22 June 2023
Revitalising Ipswich from the suburbs to the city centre sits at the centre of Ipswich City Council’s $692.6 million 2023-2024 Annual Plan and Budget handed down on Thursday.
Ipswich Mayor Teresa Harding said the balanced budget continued this council’s focus on revitalising our suburbs with $267.2 million for capital works this year alone, and more than $500 million across the three-year program.
“It has been both a challenging and formative year for Ipswich, dealing with the impacts of the 2022 floods on our homes, businesses and assets, and preparing our city’s plans to welcome a rapidly growing population,” Mayor Harding said.
“Ipswich is Queensland’s fastest-growing region, and we are set to become home to more than 453,875 residents by 2041.
“Our 2023-2024 Annual Plan and Budget set out council’s determination to revitalise our city and prepare its critical community infrastructure – from sporting fields and suburban infrastructure to the city centre – for thousands more residents.
“This budget invests $9.7 million to parks, sports and the environment, $53 million to the completion of our Nicholas Street Precinct redevelopment, and $42 million to major road and transport projects.
“It will be another exciting year for Ipswich as we continue our efforts to revitalise our city centre with the completion of the Venue building and the Commonwealth Hotel, expand our sporting fields and community assets, and continue our advocacy to our governments partners for greater investment in transport for our rapidly expanding city.”
Growth, Infrastructure and Waste Committee Deputy Chairperson Councillor Paul Tully said the 2023-2024 Annual Plan and Budget would continue work on the new draft planning scheme, Ipswich Plan 2024.
“We are the fastest-growing region in Queensland, so progressing work on this major new planning scheme will ensure our city can grow as our community needs,” Cr Tully said.
“The new Ipswich Plan 2024, together with the new Local Government Infrastructure Plan forecasting future infrastructure needs across our region, will guide our city’s growth well into the future.”
Ipswich Central Redevelopment Committee Chairperson Councillor Marnie Doyle said the $53 million for the Nicholas Street Precinct redevelopment included $5.5 million for the finalisation of the Commonwealth Hotel restoration and $34.9 million for the Venue redevelopment.
“These catalyst projects are the capstones of our major city centre redevelopment project, which has been ongoing for the past three years,” Cr Doyle said.
“It has been incredible to see how our city’s heart has come alive again with thousands of families enjoying school holiday events, and new businesses and eateries moving in.
“This investment will progress the Nicholas Street Precinct closer toward our final goal of creating a state-of-the-art, beautiful new city centre for residents.”
Community, Culture, Arts and Sports Committee Chairperson Councillor Andrew Fechner said the 2023-2024 Annual Plan and Budget included upgrades to multiple suburban sporting facilities as council works to improve options for young and upcoming athletes.
“Among other allocations, this Budget includes $782,000 to install new lighting at Fernbrooke Sports Fields in Redbank Plains, $1.5 million for the construction of a new canteen, pathways, toilets and storage at Willey Street Park BMX track, and $50,000 for a new cricket pitch at Brittains Road,” Cr Fechner said.
“For our performing arts sector, council is also allocating $200,000 to start the design process for the expansion and upgrade of our Civic Centre, to get this major project shovel-ready.
“A further $206,000 is also set aside for various works and programs in our much-loved and well-respected Ipswich Art Gallery.”