Topics:  bernie rippoll, blair, shayne neumann, uq ipswich, usq springfield

Education and technology a major focus for Blair MP in 2013

STRATEGY: Shayne Neumann, Federal Labor MP for Blair, discusses his plans for the year ahead.
STRATEGY: Shayne Neumann, Federal Labor MP for Blair, discusses his plans for the year ahead. David Nielsen

ENSURING Ipswich is at the cutting edge with regard to education and technology are major goals of Federal Member for Blair Shayne Neumann as he looks ahead to what is in store for 2013 in the region.

Mr Neumann sat down with the QT to outline what projects are in store in the coming year and how the Federal Government would be providing funding support.

The expansion of the USQ campus at Springfield and the University of Queensland campus in Ipswich stand out on the education front.

"I am looking forward to the start of work in relation to the $100 million upgrade of the University of Southern Queensland at Springfield," he said.

"Half of that is Federal Government money which Bernie Rippoll and I have secured for USQ.

"What this means is that there will expand the number of students there ... and that expansion is going to really develop the campus and will cement USQ as a generalist university across the region.

"They are already meeting their Bradley target of 40 per cent of low socio-economic background students.

We have got kids going to university from Raceview and Redbank Plains for the first time for anyone in their families.

"We have got kids going to university from Raceview and Redbank Plains for the first time for anyone in their families."

The development of the health hub at the UQ in Ipswich is funded by the Federal Government.

"We have also got the psychology clinic funded again federally and another business infrastructure expansion going on up there."

Mr Neumann said keeping Ipswich at the forefront with regards to technology was another priority and evidence of that would be on show within the coming week.

"On January 7 we will be opening a digital hub with $360,000 of Federal Government funding," he said.

"In the annex of the library at Redbank Plains there will be a centre for businesses to go to learn about Facebook, Twitter and to be mentored about how to use the worldwide web to enhance their businesses. That will also be available for individuals and other organisations. This will transform our region. I am looking forward to further announcements in March where I am hoping the NBN Co will announce that Lowood, Fernvale and Springfield will be covered in the next rollout of the NBN."

The Federal Government has provided $500,000 towards the Kilcoy Showgrounds upgrade which Mr Neumann said would occur in 2013 along with the official opening of the $5 million Somerset Civic Centre where the government has chipped in $2 million through the Regional Development Australia Fund (RDAF).

There are other applications for further RADF grants currently in play from Ipswich and Somerset councils and other organisations which Mr Neumann said he would be backing.

"If granted there will be money flowing in 2013 in relation to those projects and some of them could be up and running straight away.

"They involve the sports, tourism, environment and education."



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