Council outlines 'battleplan' for project funding
IPSWICH City Council has identified a list of projects it hopes to deliver under the Local Government Association of Queensland's $608 million battleplan against COVID-19.
Councils across the state have been compiling their hit lists for the Battleplan for Queensland Local Communities, to secure critical economic stimulus from the State Government.
Mayor Teresa Harding said the council was well advanced on its $250 million redevelopment of the CBD, but it also had multiple shovel-ready projects as priorities.
"We are giving the city centre its biggest facelift in more than 20 years, however there is still much work to be done right across Ipswich," she said.
"Our population is expected to grow from the current 230,000 to well over 500,000 by 2040 and we vitally need infrastructure and a public transport network to cope with that many people."
The impacts of coronavirus and the need to create jobs during the pandemic have been at the forefront of discussions for the city's new council.
"We need to be investigating all avenues to create direct and indirect jobs to ensure our local workforce has the greatest opportunity to be productive," Cr Harding said.
"New jobs will be crucial to expediting economic recovery and a boost in infrastructure investment will go a long way to enabling that.
"Council can bring a range of projects forward in 2020-21 with additional funding, including the more than 50 projects that will see improvements to community assets like parks and sports facilities."
Cr Harding said a "parks and sports package" totalling about $16.6 million would see facilities significantly upgraded with various capital works programs.
"Ipswich has a high community participation in sports, active health, arts and culture," she said.
"While there has been significant investment, we need to keep our fields, parks, equipment and associated infrastructure up to the highest standard.
"This investment in our parks and sports will benefit every member of the community and the huge numbers who visit the region every week."
A second Bremer River crossing is another priority for the mayor.
Cr Harding said a preliminary business case had identified two options to be taken forward for further planning during the detailed business case.
A detailed business case will cost about $2.3 million and take two years to complete.
Other projects in the Ipswich battleplan would see improvements to popular conservation estates, youth facilities and community-based infrastructure.
"We need to maintain economic growth and create new jobs. Our population growth is one of the fastest in the nation, we are set to experience unprecedented growth in coming decades and we need to be ready to support that," Cr Harding said.