A $15 million upgrade of Queensland Raceway is in the pipeline with Mayor Paul Pisasale set to meet Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk for funding talks.
Ipswich City Council is seeking matched funding of $7.5 million from the Queensland Government for stage one of what is a project of vast scope.
The council has an Ipswich motorsport precinct master plan, marketed as the most significant of its kind in the Pacific and South East Asia.
It includes a $52.34 million expansion of Queensland Raceway, Willowbank Raceway and Ipswich Kart Club.
The plan includes a three-star hotel and motorsport infrastructure consisting of a central hub, speedway facility and off-road facility – a $42.74 million development.
A further investment of $127.54 million in industrial and commercial space and general infrastructure is also in the plan.
The plan’s objective is to maximise commercial and economic benefits to the local and Queensland economy while supporting and facilitating Australia’s burgeoning multi-billion dollar motorsport industry.
The master plan will establish community and commercial uses at the precinct, develop a sustainable funding model to finance operational and management activities and identify opportunities to upgrade services and identify funding opportunities to upgrade services and infrastructure.
The QT has seen an economic statement that says a seven-year construction period would generate more than $138 million to the local economy per year, combined with a construction workforce of more than 200 people.
Deloitte Access is now doing an economic analysis of the benefits to the economy that can be presented to the Premier as compelling reason to open the purse strings and fund the plan.
Council has established a management company – Ipswich Motorsport Precinct Pty Ltd – and has signed a formal agreement with Bathurst Regional Council to drive the redevelopment.
Deputy Mayor Paul Tully said a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Bathurst would promote the sharing of successful motorsport initiatives between the two councils.
Ipswich City Council is working to recruit a general manager for the company who will implement the master plan and control operations at Willowbank.
“This is a golden opportunity to turn this into the greatest motorsport precinct in Australia, as part of Ipswich and close to the capital city,” Cr Tully said.
“This will happen over a number of years, but we have set up a council-owned company with council directors and independent directors.
“We are searching for a general manager for the company and this will put the motorsport precinct on the firmest footing this city has ever had.”
Cr Tully said motorsport was a major economic driver for the region with the Winternationals on their way and the V8 Supercar round of action in July.
“These events bring thousands of people to Ipswich – boosting accommodation providers and tourism operators and filling our restaurants, pubs and clubs,” he said.
The expansion and revamp of the Queensland Raceway has been backed by V8 Supercar legend Craig Lowndes and is vital to securing V8 Supercar rounds in Ipswich.
The drivers want a revamped circuit and an upgrade will allow for more events to be held and make the precinct more economically viable.
“We are working with V8 Supercars to secure a long-term partnership to continue to bring a round of competition to Ipswich,” Cr Tully said.
“We are also looking at opportunities to host more V8 events at the precinct and are working with potential funding partners within the State Government.”
The initial $15 million investment in the upgrade of Queensland Raceway is wanted first by council, with the revenue generated as a result to be reinvested into the site.
Cr Pisasale said motorsport was a great generator of economic growth, jobs and tourism for Ipswich.
“That is why we have been working for many years to provide wonderful product at Willowbank,” he said.
“The company we have set up will develop the precinct and make sure motorsport fulfils its potential. I want to show Annastacia that the motor sport industry can create a lot of jobs out here.
“I want the right environment for the teams to go out there and make it their home and the industries relating to motorsport to base themselves there and create jobs.
“We need to extend the track and make sure we have the right facilities.”
Originally Published On: http://www.ipswichadvertiser.com.au/
BUDGET: Cash splashed to fix Ipswich’s congested highway
ONE of Ipswich’s worst intersections will be fixed with the Federal Government committing to fund an upgrade to the Cunningham Highway.
In his third budget, Treasurer Scott Morrison revealed $170 million would go towards improving the dreaded Amberley Interchange.
The project will include a realignment of the highway between Yamanto and Ebenezer Creek and an upgrade of the Ipswich-Rosewood Rd.
Expansions and growing military activity at RAAF Base Amberley has put pressure on the interchange.
The $170 million funding injection also comes as the Ipswich City Council considers a proposal from Lantrak to move 1 million tonnes of landfill each year to rehabilitate the New Hope coal mine at Jeebropilly.
According to the application more than 250 heavy vehicles would transit the highway each day.
