‘Not good enough’: New group pushes for vital infrastructure
A NEW Ipswich advocacy group, led by the mayor and industry and business leaders, will grade local MPs and candidates on whether they commit to delivering key infrastructure in the lead up to the state election in October.
Mayor Teresa Harding will chair the Ipswich Leaders Alliance, which will put together a checklist of the most important projects and policies for the fastest growing region in Queensland.
Its first meeting was held on Friday with members told of the mayor's plan to put politicians "on notice" during their election campaigns.
The election is set for October 31.
Cr Harding said Ipswich has not received its "fair share" of funding from both state and federal governments and was crying out for crucial infrastructure.
"We stand here as a council and a city united," she said.
"Over the course of the next two months we will make it clear to all candidates and parties that the Ipswich community will not be ignored.
"We are ready to advocate for projects and policies that matter to the people of Ipswich most.
"We deserve our fair share. All candidates across the city are on notice.
"Support for population growth, a boost for industry and our fair share of state funding - these are the issues we will take to all candidates and political parties."
The alliance will work across all three levels of government, with a particular focus on waste issues and the rapidly growing corridor between Ipswich and Springfield.
It will seek meetings with Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington, as well as local MPs and candidates, to discuss the city's needs.
Cr Harding said the group will advocate for crucial projects like the Ipswich Central to Springfield Central public transport corridor.
"Ipswich is the fastest-growing region in Queensland, with an annual population growth rate of 4.1 per cent," she said.
"That's approximately three per cent above the state and national averages.
"70 per cent of this growth will occur in the corridor between Ipswich and Springfield.
"We need the State Government and our local members to step up and support our city's growth with proper planning and investment in catalytic infrastructure and policies that work for our communities.
"It's not good enough.
"The areas where the growth is happening, in the beautiful parts of Springfield and Ripley, the State Government deliberately created those areas for residential growth and for business to grow.
"That's been on their books for over 20 years. They know this is happening, they need to step up and make sure that we have the public transport ocrridors and the roads, rails and bridges for the people as well as the hospitals and the schools and all the other services."
The alliance will publish scorecards for incumbents and candidates, grading them on how they support policies and projects that "matter most to the people of Ipswich."
"Around 58 per cent of Queensland's waste is dumped in Ipswich," Cr Harding said.
"It's not fair that our community takes on over half of the state's waste and that we're not fairly compensated to deal with the impacts of the booming waste industry.
"The state and industry are benefiting, not the people of Ipswich."
The ILA is also expected to discuss support for projects such as the second Bremer River crossing (Norman St bridge) and the North Ipswich Reserve Sports and Entertainment Precinct.
The Ipswich Leaders Alliance
Teresa Harding (Ipswich City Council mayor)
Philip Bell (Ipswich Chamber of Commerce and Industry)
Neil Coupland (Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce)
Roger Gorrell (Regional Development Australia)
John Cole (University of Southern Queensland)
Jo Sheppard (University of Southern Queensland)
James Sturges (Ipswich Hospital Foundation)
Stephen Tait (Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland)
Sam Burgess (Urban Developers Institute of Australia)
Chris Mountford (Property Council Australia)
Raynuha Sinnathamby (Springfield City Group)
Taku Hashimoto (Sekisui House)
Daniel Brekan (Goodman)
Andrew Sanderson (TAE Aerospace)
Claire Thurwood (Ramsey Health)
Steve Greenwood (Queensland Futures Institute)
Read more stories by Lachlan McIvor here.