SPECIAL REPORT: Ipswich budget promises that don't add up
IPSWICH'S state members insist the government is investing in the future of the region through its $1.64 billion spend on health, infrastructure and education in this year's budget.
Since the state budget was delivered three weeks ago the QT has spent time cutting through the politics to reveal what spending is new and what is spin.
Of the 33 highlights in the State Government's Backing Jobs for Ipswich leaflet, we found 19 were spin, with another few bordering on the edge.
We marked each project based on the level of funding delivered, the timing of the project and its overall benefit to Ipswich's economy.
Have a read, make up your own mind and let us know whether you agree.
SOMERSET DAM SAFETY UPGRADE PLANNING WORKS
The government says: $6.2m out of an $8.9m spend to continue planning works for enhancements to meet future extreme weather events.
Our say: A good announcement. Building on $1.7m spent last year for hydro operations to resume.
ESK REPLACEMENT AUXILIARY FIRE AND RESCUE STATION
The government says: $1.7m out of $1.8m for a replacement station.
Our say: This is the largest tranche of cash for a project announced last year. It won't benefit Ipswich, though. Spin.
WIVENHOE POWER STATION
The government says: $3.6m to prepare for a major overhaul to ensure service quality.
Our say: Something the boffins at Queensland's only pumped storage hydroelectric plant will be excited about. Good news, though.
LOWOOD STATE HIGH SCHOOL
The government says: $550,000 out of a $3.6m total spend to extend manual arts and install a relocatable building with two learning areas.
Our say: The last and smallest tranche of cash. Manual arts is a brilliant subject. Nailed it, Member for Ipswich West Jim Madden. But it's spin.
GLENORE GROVE SUBSTATION UPGRADE
The government says: $3.6m out of a $5.8m total spend to carry out substation transformer replacements to improve network performance.
Our say: A project highlight copied from last year's budget, with a few million more added and more to come. No benefit to Ipswich. More spin than a washing machine.
MOUNT CROSBY EAST BANK WATER TREATMENT PLANT: FILTRATION UPGRADE
The government says: $5.1m out of $34.2m to continue the refurbishment and upgrade of 20 filters to maintain and improve capacity and reliability.
Our say: This project is copied and pasted from last year's budget, with almost $4m more added and still $24m needed.
OXLEY PRIORITY DEVELOPMENT AREA
The government says: $16.3m out of a $33m total spend for the development of the former Oxley Secondary College site to facilitate economic and community development, as well as generating jobs, stimulating the construction and development industry and bringing forward innovative approaches to housing and sustainability.
Our say: Despite the government dressing this announcement up, it's a new estate for an area bordering Ipswich. It won't provide a benefit to the Ipswich community.
DARRA TRAIN STATION PARK 'N' RIDE
The government says: $273,000 out of a $8.8m total spend to provide an additional 180 car spaces.
Our say: Residents have heard of this for years. This is the second bucket of funding and is much less than last year's $3m. It won't be finished before June 2021. Spin.
IPSWICH MOTORWAY (ROCKLEA TO DARRA)
The government says: $70m out of a $400m total spend (stage 1) to construct additional lanes between Oxley Rd to Granard Rd.
Our say: Builds on the $68m last year. A worthwhile spend for commuters.
WARREGO HIGHWAY - MT CROSBY RD INTERSECTION
The government says: $22m total spend to upgrade safety and capacity on the intersection. The project will duplicate lanes on the southern roundabout and improve traffic flow. There will be a dedicated pedestrian and cycle bridge over the highway.
Our say: This is a tough one. Federal Labor promised to half the $22m cost if elected. It wasn't elected and the state now claims it's ready to go with an 80-20 split. The state has dragged its feet on this project and there's no timeline. So it's spin.
The government says: $266,000 out of a $500,000 total spend to construct new amenities and change rooms to support female participation in rugby league.
Our say: An irrelevant announcement. If Inala was considered to sit within the Ipswich region then its well-known local member, Annastacia Palaszczuk, would be more aware of our need for investment.
IPSWICH STATE HIGH SCHOOL
The government says: $2m out of a $6.7m total spend to construct a new building with 12 general learning spaces.
Our say: New money and good news. Welcomed by the principal who is working to cope with rapid growth.
ADDITIONAL YOUTH DETENTION CENTRE INFRASTRUCTURE
The government says: $42m out of a $210.6m estimated project cost to commence early works on a new 32 bed youth detention centre adjacent to the Brisbane Youth Detention Centre in Wacol
Our say: Announced earlier this year. The LNP described it as a "joke of an announcement" that doesn't go far enough to providing enough beds.
WACOL NEW QPS COUNTER TERRORISM AND COMMUNITY SAFETY TRAINING CENTRE
The government says: $28m out of a $52.2m total spend to deliver a new centre.
Our say: Someone has pressed control-C and then control-V on the government keyboard. Announced in last year's budget. Spin.
THE WORKSHOPS RAIL MUSEUM
The government says: $250,000 out of a $1.5m total spend to improve safety, conduct maintenance and enhance the museum.
