With stagnating employment opportunities, Ipswich, west of Brisbane, is looking for export opportunities in new industries.
Queensland’s first region-specific Trade and Investment Queensland (TIQ) officer has been appointed to the city.
One of the first companies to benefit has been Springfield-based Fountx, which will showcase its cutting-edge wearable technology to potential investors in Singapore and the United Arab Emirates in the coming weeks.
Its hands-free system uses a helmet-mounted camera and a near-eye display to allow aviation technicians to interact with remotely-located experts in real time.
General manager Laurence Beraldo said it could potentially enable more timely repairs of grounded aircraft, because it removes the need for specialists to travel.
“What really has helped us is having a TIQ office in the area — it has enabled us to open new doors,” he said.
The company’s taken on a number of staff who live in the region and were trained at local universities.
While unemployment has dropped in the surrounding cities of Brisbane, Toowoomba, Logan and Beaudesert, Ipswich’s jobless rate of 7.6 per cent is the highest in south-east Queensland, and the fourth-highest in the state.
Principal Trade and Investment Officer Julie Mark is already working with more than 80 businesses in the region and believes Ipswich and its surrounds have a strong exporting future.
“A lot of what I am doing is facilitating opportunities and letting them know what is out there and how to increase their productivity to grow their business by exporting,” Ms Mark said.
“Asia is a highlight, there are a lot of opportunities in Singapore, Hong Kong, China and also the Middle East, so the United Arab Emirates.”
While Ms Mark will also work with businesses in the Scenic Rim, Lockyer Valley and Somerset regions, there is a focus on Ipswich, which has a strong manufacturing history.
She said Ipswich’s proximity to Brisbane and population growth are good indicators for future trade.
“It is really attractive for businesses to relocate here, so we are finding that it is really growing,” she said.
“A lot of young start-ups are coming in, and it has been good to be able to see the innovation and the thinking behind starting up in Ipswich and how they are doing some really good things.”
Originally Published: abc.net.au
Seven figure sales show Ipswich is a property gold mine
MANY Ipswich residents may not realise they are sitting on a property gold mine, with two homes snatching seven figures in the past few months.
A home in Waghorn St in Woodend sold in November for $1.09 million, while just up the road a home in Burnett St sold for $1.11 million this month.
June Frank from Walkers Real Estate believes it is further proof that Ipswich is becoming a destination for home buyers looking for value in their investment.
“The replacement value alone along with the huge block means that they represented great value for money,” Ms Frank, who handled both sales, said.
“If you’d have bought that house in Waghorn St and done all the work that the owners had done over the last 20 years in a short time you’d be looking at a sale price of $1.8 million to get your money back.
“I’m finding families from Brisbane all the time at open homes. You go to the northside of Brisbane and for $700,000 you’re lucky to get a two or three-bedroom home, but here you can buy a palace for $500,000 on a big block.”
Local agent and Real Estate Institute of Queensland representative Darren Boettcher believes the fact Ipswich now has million dollar homes it will drive the prices up from the bottom, not the top down.
“A few years ago you could pick up a property for under $100,000,” Mr Boettcher said.
“Then it crept up to $150,000 and I think 18 months from now you won’t get anything in Ipswich for under $250,000 the way things are going. While the average price in Ipswich is now $320,000, it really is a seller’s market.”
“Things are moving up in Ipswich. When I got into this business in 1991, there were two sales people and we had 135 listings. Today we have 135 buyers and one listing, that’s how things are now. There just aren’t enough houses for sale in Ipswich. The population growth and infrastructure has changed things. Eastern Heights for example has gone up 30 per cent in five years.”
Parts of Ipswich CBD closed to make way for demolition
PARTS of the Ipswich CBD will be closed to traffic during the day time for the next three months from this week.
Police will block off one lane of Bremer St between Olga St and Ellenborough St and Mansfield Place between East St and Bremer St as heavy equipment move in to continue the Ipswich CBD demolition.
The road closures will be now until July 9 between 9am and 2.30pm Monday to Friday and 8am and 5pm on weekends.
The road closures coincide with the latest phase of the Ipswich CBD redevelopment which includes builders removing the former 30-minute car park, former Woolworths supermarket and adjoining tenancies.
Work started this week on the roof, facade, remaining walls and frames of the building.
The wrecking ball and dozers moved into the derelict site mid last year, demolishing what used to be the heart of the city, ready for a fresh new look to begin evolving in 2018.
Ipswich City Properties Chairman Councillor Paul Tully said visitors to the mall would have noticed the crane removing large concrete panels.
While the entry to P3 of the car park will be closed for a short time during this phase of construction, motorists can still enter the car park via P5 and drive up to P3. There will be no reduction in car parking spaces during this time with all parking remaining available on levels 3, 4, 5 and 6.
To enter the car park via P5, turn into Ellenborough St, turn right onto Bremer Street at the Riverheart Parkland entry and then veer right on the slip road to enter P5.
Defence contract the best thing for Ipswich since rail began in 1865: Mayor
Ipswich mayor Andrew Antoniolli inside a Rheinmetall Boxer armoured vehicle. Photo: supplied.
- Plans for the Redbank Military Vehicle Centre of Excellence have already been lodged with Ipswich City Council.
- The initial plan is to build 211 new generation armoured personnel carriers for the Australian Army, but the facilities could cover additional vehicles.
- Rheinmetall at the end of 2017 began talks with Bluescope Steel to be a suppliers of Australian steel for the vehicles which will run off the production line from 2020.
The decision to award a $5 billion contract for 211 high-tech armoured vehicles in Queensland means a new multimillion-dollar Centre of Excellence at Redbank and defence jobs for 40 years.
Ipswich mayor Andrew Antionolli said the decision was the biggest news for Ipswich since Queensland Rail came to town.
Queensland’s first train line was built from Grandchester to Ipswich in 1865, kickstarting the Ipswich railway workshops that employed thousands of people until they closed last decade.
Cr Antoniolli said the Defence contract announced on Wednesday would create more than 330 permanent jobs from the outset, build significant opportunities for local businesses and provide associated work with ongoing delivery and maintenance of the vehicles.
“This is huge for Ipswich, make no mistake,” he said.
Originally Published: www.smh.com.au