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Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale, state MP Jo-Ann Miller call for stronger action over Swanbank stench

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Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale has criticised his own council for compliance shortcomings in a long-running stench saga at Swanbank, while Bundamba MP Jo-Ann Miller has called for State Government action.

It follows Ipswich City Council holding a smell summit this week — behind closed doors — with businesses from the 2,145-hectare rubbish and recycling precinct at Swanbank.

Ipswich is dubbed by some as the smelliest city in Australia thanks to a mercurial stench on passing winds from the industrial area.

There have been about 200 odour complaints from the Swanbank area in the past two years — 93 complaints so far this year by 51 different people — that led to one environment department odour-related fine worth $11,780.

Long-term Swanbank resident Joe Llewellyn, 85, said he and his 82-year-old wife Thelma, put up with the smell between September and April.

“It’s just unreasonable sitting with it, with the odour, when it should be fresh air you’re breathing. Not stinking stuff like a pig sty,” Mr Llewellyn said.

Mr Llewellyn, who used to work at Swanbank when it was a coal mine, is concerned a lack of oversight could mean there are other broader health problems relating to Swanbank.

He had resorted to following smellier trucks around the Swanbank precinct to try to find the source of the odours.

“Somebody, somewhere has got to start doing something about it because it’s been going on for nearly 20 years and in all different companies,” he said.

Fines not big enough, Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale says

Councillor Pisasale said he called the summit this week after asking council staff to audit the precinct and discovering some businesses had not fulfilled development approval conditions for years.

“I said ‘what the hell is going on here — no wonder the community thinks something’s going on when we’re not doing our job’,” Mr Pisasale said.

He said the precinct presented development and jobs opportunities, and the council liked “to give people a fair go” but said it had not been “strong enough in compliance and fines”.

Mr Pisasale, who received $21,000 in political donations from two Swanbank companies in 2015, had not yet gone through with earlier threats to name and shame the offenders after the summit.

But he said he had given one business a December deadline to clean up its act, and promised all would be subjected to “regular checks” from now on, backed up with fines and prosecution for non-compliers.

However, Mr Pisasale said the fines that could be handed out were not big enough.

“One of the things I’m going to be talking to the [Queensland] Government about is the fines have got to reflect how much money [businesses] made from the contract,” he said.

State Government must do something: MP Jo-Ann Miller

The Swanbank precinct is seven kilometres from the Ipswich city centre.

As it has grown, so too have surrounding suburbs, to the point where some housing sits one or two kilometres away.

For Ms Miller, the Member for Bundamba, that signals a broader failure in Ipswich City Council’s town planning.

Ms Miller wants her own Labor Government to look at the Swanbank development and the buffers between it and suburbs.

“[The council] has had 20 years to fine these operators,” she said.

“Over the years, people have contacted me where they’ve been dry-retching in their homes, the situation is so bad at times, particularly in summer, where they have to go inside, shut all the windows and doors and basically sweat it out inside.

“Enough’s enough — the people are over it, I’m over it, and the council and the State Government must do something about it.”

The Queensland Government set up a compliance taskforce with Ipswich, which includes the Environment and Heritage Protection Department and the air quality team from the Science, Information Technology and Innovation Department.

Queensland Local Government Minister Jackie Trad was asked if she would consider intervening in Ipswich council’s planning scheme.

Her office had not directly replied, but a department spokesperson said the State Government would only intervene in a planning scheme if a “matter of state interest” arose, which limited the Minister to matters defined in the planning policy.

Originally Published: http://www.abc.net.au/

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Queensland’s population hits 5 million people today

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Queensland's population hits 5 million people today
PHOTO: Is this Queensland’s 5 millionth person? Cordy Kerr-Kennedy was born yesterday in Townsville. (ABC News: Mark Jeffery)

Queensland’s population has tipped the 5 million mark today, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has told State Parliament.

Ms Palaszczuk said several expectant families were on standby to welcome the state’s five-millionth resident.

“Somewhere today a brand new mum and dad will be eager to meet their new arrival,” she told the house.

