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Why Ipswich ideally placed for an A-League team




BRISBANE Roar goalkeeper Michael Theo welcomes a second A-League team from the Ipswich and western corridor region when expansion plans are confirmed.

“I’m all for it,” Theo said.

“There’s a market there, people support.

“Everyone lifts their game, which is what we want, and more opportunities.”

Theo, with the Brisbane Roar for seven years, was in Ipswich on Wednesday night meeting a group of young Ipswich players.

He was impressed with the response he received knowing many of the children and their families were Roar supporters.

“It was fantastic,” Theo said, after spending a couple of hours at the Ipswich City Bulls club’s home base at Sutton Park.

“It was full-on. It was good.”

Theo is looking forward to returning to Ipswich next month to conduct two clinics for regional junior footballers.

But while focused on helping the next generation through his academy, Theo is also keen to see what decision is made regarding future growth of the A-League competition.

He said the success of derbies in Melbourne and Sydney would work in Queensland if a second team was granted an A-League licence.

“Early on, there were a few murmurs,” the former Melbourne Victory foot- baller said when rival Melbourne City were admitted to the A-League in 2009.

“But I think it was fantastic for Melbourne Victory and the league. Now we have a Sydney derby with the Wanderers, it’s great.”

Theo, 36, said having a team playing in an Ipswich stadium would be a logical next step.

“We need another derby,” the popular footballer said.

“They sort of need a ground where it’s like a little boutique stadium – a 12-15000 seater – then that way people are forced to buy memberships as well, as opposed to Suncorp.

“Suncorp is fantastic but 52,000 people, you go and get a seat any time.

“It (a second SE Qld team) would be great for the region and great even for Brisbane Roar . . . add to that rivalry that lifts our game up as well.”

Theo saw how much support there was for higher level football in the region when he played in Roar teams against Ipswich Select and Ipswich Invitational sides during past pre-seasons. The-five-time A-League championship winner also played in a match between Roar and Melbourne Victory at the North Ipswich Reserve.

“Having played there, you can really see that everyone gets behind it,” he said.

While expansion plans remain on hold, Theo is keen to do some expanding of his own – taking his academy to centres outside Brisbane.

“I’ve been running my clinics for the past seven years,” the three-time A-League goalkeeper of the year said.

“I’ve managed to get out to Central Queensland and down south as well.

“I’ve been meaning to come to Ipswich for quite a while. We have a lot of parents who come to our Brisbane clinics and wanted us to come down so it was just a perfect opportunity to come down and work with the kids of Ipswich.”


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BUDGET: Cash splashed to fix Ipswich’s congested highway  



Cash splashed to fix Ipswich's congested highway
 The Cunningham Highway will receive a $170 million boost by the Federal Government. David Nielsen

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.

For several decades the section of road has been on the region’s infrastructure wishlist.

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.

Cash splashed to fix Ipswich's congested highway
United States Navy F/A-18F Super Hornet from VFA-102 Squadron takes off from RAAF Base Amberley, with an RAAF C-17 Globemaster flying in circuit. The Squadron is normally based on the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan.SGT Peter Borys

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.


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Australia’s largest solar farm planned near Ipswich



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.


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Education City link approved by Ipswich Council



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.


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