this year. Together with leading peak representative bodies, community and business leaders we established the Ipswich Leaders Alliance, to advocate across all levels of Government and to all parties for the infrastructure projects and policy reforms that our region needs now and into the future.
The ILA’s Fresh Start Advocacy campaign is ramping up as the countdown to the October State Elections continues, creating real results for our region. On the back of these advocacy efforts, the Queensland Government has now committed $1 million (of the required $2.5 million) towards progressing the Options Analysis for the Ipswich to Springfield Public Transport Corridor.
This commitment to the I2S is just the beginning, as the ILA advocates to all parties for eight priority infrastructure projects and policy reforms. High on the list is a social services plan for health and education, in support of the Chambers’ petition for a new public hospital in Springfield. The facility has been planned by the Mater Foundation, and will have full general hospital services, including operating theatres, a 24-hour emergency department, ICU and birth suites. The ILA is seeking a budget commitment to fund an ongoing service agreement that will enable Mater to construct and operate the hospital by 2023. For more information on the Ipswich Leaders Alliance and our Fresh Start 2020 State Election Advocacy campaign, visit https://www.ipswichleadersalliance.com.au/.
Growth and Recovery
A flourishing city needs quality infrastructure, and Council is moving forward with upgrades to key roads in Greater Springfield. In the September newsletter, I shared that planning is underway for the duplication of the Springfield Parkway and the Springfield-Greenbank Arterial in three phases from 2021 onwards. These upgrades are set to become the single biggest road project in council’s history, and I look forward to providing you with further updates as shovels hit the ground.
This is an important time for our region, as we capitalise on the opportunities presented by the road to recovery from the COVID pandemic. Again, I acknowledge your determination and resilience through the crisis, and if you have feedback on how Council can better support the business community, please visit https://shapeyouripswich.com.au to have your say.