A French company that has developed and launched driverless electric shuttle buses in 20 countries will next week trial their driverless electric mini-bus at Springfield near Ipswich.
This follows trials along the Esplanade at Mooloolaba in December 2017 and their introduction at big business sites in California and Singapore in 2015.
They have also been trialled in Canberra and Darwin.
Overseas, the fully electric vehicles are used on airports and on large commercial sites to shift employees around the work sites.
Each shuttle costs about $320,000 but can carry 12 people – six seated, six standing – up to 45km/h.
When fully charged they can run for 14 hours from their lithium-ion battery, which charges overnight in eight hours.
They have no steering wheel and use sensors on each corner to “read” the roadway, objects in front, back or beside the vehicle.
The company is called EasyMile, which was put together in 2014 and now has launched driverless shuttle buses in the Asia-Paciﬁc region, the Middle East, North America and Europe.
The same model – the EasyMile’s EZ10 electric shuttle – is coming to Ipswich.
Ipswich City Council is trialling one of the driverless shuttle buses around its Orion water theme park lagoon near the Orion Shopping Centre on John Nugent Drive at Springfield next week from Monday.
EasyMile spokesman Simon Pearce said anybody could ride the shuttle during the public demonstration times next week.
“The loop along John Nugent Way takes about five minutes, so it’s a great way to get a taste for what the future of public transport might be like,” Mr Pearce said.
Mr Pearce previously told News Corp the driverless shuttles used sensors to detect things around the vehicle.
“It operates completely autonomously, so no steering wheel, no driver’s seat, no accelerator, no brake,” Mr Pearce said.
“On each corner we have sensors which detect the road (and) they detect if people are walking in front of the vehicle.”
Their website says the company hopes to provide “a powerful in-house ﬂeet management solution for autonomous vehicles”.
“(We can) provide smart mobility solutions for transporting passengers or logistics on private sites, urban, suburban or rural areas in diverse environments.”
Ipswich’s mayor Andrew Antoniolli said the city was interested in electric vehicles and had begun to install electric vehicle chargers on several of its light poles.
“The demonstration of this driverless technology is a long-term transport prospect and one we are certainly investigating.”
In September 2017, Ipswich City Council and the state government announced plans to recruit 500 motorists for a trial where their cars are fitted with technology allowing them adjust to information from road signs, or new road safety warnings, or queues.
“For example, a pedestrian crossing at a signalised intersection, a red light runner or a queue ahead,” Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said in September 2017.
“These rapidly developing co-operative and automated vehicle technologies could significantly reduce crashes and congestion and also reduce vehicle emissions and fuel use.”
Queenslanders will be encouraged to raise and wet-proof their homes to protect against damage from floods, while temporary barriers could protect parts of the Brisbane CBD from inundation.
A flood-resilient building guide has been released by the state government alongside a new Brisbane River Strategic Floodplain Management Plan.
The guidelines for property owners are non-mandatory and do not replace requirements under the Building Act.
It includes recommendations for flood-resilient design options, such as elevating the finished floor level, wet-proofing the house to allow water to enter and leave without causing significant damage, dry-proofing to prevent water from entering a building, ventilation to prevent mould, and permeable fencing.
Home builders could also use rainwater tanks to store storm water that may otherwise contribute to flooding.
State Development Minister Cameron Dick said home owners were encouraged to talk to a licensed builder or architect about the guide and how they could incorporate flood-resilience strategies into their homes to reduce the cost and impact of future floods.
Meanwhile, the strategic plan, created with the Brisbane, Ipswich, Somerset and Lockyer Valley councils, Queensland government and Seqwater, includes 52 recommendations to strengthen flood resilience of communities in the Brisbane River flood plain.
It suggests consideration of temporary flood barriers in the Brisbane CBD and South Brisbane to prevent flooding.
“The temporary nature of the barriers means that they can be deployed in locations that are normally used for other purposes such as roadways,” the strategic plan reads.