The government says the Cunningham Highway upgrade will “improve travel reliability and reduce congestion”.
It is expected the Queensland Labor Government will match the funding to start the $340 million project.
Federal Labor MP Shayne Neumann confirmed his party would offer bipartisan support and also commit to fixing the highway in a “major boost for the economic capacity of the Ipswich region”.
“The road takes 2700 heavy vehicle movements a day, and plays a significant role in transporting people and freight between Brisbane and Sydney,” he said.
“These vital upgrades to the Cunningham Highway have long been identified on Infrastructure Australia’s Infrastructure Priority List.
“That’s why it’s disappointing the Turnbull LNP Government have had to be dragged kicking and screaming to fund this project.”
Become an entrepreneur
OLDER residents in Ipswich will be encouraged to become entrepreneurs so they can stay in the workforce longer.
The Federal Government will roll out 20 new entrepreneurship facilitators across the regions over the next four years.
Ipswich, along with central Queensland, Ballina and Tweed, will benefit from the program.
The small business experts will teach mature-age people how to start and maintain sustainable businesses.
The Federal Government has set aside $2.7 million in the 2018-19 financial year for the project.
A further $15 million will fund the program until June of 2022.
The government has also committed to continuing the Job Change project that assists mature-age workers to remain in the workforce as retirement and pension ages creep upwards.
Amberley cashes in on Defence spending
RAAF Base Amberley will take a share in millions of dollars in upgrades in the Defence portfolio.
A new Air Traffic Control Radar will be installed at Amberley as part of an estimated $96 million investment in new technology across several bases.
Working accommodation, maintenance, warehousing and training facilities will be built to support the introduction of the Growler Airborne Electronic Attack Capability aircraft.
The project is scheduled for completion by early 2021.
A C-17 maintenance facility, aircraft apron and associated infrastructure will also be constructed.
It is scheduled for completion by early 2019.
Australia’s largest solar farm planned near Ipswich
Somerset already hosts a number of energy projects including hydroelectric plants at Wivenhoe Dam and Splityard Creek Dam.Contributed
AUSTRALIA’S largest solar farm has been proposed for a rural site near Ipswich.
The proposed plant, east of Harlin along the D’Aguilar Highway, would have final capacity of 1,500 megawatts, six times larger than its closest rival.
Plans include two substations and the capacity to hire to 60 people.
The Sunraysia solar farm in NSW is Australia’s largest under construction, at 250 megawatts.
Other Australian solar farms of up to 1,000 megawatts have been proposed.
Somerset Mayor Graeme Lehmann said it was a complex development application from Ethos Urban planning consultants.
The company has been involved in other large infrastructure projects throughout Australia, on behalf of Sunshine Energy Australia Pty Ltd.
“We understand the attractions of the site include its proximity to the existing high voltage power network and proximity to Brisbane,” Cr Lehmann said.
“The site has been largely cleared in the past and is within one hour of the 570 MW pumped storage hydroelectric plant at Splityard Creek which is also in the Somerset Regional Council area.
“The development application includes two substations, facilities for up to 60 employees and provision for battery storage.”
“The application has been referred to various government departments and agencies for their input and we will carefully assess it against our planning scheme like any other proposal.”
Somerset Regional Council is reviewing the application.
Education City link approved by Ipswich Council
A FOOTPATH that will link Springfield’s Education City to the Robelle Domain Parklands in Springfield Central has been approved by Ipswich City Council.
Plans were lodged by Springfield Land Corporation on February 2 this year and first approved on February 26.
However Ipswich City Council did not approve the use of Hoop Pines to landscape the pathway.
After some negotiating a new decision notice was issued on April 9 with the condition stipulating that Hoop Pines were not to be used deleted.
The land where the pathway is being constructed is lot 810 Sinnathamby Boulevard, Springfield Central.
Described as an open space boulevard pathway, the public concrete path and associated landscaping work has been approved in full subject to conditions.
Footpath lighting is to be installed, and a spotter catcher is to be engaged to supervise vegetation removal and ensure any native fauna including native bees are identified and relocated.
The spotter catcher is to submit a report before and after vegetation clearing works are undertaken detailing what wildlife has been identified and preventative and remedial actions taken to ensure animal safety.