Ipswich City Council is asking the next State Government to commit to a fairer investment in the city.
With only 17 days before the 31 October State Election, council is calling on all political parties to demonstrate their support for current and future residents of Queensland’s fastest-growing city.
Mayor Teresa Harding called recent announcements from the current State Government a step in the right direction, but noted that they do not go far enough.
“Council welcomed the government’s announcement of $3.87 million in capital works for Ipswich in August and the allocation of $1 million in part-funding for the next stage of the business case for the Ipswich to Springfield Central public transport corridor.”
In a recent independent study by the Suburban Alliance, it was identified that the Queensland Government has spent just $17,700 per-capita on capital expenditure over the past eight years within the Ipswich region. Comparatively, the state has invested $33,600 per-capita on capital expenditure in inner-city Brisbane.
“The data clearly shows that our city has received half the capital investment compared to Brisbane residents,” Mayor Harding said.
“Our population boom cannot be sustained with this level of under-investment across Ipswich and, if unchanged, will result in hindered economic recovery and disadvantage our residents over the long-term.
“What we need now in Ipswich are further commitments from all parties to major infrastructure projects and policy reform.”
Council released its election advocacy brochure today, targeting five regionally-significant projects for investment from the state:
- Ipswich Central to Springfield Central (I2S) Public Transport Corridor;
- Waste and Planning Act Reform;
- Ipswich Central Second River Crossing;
- Ebenezer Regional Industrial Area; and
- North Ipswich Sport and Entertainment Precinct.
Mayor Harding said Queensland Government support will be vital to maintaining Ipswich’s significant and growing contribution to the state’s economy.
“Ipswich exports $4.9 billion annually, providing crucial goods and services to other Queenslanders and contributing to the state’s international trade.
“Our contribution to the Queensland economy is set to increase over the next 20 years, as the population of Ipswich more than doubles to 558,000 in 2041, and more companies take up our vast supply of strategically located green field land.”
But Mayor Harding stressed that Ipswich City Council could not do it alone and needed support from all levels of government.
“Local government collects 3 per cent of all the taxes paid and maintains 75 per cent of road networks. State and federal governments collect 97 per cent of all taxes and we need to see other levels of government deliver for Ipswich residents.
“The COVID pandemic has had a significant impact on the Ipswich economy, with our local employment figures estimated to decrease by 7.7 per cent to June 2020 compared to the 2018-19 average.
“Council’s 2020-21 budget included over $2 million in support for businesses and organisations, but state funding will be vital to reboot our local economy and bring new jobs to Ipswich.
“The projects we have highlighted today are vital for the region, and crucial to securing jobs, growth and investment for Ipswich for decades to come.”
While there has been some positive early signs in the election campaign, with both major parties committing funding to Queensland regions, council called out for a bigger share for Ipswich.
The Palaszczuk Government has announced seven regional economic recovery plans in response to the COVID pandemic, including $737 million in capital investment in Townsville in 2020/21, and $546 million for Mackay-Whitsundays.
The Deb Frecklington-led LNP Opposition has announced $20 million for the Bradfield scheme across Central and Northern Queensland, and has committed to fixing Paradise Dam in the Wide Bay Burnett Region.
Find out more about Ipswich City Council’s advocacy plan, including the five regionally significant projects seeking state funding, here.