IN A CENTURY-old factory down a grassy street in Blackstone, O’Connell Agencies owner Kaitlyn Moore is bringing manufacturing back to Ipswich.
Nine machines housed on the factory’s ground floor turn strips of PVC into concrete column forms, ready to be shipped out to high-rise buildings under construction across Australia.
After taking it over 14 years ago, Ms Moore has turned the former import business into Australia’s biggest PVC column form manufacturer.
Her business has supplied some of the biggest construction projects in the country, including the 46-storey Queensland Government Executive Building and the 300m Homebush Bay Bridge in Sydney.
“My dad is a formworker, so I guess construction is in my blood,” Ms Moore said.
“I just love to see multi-level buildings going up or bridges going up – that’s the biggest thrill for me.”
The forms act as a mould to pour concrete in once on site, and each one is manufacturing specifically for each project.
“There’s a huge amount of engineering that goes into this product,” Ms Moore said.
Until last year, O’Connell Agencies was a Brisbane business with Ipswich employees.
But when an employee urged her to consider buying the vacant factory on Mary St, Ms Moore took the chance to move her business to the city she grew up in.
“It’s great to be back in Ipswich,” she said.
“Because of the strategic location of Ipswich, which is the centre of south-east Queensland, I’m able to tap into very large projects.”
Ms Moore decided to make the switch from importing five years ago thanks to a busy market and a belief in the manufacturing industry.
“Importing from China became very popular and I faced a lot of competition,” she said.
“I looked at a product that couldn’t be imported easily and had to be fabricated here…so I looked at columns.”
Her business has only grown from there and can now make column forms with a diameter of 600mm right up to 1.8m.
She said the next machine would arrive in coming months and could manufacture forms measuring up to 3.6m across.
“That’s for really big bridges and major infrastructure projects,” Ms Moore said.
She hopes to supply multi-level buildings in the Ipswich CBD and tap into projects such as the new casino planned in Brisbane.
The business has also expanded into manufacturing square column forms.
Ms Moore and her staff are now experimenting with new sizes for square columns to put themselves on the forefront of a building trend she expects to expand rapidly.
“I think it’s a bit of a sleeping giant and it start to really explode over the next couple of years,” she said.
Ms Moore said the team of 18 Ipswich staff were an invaluable part of the business’s success.
“My team are central to what I do,” she said.
“I appreciate being back in my home base and so do my staff.”
The mum of three said success in business was not about making money.
“It is difficult and it is constant, but you have to have the courage to do it,” she said.
“You have to be following your passions in life, and mine just happens to be columns.”
O’Connell Agencies will host an open day at the Mary St factory this Friday from 2pm-6pm.
Original Publish: http://www.qt.com.au/
Development Update: $67m Springfield Central Sports Complex
A $67 million sporting development in Greater Springfield, an urban growth corridor located south west of Brisbane’s metropolitan area, is on track to open this year.
The developer of Greater Springfield says it is “cementing itself as one of Australia’s super sporting meccas” with its new Springfield Central Sports Complex slated to open to the public mid-year.
The new sporting facility, which neighbours Springfield Central State High School and St Peter’s Lutheran College, also joins the recent announcement of the $70 million Brisbane Lions AFLW stadium announced in January.
Springfield’s current population sits around 41,000 with this figure predicted to triple in size by 2030.
Rewind to 1992, when Greater Springfield founder Maha Sinnathamby purchased the 7000-acre parcel of land — today’s Springfield — which no developer wanted to touch.
Sinnanthamby says the region has a growing student population.
“There are currently 11,000 students in Greater Springfield, with that number expected to grow by 1200 each year moving forward,” the Springfield Land Corporation chairman said.
The developer says Greater Springfield is Australia’s first masterplanned greenfield city since Canberra, and to date it has seen $15 billion worth of infrastructure invested.
“We have a supersized CBD and an employment target of one job for every three residents,” Sinnathamby said.
The new sporting development will feature four ovals, 16 netball courts, eight fields, eight tennis courts, an athletics track as well as clubhouses and playgrounds.
City Deal a $58bn ‘Game Changer’ for Southeast Queensland
South-east Queensland could be green-lit for the biggest “city deal” in Australia, with a $58 billion proposal to guide its growth, and the prime minister announcing his support for the major plan.
With a focus on supporting diverse sectors within the region including housing and planning, tourism, manufacturing and education, the SEQ City Deal could also pave the way for government-owned land to be opened for development.