Initial assessments suggested temporary flood barriers could provide flood immunity up to the one in 100-year flood level for South Brisbane and one in 200 years for the Brisbane CBD.
Consideration should also be given to a flood gate which could be installed along Marsden Parade in the Ipswich CBD to prevent backwater flooding from the Bremer River.
“When the flood gates are closed, the rail embankment would act as a temporary dam wall and prevent flooding of low-lying land, being the Ipswich CBD,” the report reads.
It also suggests Goodna could be protected from a one in 100-year flood through the installation of a flood wall levee along the Ipswich Motorway.
Ipswich City Council chief executive David Farmer said the flood gate and levee options would undergo feasibility testing as part of the development of a flood plain management plan for Ipswich.
The report estimates that during a one in 100-year flood in the Brisbane River flood plain, 17,300 buildings would be flooded, two-thirds of which would be in the Brisbane City Council area.
Out of that total, 12,000 were expected to be flooded above the main habitable floor level.
A one in 100-year flood would cost $6.8 billion, which was comparable to damages from the 2011 floods.
Mr Dick said the strategic plan was produced following the 2011 floods.
“Those floods left a deep scar across south-east Queensland and across those communities and families as well,” he said.
Mr Dick said as a result of the plan, councils would be better placed to make decisions about where development could and could not occur.
“It’s increased the capacity of councils to make proper planning decisions, for example, councils could take action such as acquiring land … that is zoned as urban, and acquire it and rezone it for non-urban purposes,” he said.
Mr Dick said while floods could not be prevented, the impacts on properties could be reduced.
“This [plan] has taken four years to produce – there’s been 50,000 computer model simulation and we’ve researched 134,000 properties that have been affected by flooding,” he said.
Councils will use the strategic plan to inform their flood plain management plans.
Suburbs with a median house price of $300,000 or less are on the verge of extinction in Greater Brisbane. So, where can you still buy property for that price in 2019?
SUBURBS with a median house price of $300,000 or less are on the verge of extinction across Brisbane.
Figures from property researcher CoreLogic show house prices in some of the city’s most affordable postcodes experienced above average growth over the past year, leading to a drop in sales at lower price points.
Only 1.7 per cent of properties in Brisbane changed hands for less than $200,000 in 2018.
In 2019, there are no longer any suburbs in the Brisbane local government area with a median house price of $300,000 or less.
Across Greater Brisbane, there are now only 19 mainland suburbs with a median house price under $300,000, whereas there were double that number a decade ago.
The last affordable havens can be found in the Ipswich suburbs of Riverview, Dinmore and One Mile, in the Logan locations of Kingston, Logan Central and Woodridge and in Caboolture South in Moreton Bay.
The median house price in Greater Brisbane is now $532,000, according to CoreLogic.
More than a third of sales in Brisbane during 2018 were between $400,000 and $600,000, while 7.8 per cent were at $1 million or more.
CoreLogic senior analyst Cameron Kusher said that was a drastic change from the state of affairs over the past couple of decades, with the majority of sales in 1993 and 1998 coming in below $200,000.
“Over time, there has been a steady climb in the share of sales across the more expensive price points,” Mr Kusher said.
“While you’d expect this in the markets that have seen strong value growth such as Sydney, Melbourne and Hobart, we have also seen it across markets where value growth has been much weaker.”
Mr Kusher said that even though he expected slightly more sales to occur at lower price points over the next year, he did not expect any material change in the share of sales under $200,000 — in fact they may reduce even further.
Real Estate Institute of Queensland chief executive Antonia Mercorella said Brisbane still had plenty of affordable suburbs with good quality housing compared to Sydney and Melbourne.
“We have so many affordable options in really high growth suburbs,” Ms Mercorella said.
“They’re not going to run out tomorrow.
“And many are still within a 12km to 15km radius of the city, which is pretty mind-blowing compared with Sydney and Melbourne.”
Ms Mercorella said Brisbane’s affordable havens provided great opportunities for entry level property buyers.