“The whole family will want to know: is it a boy or is it a girl? And the doctor will say, ‘congratulations, it’s a Queenslander’.”

Ms Palaszczuk said the two main drivers of the increase were migration growth, particularly from New South Wales, and from 60,000 babies being born in the past year.

Queensland's population hits 5 million people today
PHOTO:
 The state’s five-millionth resident was born today.(ABC North Queensland: Nathalie Fernbach)

“Overseas and interstate migration is up by 50,000 people in the past year, 19,000 came from interstate … more than 12,000, or 230 a week, move from New South Wales to Queensland,” she said.

ABS data also revealed the fastest and largest-growing area in Queensland in 2016-17 was Pimpama on the Gold Coast, which grew by 3,000 people.

Large growth also occurred in Jimboomba on Brisbane’s south side and in North Lakes — a suburb north of the city — which both increased by 2,100 people.

Coomera on the Gold Coast and Springfield Lakes in Ipswich also experienced large growth up 1,400 people.

The State Government’s population counter gives a “synthetic estimate” of the number of current Queenslanders, assuming a total population increase of one person every 6 minutes and 22 seconds.

Earlier this year the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) said Queensland’s population was growing at 1.7 per cent and was projected to tick over to 5 million in May.

ABS data released in March also revealed Brisbane was one of the country’s fastest-growing cities and had increased by 48,000 in 2017, hitting 2.4 million people.

Queensland's population hits 5 million people today
PHOTO: The ABS estimated Queensland’s population was growing 1.7 per cent a year. (AAP: Dan Peled)

ABS demography director Anthony Grubb said the state’s population had “come a long way” in the last century.

“In 1901 the population was half a million; a tenth of what it is today… it took 37 years to hit the 1 million milestone in 1938 and another 36 years to reach 2 million in 1974,” he said.

But Mr Grubb said population growth “picked up the pace” after that, taking just 18 years to reach 3 million then only another 14 years to hit 4 million in 2006.

Queensland could be leading growth state in future

Population demographer Dr Elin Charles-Edwards said although Queensland is not currently the fastest growing state, it is possible it could top the leader board later down the track.

‘Not in the short-term, but Queensland is coming up off a relatively subdued growth so perhaps we might be entering an era of more rapid growth,” she said.

Dr Charles-Edwards said the challenges that generally come with increased population could be managed in Queensland.

“As long as we keep up and don’t take our eye off the ball we can continue to absorb quite high levels of growth… but really it’s keeping up with the infrastructure that’s the key challenge,” she said.

Dr Charles-Edwards said it was important to note some parts of the state, particularly in western Queensland, were experiencing population decline.

“While the south-east corner is growing and also many Indigenous communities are growing, other parts of the state are shrinking,” she said.

“Perhaps we could do more to encourage people to move outside the south-east corner.

“If we were able to work out some way to decentralise our population, growth a little bit further up into the northern regional centres, I think that would benefit the growth of south-east Queensland.”

Source: brisbaneinvestor.com.au

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APRA to end cap on property investor loan growth

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APRA to end cap on property investor loan growth

APRA is removing the 10 per cent ‘speed limit’ on investor loan growth.
Photo: Louise Kennerley


The banking regulator is axing a 10 per cent speed limit on bank lending to property investors, saying the cap has served its purpose and improved credit standards.

With Sydney house prices falling and credit growth slowing, the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority on Thursday said it would remove the cap for bank boards that could prove they had been following its guidelines on prudent lending.

In late 2014, amid a surge in borrowing by property investors and rapid house price growth, APRA took the rare step of setting a 10 per cent limit on the annual growth in banks’ housing investor loan portfolios.

The measure has rocked the mortgage market in recent years, prompting banks to jack up interest rates for housing investors, and demand borrowers stump up bigger deposits.

But on Thursday, APRA chairman Wayne Byres said it was prepared to remove the measure because there had been an improvement in lending standards and a slowdown in credit growth.

“The temporary benchmark on investor loan growth has served its purpose. Lending growth has moderated, standards have been lifted and oversight has improved,” Mr Byres

Even so, the regulator will retain a separate 2017 policy that requires banks to limit their new interest-only lending to less than 30 per cent of all new home loan approvals.