Queensland deputy premier Jackie Trad this week released Transforming SEQ, which highlights 35 “opportunities” that could be considered as part of the future City Deal, including six “game changers” for the region.
“Modelling by KPMG has shown a SEQ City Deal could stimulate an increase of up to $58 billion in our economy by improving the productivity and competitiveness of the region,” Trad said.
Prime minister Scott Morrison will be meeting with the SEQ Mayors and Queensland government to discuss the proposal this week.
The City Deal, which involves all three levels of government — council, state and federal — would see government working on priorities to drive the SEQ economy.
Under a City Deal plan, all three levels of government sign an agreement to set the priority infrastructure projects and initiatives.
Integrated land-use planning approach?
Property Council chief executive Ken Morrison described the announcement as “a game-changer for the region.
“Our growing cities and urban regions are the engine rooms of the Australian economy,” Morrison said.
“The city deal model brings together all levels of government around the same plan to boost productivity and jobs through targeted investment in city-shaping projects and infrastructure.”
Property Council Queensland director Chris Mountford said the council has been collaborating with state government and SEQ councils for nearly six years on the potential for a city deal.
“The State and local governments have also agreed in principle to a more coordinated integrated land-use planning approach,”
“Opening up under-utilised government-owned land for development has also been agreed as a clear opportunity to unlock economic activity, create jobs and build business confidence.”
The region’s current 3.5 million population is forecast to increase to 5.3 million within the next 25 years, ultimately requiring an extra 800,000 homes and additional one million jobs.
Focus has been placed on the recently released people mass movement study which identifies the impact of the expected population growth on the region’s ability to cope with future transport demand.
Minister for Cities Alan Tudge said he, along with the prime minister, will be meeting with the SEQ Mayors to discuss the Deal.
“We need to cater for this rising population and the SEQ City Deal will be a huge step forward,” Tudge said.
South-east Queensland is already home to over two-thirds of the state’s population.
The region is home to nearly one in every seven Australians.
The agreement marks the second city deal for Queensland following the policy being first established in Townsville.
So far, city deals have been developed for Western Sydney, Townsville and Launceston, and a further four more are currently under negotiation in Adelaide, Hobart, Perth and Geelong.
$63b infrastructure plan to keep SEQ moving till 2041
It’s going to cost $63.7 billion to keep South East Queensland moving over the next two decades, according to a study released today by the region’s mayors.
The population of the region is expected to grow by about 1.8 million people to more than five million people by 2041, putting extraordinary demand on the already strained transport network.
The SEQ People Mass Movement Study lists a total of 47 projects designed to keep city-to-city trips under 45 minutes and urban commutes under 30 minutes, including a faster rail network connecting the Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast via Brisbane and west to Ipswich and Toowoomba.
Brisbane Lord Mayor Graham Quirk said the infrastructure plan, coined the Strategic Transport Road Map, would keep the region “economically productive” while maintaining its liveability.
“Business as normal is not going to work, we need to increase the amount of money that is being spent in South East Queensland,” Cr Quirk said.
He said the plan would require an average expenditure of about $2.7 billion per year until 2041, which he said was “not an unrealistic figure”.
“What we are seeing in Sydney and Melbourne right now is this massive spend on infrastructure. That’s because they allowed it to get too far behind. We cannot do that in South East Queensland.”
He said there had been no shortage of plans for the region’s transport network, but it was time for all levels of government to unite with a shared vision.
Redland City mayor Karen Williams said the plan delivered the projects over a “reasonable amount of time with a reasonable amount of investment”.
“It’s not a matter of ‘can we afford this?’ It’s the fact that we can’t afford not to do it,” Cr Williams said.
Faster Rail is not as fast as high speed rail, which delivers speeds up to 350km/h, but could run at about 160km/h with top speeds of up to 200-250kmh, with limited stops.
It would be connected to the light rail networks on the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast in order to ease congestion on major arterials.
Other projects include the Brisbane Metro, Cross River Rail and road upgrades, including the Pacific, Sunshine, Centenary, Ipswich and Logan motorways and the Bruce, Warrego and Mt Lindesay highways.
The study also took into account emerging technologies including autonomous vehicles.
It was first proposed in 2016, and began in September 2017, with the aim of bringing together multiple local, state and national transport studies into one cohesive plan.
The South East Queensland region takes in the Brisbane City, Ipswich City, Lockyer Valley Regional, Logan City, Moreton Bay, Redland City, Scenic Rim Regional, Somerset Regional, Sunshine Coast and Toowoomba Regional council areas.