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/
Real estate market in southeast Queensland has made a comeback since the GFC
LAST week with the family in tow, we ventured up the Bruce Highway to the Sunshine Coast.
I was calling auctions at Maroochydore for a number of offices on the coast, so we decided to mix business and pleasure and make a holiday out of it.
It was no small auction event either. The offices had amassed 66 properties from entry level units, canal front homes and even beach front penthouses!
I was calling the auctions with my regular coastal auctioneering partner Dan Sowden, principal at Ray White Maroochydore and the day was decorated with highlights.
But the value on the Sunshine Coast, and again the Queensland market, for me was an absolute stand out.
Bidding on one apartment in particular, 119/223 Weyba Rd, Noosaville, paused at $85,000. It’s a studio apartment and while it wasn’t sitting next to, Sails, on Hastings Street, it’s not in the middle of nowhere either.
I couldn’t believe the numbers I was calling out. When no one pushed beyond $85,000 we made the recommendation to pass the property in and I see it’s now listed at $102,000. Unbelievable!
We also sold the million dollar plus penthouses and the glamour properties too. It took us about six hours and the event was filled with excitement and drama.
But it’s the value story that I think will surprise many people, it certainly surprised me.
The Sunshine Coast has a relaxed holiday lifestyle, it has amazing beaches and world class restaurants.
So with all that on offer there will always be multimillion-dollar homes on the Sunshine Coast, but sub $100,000 properties, even sub $300,000 properties are a genuine reality for the discerning buyer
Every school holiday, and as we step closer to Christmas, many Aussie’s will do what we did this week and head to the beach. They will likely have had to pay a peak season rate for their accommodation and quite often that can spark the idea of buying a holiday house.
The Sunshine Coast was one of the hardest hit markets in the GFC, this impact is still showing value today. If the dinner table conversation involves a coastal retreat, before you squash it on account of affordability, I’d head to realestate.com.au or grab a copy of the Sunshine Coast Daily, you too might be surprised by the value, there appears to be property for all budgets.
Originally published as Coast tourist hot spot where bargains can be found
Where you can rent in Brisbane for only $400 a week
While renters in southern capitals such as Sydney and Melbourne worry about how to pay each week – let alone how to save a home deposit – Brisbane tenants can affordably rent within cooee of the city.
Domain Group data shows that there are 14 suburbs in the Brisbane City Council area with median rental prices of just $400 per week.
While renting an affordable unit can see you living within a couple of kilometres of the CBD, middle-ring houses in suburbs such as Upper Mount Gravatt and Oxley can also be leased affordably, according to the data.
Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ) CEO Antonia Mercorella said Brisbane offered tenants the “best of both worlds” due to the affordability of desirable rental locations.
“Probably one of the strongest benefits is that you don’t have to go very far from the CBD to reach an affordable price point,” she said.
“Suburbs such as Bowen Hills, Cannon Hill, Kelvin Grove, Morningside and New Farm are all well serviced by public transport and are all within five kilometres of the CBD – you would never get that in Sydney or Melbourne.”
Some of the suburbs have more than just proximity to the city to offer, she said.
Kelvin Grove has some of Brisbane’s best schools and is very well serviced with public transport options, Ms Mercorella said.
“Springfield Lakes is one of the most popular new areas, and at the last Census was one of our fastest growing regions in Australia,” she said.
“It is a master-planned community that offers families a lifestyle option – lakefront living with a community feel.
“Morningside is a suburb in transformation, with a number of new small-lot developments renewing the area. It is also a suburb in close proximity to the prestige Hawthorne and Bulimba pocket at more affordable prices.”
Ray White New Farm’s Haesley Cush said inner-city tenant demand continued to grow strongly, with unit rental prices softer due to the ample supply of new apartments that had hit the market.
“Developers were so intent on letting out their properties because they had rental guarantees … that incentives came into the rental market for residential property for the first time in as long as I can remember,” he said.
“That put downward pressure on mum and dad investors with older units to compete with a brand-new unit where the developer not only has a better product in a lot of ways, but they were also offering incentives.”
Mr Cush said the new competition resulted in rents falling by about 30 per cent in New Farm. Lower interest rates were lessening the financial impact on landlords, however.
With supply of new units still high, most landlords were opting to retain their existing tenants and slowly increase the rent over time rather than take a punt on the open market, he said.
Mr Cush said southern buyers and renters were starting to stake their claim on the Brisbane rental and sales markets.
“I do think they won’t return once they get up here. The weather is better, school fees are cheaper, and it’s not the compromise in lifestyle for the difference in price,” he said.
“It does have less people, you don’t get as good a meal on a Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday, and you can’t dine after 9.30pm still in most places, but for what is in some cases half the rent and sales price, we’re not talking about half the lifestyle.”
SEQ begins big push for a billion-dollar City Deal
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk (left) and Treasurer Jackie Trad are pushing for a City Deal for south-east Queensland.