APRA also said there was “more to do” in improving other aspects of banks’ lending, including how they assessed borrowers’ expenses, their existing debts, and the approval of loans that fell outside of banks’ formal lending policies.

APRA said it expected banks to introduce limits on the proportion of new lending that could be done at “very high” debt-to-income levels.

“In the current environment, APRA supervisors will continue to closely monitor any changes in lending standards,” Mr Byres said.

“The benchmark on interest-only lending will also continue to apply. APRA will consider the need for further changes to its approach as conditions evolve, in consultation with the other members of the Council of Financial Regulators.”

Source: brisbaneinvestor.com.au

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Brisbane’s population picks up, but more people moving to Pimpama

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Brisbane’s population picks up, but more people moving to Pimpama

Brisbane’s population hit 2.4 million in June 2017, according to ABS figures.Source:Supplied

BRISBANE is back among Australia’s fastest-growing cities thanks to a growth spurt, but more people are flocking to areas outside the state’s capital.

New figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show the city’s population grew by 48,000 in the year to June 2017 to hit 2.4 million — the fastest rate of growth in four years.

Brisbane’s population picks up, but more people moving to Pimpama

Suburban homes in Brisbane’s southwest.Source:News Corp Australia

In Brisbane, net overseas migration was the biggest contributor to the surge, with 38 per cent of the population growth coming from overseas.

Births accounted for 37 per cent of the growth, while interstate migration accounted for 25 per cent.

The fastest and largest-growing area in Queensland is Pimpama on the Gold Coast, which grew by 3000 people or 31 per cent in 2016-17.

Brisbane’s population picks up, but more people moving to Pimpama
An aerial shot of Pimpama on the northern end of the Gold Coast. Picture: skyepicsaerialphotography.Source:Supplied

Net internal migration was the main driver of growth, accounting for almost 90 per cent of population change.

Other areas to experience significant population growth include Jimboomba on the southern outskirts of Brisbane, North Lakes-Mango Hill in the Moreton Bay region, Coomera on the Gold Coast and Springfield Lakes in Ipswich.

 Brisbane’s population picks up, but more people moving to Pimpama

Springfield Lakes has experienced strong population growth, according to the ABS.Source:News Limited

Ripley in Ipswich, the inner Brisbane suburb of Newstead and Peregian Springs on the Sunshine Coast were the fastest growing areas in the state in 2016-17.

ABS demography director Anthony Grubb said the latest population estimates were the first to include data on the components driving population growth in capital cities and regions.

“It is now possible to not only see how much population is changing in an area, but to understand why this change is occurring”, he said.

Michael Matusik, director of independent property advisory Matusik Property Insights, believes Queensland’s improving population growth should impact house prices, but it hadn’t so far because the state’s economy also needed to improve.

Brisbane’s population picks up, but more people moving to Pimpama

Houses in Ipswich, where areas like Springfield and Ripley are experiencing strong population growth.Source:News Limited

Mr Matusik told The Courier-Mail Pimpama’s population was growing at a rate he didn’t believe was sustainable.

“It’s a reflection of where land supply is on the Gold Coast at the moment and I think that will calm down,” he said.

“But if the Gold Coast is going to continue expanding, those areas will become more like North Lakes in due course.”

Sydney’s population grew by just over 100,000 people in one year for the first time, taking that city’s total numbers to 5.1 million.

Australia’s big east coast cities carried most of the growth — Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane accounted for over 70 per cent of Australia’s population increase.

Darwin, Adelaide and Perth grew at 1 per cent or less.

TOP FIVE POPULATION GROWTH AREAS IN QLD

Suburb Population change 2016-17 Population as at June 30, 2017

1. Pimpama, Gold Coast 30.8% 12,586

2. Jimboomba 7.9% 28,639

3. North Lakes-Mango Hill 6.7% 33,225

4. Coomera 10.3% 15,227

5. Springfield Lakes 8.7% 17,468

(Source: ABS)

Source: www.news.com.au

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