“Many people assume a $300,000 house must be a dump, but that’s just not the case in the southeast corner,” she said.
“Low price does not mean low quality.”
Nick Kruger, principal of Your Haven Realty, said there were still plenty of opportunities for first home buyers to get a foot on the property ladder in Riverview, which has the cheapest median house price in Greater Brisbane.
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Mr Kruger said that he had noticed a shift in the buyer profile in the market as a result of the banks cracking down on lending.
“Predominantly, in the past, investors were snapping up these properties for their SMSF because of the good rental returns,” Mr Kruger said.
“Now the banks have cracked down, that’s incentivising a market change.
“It’s better for owner-occupiers now, because they have a chance to get it over investors.
“But in time, obviously these prices will jump so the sooner you can get in, the better.”
He is marketing a three-bedroom house at 57 Price St, Riverview, which is currently leased for $290 a week and is on the market for offers over $245,000.
“That’s a good figure for an investor,” Mr Kruger said.
“At that price point, for a three-bedder on a 600 sqm plus block so close to Redbank Plaza and within 5 minutes walk of sought-after schools, I definitely it’s ideal for first home buyers or young families.”
Single parent Telita Webb has rented the home with three of her children for the past year, but would love to buy the property if she could afford the deposit.
“I love the place; Riverview’s my home,” Ms Webb said.
Chris and Tiffany Campbell live in Bundamba, which is one of greater Brisbane’s last affordable havens — just scraping in with a median house price of $292,752.
The couple are renovating a turn-of-the-century Queenslander, which they recently bought for $315,000.
“Bundamba has a bad wrap; I’m not sure why,” Mrs Campbell said.
“The street we live in is so quiet and full of beautiful, old Queenslanders, and you can see the growth potential.
“I think it is one of those places a lot of people forget about.”
They sold another property last year that they had bought and renovated two years earlier in North Ipswich and made more than $100,000 in profit.
we knew going into it and paying price we did in an up andcoming suburb it was going to be a good investment
Propertyology managing director Simon Pressley said Ipswich was becoming a popular location for property investors because of its affordability, solid rental yields and good infrastructure.
But Mr Pressley said he was not convinced the region had the ability to create the volume of jobs required to put pressure on the local labour market and drive property prices significantly higher.
“One could do worse than investing in Ipswich, however, my overall rating of the Ipswich property market is a middle-of-the-road performer for the feasible future,” Mr Pressley said.
THE SUB $300,000 SUBURBS ON THE VERGE OF EXTINCTION IN 2019:
Suburb Region Median house Change in median Change in median
price Mar 2019 12 mths to Nov 2018 5yrs
1. Riverview Ipswich $256,787 -2.3% 13.7%
2. Dinmore Ipswich $259,481 9.0% 35.2%
3. One Mile Ipswich $260,181 0.0% 15.9%
4. Leichhardt Ipswich $264,565 2.1% 22.5%
5. Rosewood Ipswich $273,359 6.9% 19.2%
6. Logan Central Logan $273,541 -3.4% 26.1%
7. Woodridge Logan $274,352 -1.3% 28.1%
8. Basin Pocket Ipswich $275,769 -4.6% 25.6%
9. Ebbw Vale Ipswich $276,599 -6.1% 20.3%
10. Kingston Logan $285,032 -2.4% 24.2%
11. Goodna Ipswich $285,329 -4.1% 10.8%
12. Tivoli Ipswich $292,168 -2.7% 8.6%
13. Bundamba Ipswich $292,752 4% 14.4%
14. North Booval Ipswich $293,058 4.6% 17.9%
15. Caboolture South Moreton Bay $293,517 0.6% 16.2%
16. Gailes Ipswich $293,572 0.7% 11.8%
17. Churchill Ipswich $295,020 1.1% 7.2%
18. East Ipswich Ipswich $297,405 13% 27.1%
19. Wulkaraka Ipswich $299,733 6% 2.6%
Originally published as What $300K will buy you in 2019