Photo: AAP/Dan Peled
Political delays dogging infrastructure projects will be history if talks on Tuesday morning cement a new billion-dollar 15-year City Deal for south-east Queensland between all three levels of government.
Such a deal could benefit 3 million people catching trains and buses, driving on highways, building businesses, looking for housing, and finding school and universities between the Sunshine and Gold coasts and west to Toowoomba.
Deputy premier Jackie Trad and Brisbane’s lord mayor Graham Quirk will on Tuesday morning outline how close the 10 south-east Queensland councils – Brisbane, Ipswich, Logan, Moreton Bay, Redland, Scenic Rim, Somerset, Sunshine Coast, Toowoomba and Lockyer Valley – are to signing Australia’s largest City Deal with the federal government.
Australia now has three City Deals backed by the federal government: Townsville (2016), Launceston (April 2017) and Western Sydney (March 2018).
Cr Quirk, the chairman of Council of Mayors (SEQ) that represents the region’s local governments, described a City Deal for the area as “a dramatic change”.
“The power of aligning the efforts of all levels of government and securing a long-term program of investment in our region will be a game changer,” Cr Quirk said.
“For the first time, all levels of government will be working in unison to protect and enhance the prosperity and liveability of south-east Queensland.”
Brisbane’s lord mayor Graham Quirk begins a campaign for a City Deal funding package for 10 councils on Tuesday morning.
Photo: Fairfax Media
A City Deal binds the three levels of government — federal, state and local — as a group to agree to a 15-year rolling funding program of infrastructure projects that a fast-growing region needs.
As projects provide a lift in land value, that financial uplift is identified, captured and then re-invested into the infrastructure funding pool, under a model first identified in Manchester in 2012 and then in Brisbane in 2014.
In April 2018, Cr Quirk and Ms Trad met the federal government’s new Cities and Urban Infrastructure minister Paul Fletcher, when they first put forward the SEQ City Deal.
All parties described those 2018 talks as “positive”.
Cr Quirk and Ms Trad will begin the public push for the SEQ City Deal at a business breakfast at Brisbane’s Convention and Exhibition Centre on Tuesday.
“We secured Australia’s first ever City Deal in Townsville, which is paying dividends with projects like the North Queensland Stadium, delivered through the City Deal,” Ms Trad said.
“That is under construction and on track to be open for the start of the 2020 NRL season.”
Townsville’s City Deal is a 15-year arrangement, while Launceston’s is a five-year deal and Western Sydney’s is a 20-year deal.
The federal government is tipped to announce City Deals for Geelong and Darwin by September 2018, allowing planners to work on Hobart, Perth and south-east Queensland over 18 months.
How could it help?
It locks in project funds over 15 to 20 years, moving them away from political promises, which are subject to election outcomes. It could remove election squabbling over the same project.
It sets out a timetable for projects allowing the private sector to invest more confidently.
It could help the next generation of infrastructure projects, after the Pacific Motorway, Cross River Rail and Brisbane Metro projects were all delayed by politics, angering voters.
It has also been mentioned as a way of funding Moreton Bay’s new university campus at Petrie and breathing life into the Brisbane River’s Resilient Rivers proposal.
What is Townsville’s experience after 18 months?
The Townsville City Deal was signed on December 9, 2016. It is a 15-year agreement.
Work has begun on stage two of the 25,000-seat $250 million North Queensland Stadium. It will be finished for the 2020 rugby league season. It is funded by the federal and state governments, and Townsville City Council.
The Queensland government has promised $250 million for new water supply for Townsville.
A business case for new Townsville Port facilities is almost finished and the Queensland government has pledged $75 million for port upgrade.
Townville mayor Jenny Hill said choosing the right projects was essential to make a City Deal effective.
“The City Deal provides a roadmap for delivery that breaks the political cycle so it is very important to choose the right projects or areas for reform that will make the biggest difference to a city or region,” Cr Hill said.
“All three levels of government also need to buy into the key priorities of the local area that are included in any City Deal.”
Townsville Mayor Jenny Hill on top of Castle Hill with Townsville in the background.
SEQ City Deal – the background
- May 2012: Co-funding model idea began in United Kingdom.
- June 2015: Queensland prepares its own case for City Deals after Ms Trad looked at the UK City Deals idea in Manchester.
- 2016: Council of Mayors (SEQ), Queensland Property Council and the Queensland government put a plan together.
- November 2016: Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk signed a memorandum of understanding with prime minister Malcolm Turnbull in November 2016 to develop “tailored City Deals” for Queensland.
- February 2017: Ms Trad and Cr Quirk wrote to then-federal cities minister Angus Taylor, agreeing to a joint submission.
- Late 2017: A Cities Transformation TaskForce established in Brisbane.
- June 2018: Queensland’s major contractors called for a City Deal.