Our say: A sign the government has gone off the rails. It's the second tranche of funding for a project, that despite only costing $1.5m, will take several budgets to finish. Spinning like a railway turntable.
INALA COMMUNITY HEALTH CENTRE
The government says: $2.8m out of a $5.6m total spend for important improvements and replacements including heating, ventilation and air conditioning system and the roof.
Our say: Again, great for the healthy residents of Inala, not Ipswich. Come in spinner.
EAST IPSWICH TRAIN STATION
The government says: $6.5m out of a $34.8m total spend to upgrade the station to provide improved access and facilities.
Our say: Finally. An election commitment of Jennifer Howard back in 2017 and delayed until concept plans were released last month. Keep an eye out when Ms Howard goes to the next election promising this project.
GOODNA SPECIAL SCHOOL
The government says: $2.6m out of a $10.5m total spend to construct a new building with eight general learning spaces and a hospitality kitchen.
Our say: New money and a good investment.
The government says: $899,000 out of a $4.1m total spend to establish and maintain a Murri Court at Ipswich.
Our say: It's the reversal of a cut made by the LNP. Hopefully gets results.
IPSWICH HOSPITAL EXPANSION
The government says: $10m out of a $127.5m total spend, includes new mental health facilities and a MRI suite.
Our say: Expect to see this for the next few years. Another step in the government's Ipswich Hospital expansion, which critics say won't be enough. Good news.
FOREST LAKE STATE HIGH SCHOOL
The government says: $1.9m out of a $7.9m total spend to construct a new building with a performing arts centre and six learning areas.
Our say: Forest Lake isn't in Ipswich. This spin would make Shane Warne proud.
The government says: $232,254 out of a $436,569 total spend to construct change rooms, a first aid room and referees room to support female participation in netball. Part of the Female Facilities Program.
Our say: Part of money announced in July 2018. More dribble than a basketball game.
ROSEWOOD REPLACEMENT AUXILIARY FIRE AND RESCUE STATION
The government says: $50,000 out of a $2m total spend to replace the station.
Our say: New money, albeit little, and good news welcomed by firefighters.
LAIDLEY STATE HIGH SCHOOL BUILDING EXTENSIONS
The government says: $3.6m out of an $8.1m total spend to construct a new building and extensions to existing buildings, with three new learning areas and eight new specialist spaces.
Our say: Outside Ipswich, a similar announcement to last year. There is an extra classroom, which the Queensland Cabinet might use to learn about growing Ipswich's needs.
DISTRICT DOMESTIC AND FAMILY VIOLENCE COORDINATORS
The government says: $232,000 and ongoing for two additional coordinators to provide direction, guidance, and training on issues associated with domestic and family violence.
Our say: A vital election commitment delivered by the State Government which is needed and we welcome. Renewed investment in this space is required.
SWANBANK E POWER STATION
The government says: $52.3m for major overhaul, as well as a range of improvements.
Our say: Good news as expected when the station was reopened in January 2018.
FERNBROOKE STATE SCHOOL
The government says: $7m out of a $10.2m total spend to construct a new building with 12 general learning spaces and a covered area.
Our say: A big spend on one of Ipswich's newest schools.
SPRINGFIELD CENTRAL TRAIN STATION PARK 'N' RIDE
The government says: $2.4m out of a $44.5m total spend to upgrade the facility to provide an additional 650 car spaces.
Our say: This was an election pledge by MP Charis Mullen in 2017 that won't be be finished before next year's poll. There's more money this time than last year's piddly $550,000, but work won't ramp up until 2020-2021. For the time it has taken, it's special government spin in Springfield.
RIPLEY VALLEY PRIORITY DEVELOPMENT AREA INFRASTRUCTURE
The government says: $7.7m out of a $45m total spend for catalyst infrastructure.
Our say: A good portion of cash. That growing region needs much more, however, as demonstrated in our Future Ipswich campaign.
SPRINGFIELD CENTRAL STATE HIGH SCHOOL
The government says: $5.2m out of a $17.8m total spend to construct additional classrooms and a new multi-purpose hall.
Our say: A tough one. Work has started on the multi-purpose hall but the classroom cash is new. For that it's good news.
NEW PRIMARY AND SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN RIPLEY
The government says: $60.6m out of a $94.1m total spend to construct stage 1 of two new schools.
Our say: Considering the schools will open next year, the government really had no option but to fund this. Only the large amount of cash, and the children, is stopping the announcement from getting a spin mark.
BOONAH TOWN CENTRE REVITALISATION
The government says: $293,920 out of a $1.5m towards revitalising the town centre and supporting business and community engagement.
Our say: A previously announced project that doesn't deserve a spin mark, but it shouldn't be a highlight for the Ipswich region. Boo-hoo.
The government says: $54.3m to expand and improve social housing in the Ipswich region.
Our say: A necessary announcement and welcome news for those struggling, but it's not a highlight that should sit in the state's 'backing jobs for Ipswich' propaganda.