'We're not done': Maha says there's no slowing development
THE growing metropolis of Springfield will continue to sprawl across the horizon, with founder Maha Sinnathamby defiantly declaring, "you haven't seen anything yet".
Since the first sod was turned 25 years ago, more than $16billion has been spent on infrastructure in the Greater Springfield area.
Speaking at the Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce breakfast last week, Mr Sinnathamby outlined his vision for the future of the area.
"Just watch this space, we are only 25 per cent developed across this whole area... you haven't seen anything yet," he said.
"I don't sleep and I won't let anyone sleep until we get there."
Mr Sinnathamby said Greater Springfield would be a region based on education, health, technology and lifestyle - a community with significance to the nation.
The population of Greater Springfield stands at 41,000.
It is expected to grow by another 100,000 in the decades to come.
Mr Sinnathamby said there were 1100 births in Greater Springfield in the past year and there would likely be 1000 more every year.
"We need the youth to drive this country, to recharge this country," Mr Sinnathamby said.
While the Malaysian-born entrepreneur had success with his Springfield development, things weren't always easy.
Mr Sinnathamby said he used to drive taxis at night while studying in Sydney and repaired second-hand cars and sold them ... "any means to survive".
He said his sole motive was not money, with his wealth and fortune derived from the overall success of his visionary project.
"I would like to think we can add value to human beings," he said.
"Take the 41,000 we have here in Springfield and compare them to the 41,000 anywhere in Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide or Perth... this 41,000 is highly valued.
"We have 15 schools, all within five minutes of each other. We are a seven-minute city, from one end to the other end. Cities all over the world are frantically trying to recreate this model. Cities which become congested become ineffective and dysfunctional. We are talking about 30km/h in Brisbane."
The project is moving at more than $600million each year.
"When this land came on the market, no company wanted to buy it," he said.
He said the Ipswich City Council and the State Government were initially not supportive, but he managed to persuade them.
- With Ipswich First