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$20 million stadium commitment to make North Ipswich NRL-ready

Ipswich missing out on televised NRL and A-League games could be a thing of the past as Federal Labor commits $20 million towards the North Ipswich Sport and Entertainment Precinct.

Ipswich Mayor Teresa Harding joined Shadow Treasurer Jim Chalmers and Member for Blair Shayne Neumann on the field before this weekend’s Ipswich Jets game to welcome the commitment.

Mayor Harding said the North Ipswich Sport and Entertainment Precinct was a significant project for the region, and one that council had been championing for some time.

“As the Mayor of a rugby league mad town and the Patron of Ipswich Jets, I could not be more excited about this commitment,” Mayor Harding said.

“Our city has long lacked a national-standard rectangular stadium and the necessary lighting to host televised footy matches, but this commitment would be an absolute game-changer for Ipswich.

“Ipswich residents deserve access to quality community infrastructure that will keep pace with our growth as more people discover Ipswich.”

The North Ipswich Sport and Entertainment Precinct was one of six asks on council’s federal election wish list, seeking $2.5 million to complete a detailed business case for the precinct.

Division 4 Councillor Kate Kunzelmann said the commitment went well beyond council’s initial ask of $2.5 million and could make a significant impact to the existing facilities at North Ipswich Reserve.

“North Ipswich Reserve has been in desperate need of significant improvements to its existing lighting, grandstand and change facilities to make it a quality piece of community infrastructure,” Cr Kunzelmann said.

“Not only will this commitment allow for the completion of a detailed business case to bring this project to life, but provide much-needed immediate improvements to the current facilities.”

Division 4 Councillor Russell Milligan said this commitment would be one for sports and arts lovers alike, as North Ipswich Reserve evolves to host elite sporting and entertainment experiences.

“This isn’t a commitment just for rugby league lovers, but for the Ipswich community as a whole,” Cr Milligan said.

“A revitalised North Ipswich Reserve would allow the city to attract a greater variety of sporting events, concerts and festivals which is an economic and social win for everyone.”

Federal Labor’s commitment of $20 million for the North Ipswich Sport and Entertainment Precinct is dependent on a win at the upcoming Federal Election.

Subject to Federal and State commitments, council would reconsider a resolution made in May 2019 by Interim Administrator Greg Chemello to commit $10 million to the North Ipswich Sport and Entertainment Precinct.

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