Ipswich Mayor Teresa Harding has highlighted council’s new small business friendly approach and partnership with the region’s chambers of commerce.
Mayor Harding, chief guest at the Springfield City Group’s boardroom lunch this week, said Ipswich is on track to be the first small business friendly council in Queensland by the end of September 2020.
“Ipswich City Council is partnering with Queensland’s Small Business Commissioner to become a small business friendly council. The initiative aims to reduce red tape and barriers for businesses when dealing with council,” Mayor Harding told SCG’s leadership team and key partners.
The mayor said a small business friendly council would complement the new buy local procurement policy and give Ipswich businesses a big boost as they attempt to come out of the COVID-19 pandemic. She anticipated the same result from council’s partnerships with the Ipswich Chamber of Commerce & Industry and the Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce.
“Council recently entered into formal partnerships with the region’s two chambers of commerce – the total partnership value is just under $40,000,” Mayor Harding said.
“These partnerships focus on providing support, education and networking opportunities for the region’s local businesses and recognises the significant role the chambers play in economic recovery and development of the region.”
The Mayor’s presentation at the boardroom lunch also covered road upgrades in the booming Greater Springfield region, community and economic development, planning and development, waste and the new Ipswich leaders Alliance.
She said meeting up with Springfield stakeholders had been valuable as many were long-term residents and provided advice on how council could assist in the area.
“Council is currently planning and designing upgrades of two key main roads in the Springfield region, including Springfield Parkway (from Topaz Road to the Centenary Highway); and Springfield Greenbank Arterial (from the Springfield Parkway to Sinnathamby Boulevard) to smooth flow of traffic through the busiest areas in the city,” she said.
“Both roads will be taken from two to four lanes. The project will be delivered in stages, with some early works expected this financial year.”
The Mayor also outlined the Ipswich Leaders Alliance advocacy plans for the upcoming state election, including “first cab-off-the-rank”, the Ipswich Central to Springfield Central public transport corridor.
“We are seeking a $2.5 million commitment from all candidates for the completion of the next stage of the Business Case a full and detailed Options Analysis,” she said.
The 25km public transport corridor, known as I2S, will be a major focus for council because of the expected population surge through Springfield, Ripley, Redbank Plains, Deebing Heights and Yamanto over the next two decades.
Mayor Harding said 70 per cent of the city’s population growth will occur between Ipswich and Springfield and this public transport corridor will help to ensure that the people of Ipswich keep our great lifestyles as the region grows.
Mayor Harding outlined work on the new Ipswich planning scheme, with the target for implementation set for 2022.
“Our staff are fast-tracking survey plan applications to meet increased demand. Industry support will be required to maintain high quality of survey plan applications and ensure that we can provide the best service,” she said.