Mayor vows to fight for city’s key projects
IPSWICH Mayor Teresa Harding will not be deterred in her attempts to secure federal funding for the city’s key projects despite an apparent snub under the 2021-22 budget.
While admitting she was “disappointed” following Tuesday’s result, Cr Harding instead vowed to continue campaigning for investments into local infrastructure.
READ MORE: federal budget 2021: How it impacts Ipswich
Key projects including vital upgrades to the Cunningham Hwy between Yamanto and Ebenezer Creek, a proposed Springfield-Ipswich rail line and upgrades to the North Ipswich Reserve failed to gain a mention in the $1.6 billion spend.
A total of only $4 million was allocated to the Warrego Hwy and Mt Crosby Rd interchange upgrades.
The interchange once satisfied traffic needs, however, in recent years failed to keep up with growing Karalee and Chuwar populations.
Cr Harding welcomed the small win, though said future funding was crucial for key projects across Ipswich in coming years amid an expected population boom.
“As Queensland’s fastest growing city, it was disappointing to see a lack of investment in this year’s federal budget for essential transport and community infrastructure to support the growth of Ipswich,” Cr Harding said.
She said council’s attention would now turn toward the Federal election in 2022, as well as the proposed SEQ City Deal.
“Council highlighted the importance of the Ipswich to Springfield Central Public Transport Corridor to ensure the additional 325,000 residents that will move to Ipswich by 2041 have access to transport, education and essential services.”
Earlier this year, council identified 10 of its major projects that were tipped to bolster the overall growth of Ipswich.
Many of those projects identified were snubbed under the latest budget.
Meanwhile, Australian Labor Party Leader Anthony Albanese this week joined a chorus of individuals slamming the Commonwealth’s snub of regional communities.
He was joined by Federal Member for Blair Shayne Neumann at the Ipswich Show on Friday, who had also made clear his “bitter disappointment” over the budget earlier in the week.
“There were a whole lot of communities like this one, that missed out,” Mr Albanese said.
“You had $100 billion of new spending but $3.3 billion cut from infrastructure.
“If you’re trying to stimulate the economy, why would you actually cut infrastructure investment?”
Read more stories by Kaitlyn Smith here.