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Ipswich to be Queensland’s fastest-growing area over next 25 years



IPSWICH is shaping to be Queensland’s fastest-growing city over the next 25 years, after recording the ­highest increase in residential dwelling approvals in the state.

The State Government and Ipswich City Council agree there will be an explosion in population growth and the most recent Australian Bureau of Statistics data supports this with dwelling approvals surging by 34.7 per cent since last year.

But they disagree on the number of jobs that will be generated in the city.

The state’s recent draft South East Queensland Regional Plan forecasts that 327,000 more people will call Ipswich home by 2041 (up from 193,000) but there will be only 65,000 new jobs.

It predicts a future city of commuters who travel back and forth to jobs in Brisbane.

That in itself creates infrastructure challenges through increased pressure on the already strained Ipswich Motorway and public transport system.


While Mayor Paul Pisasale believes the State Government needs to urgently address these issues, his council pictures a future a lot different to the regional plan’s vision.

“I’m working towards 400,000 jobs, not 65,000,” Cr Pisasale said.

“Every day I say one thing in the morning, ‘create jobs, create jobs, create jobs’.”

While 400,000 is beyond a realistic scope, Cr Pisasale believes a higher proportion of the population can be employed in Ipswich by 2041.

To achieve their goal, council is encouraging expanded retail to meet population growth demands, a boost in entrepreneurship and growing existing industry strengths underpinned by Defence, food processing and transport.

The council plans to accommodate this around a series of employment hubs rather than a single CBD.

This week the council released the final blueprint for its $150 million Ipswich City Square renewal project, which will begin next year.

The council owns the majority of the buildings in the square and will demolish several to create an open space and entertainment precinct that is more of a recreational area than retail hub.


“Every CBD around the country is struggling, so we decided to go for a city of centres,” Cr Pisasale said.

“We’ve given the city a heart transplant and are allowing other CBDs like Springfield, Ripley, Brassall, Yamanto and Goodna to develop as strong regional centres.”

Innovation is being encouraged through the council’s Fire Station 101 – a start-up incubator set up in the city’s old fire station this year. Sixty-one members have joined since March.

Commercial developers have responded to the increase in residential projects around the city.

“Next week alone I’m opening two new shopping centres in Ipswich,” Cr Pisasale said.

That includes the Redbank Plains Town Square, which has grown from about 6000sq m to 27,000sq m and will feature 67 stores including Coles, Target, Woolworths and Aldi.

FKG Group senior safety adviser Dan Turnbull said he had inducted 3000 workers on the site, which had about 220 construction workers at a time.

The construction jobs and retail jobs left afterwards are part of the ­answer to growing Ipswich’s economy, Cr Pisasale said.

“Ipswich has got to be part of a ­solution in southeast Queensland ­because if Ipswich doesn’t grow and other regional cities don’t grow, the city of Brisbane becomes congested,” he said.

“We’ve got to start taking some of the big industries like we are doing with TNT, DB Schenker, Northline, Bombardier.”

With hundreds of thousands of Ipswich residents predicted to be employed in Brisbane, infrastructure would need to be seriously upgraded.

“We will take this population but we can’t do it without some support and we need the infrastructure,” Cr Pisasale said.

“Public transport in Queensland is rubbish.

“You can’t stop the railway line at Springfield, you’ve got to keep it going to Ripley, you’ve got to keep it going to the RAAF base and then loop back into the city.”

RAAF base Amberley is itself undergoing a $1.5 billion upgrade and will be home to 2000 more base staff.

But already roads to the base are failing to meet the demand.


The Sunday Mail understands the State Government is close to contributing funding to an upgrade of the Cunningham Highway between Yamanto and Ebenezer Creek.

It will deliver a new interchange, connecting the Cunningham Hwy, Centenary Motorway extension and Western Ipswich Bypass but would require federal funding.

The State Government has already set aside $200 million for Ipswich Motorway upgrades and $44 million in capital works projects at local schools.

It has also committed in-principle support for a major upgrade to the Ipswich Turf Club.

State Member for Ipswich Jennifer Howard said recent ABS data showing dwelling ­approvals to October had risen from 3428 to 4618 was proof of the city’s ­future and ability to create jobs.

“The great news locally is that Ipswich is leading the state,” she said.

City-within-city punches above weight

A BOOMING micro-economy has given Greater Springfield an unemployment rate that’s half that of Ipswich as a whole.

New analysis of the economic impact of the city-within-a-city shows that almost half of all the jobs growth in Ipswich over the past 15 years has been created in the private development.

“The heavy lifting has been done by us,” Greater Springfield Corporation founder and chairman Maha Sinnathamby said.

The jobless rate among the master-planned community’s 34,000 residents is 3.8 per cent, compared to 7.8 per cent across the Ipswich region.

The report by consultants Urbis says the 8800 jobs created in Greater Springfield between 2001 and 2016 account for 43 per cent of the region’s jobs growth in the same period.

Mr Sinnathamby, who turned 77 yesterday, said the community’s success demonstrated the power of establishing a private corporation to generate and implement a vision for growth.

“But only if it’s the right developer. You have to have a long-term commitment. You must have a social conscience and an obligation to building a better society.’’


Now in its 25th year, Greater Springfield is on course for a population of 130,000 by 2035.

Mr Sinnathamby said it would be up to future residents to decide if they want to remain part of Ipswich or become a city in their own right.

While many large housing developments around the state were “parasitic’’ – feeding off infrastructure and facilities provided by ratepayers and taxpayers – 90 per cent of the investment in Greater Springfield was private money, Mr Sinnathamby said.

“A lot of money flows from here and is used to upgrade other parts of Ipswich.’’

The Urbis report says the $400 million of construction expenditure in the Greater Springfield/Redbank corridor during 2015-16 was the sixth highest per capita across the state, excluding Brisbane – outstripping cities including Townsville, Rockhampton, Mackay and Bundaberg.

Mr Sinnathamby said the total economic benefit generated by the community was $600 million a year, “and increasing at 18 to 20 per cent per annum’’.

Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale said: “Greater Springfield is a major economic powerhouse and one of our key regional centres,’’ but he said it was part of a bigger Ipswich story and should remain part of the city.

“The last thing people want is more politicians.’’

The growth across the whole region was ‘’incredible’’ and Ipswich’s expansion was lifting the pressure off Brisbane. The emerging Ripley Valley would be even bigger than Springfield.




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Market Place

Queensland’s population hits 5 million people today



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
 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.”


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Market Place

APRA to end cap on property investor loan growth



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.”


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



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.


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)


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