Lions push on with move to Springfield

GRAND PLANS: Artist impression of the new Lions stadium at Springfield.
GRAND PLANS: Artist impression of the new Lions stadium at Springfield.

BRISBANE Lions and Ipswich City Council remain confident of securing funding for the $60 million Centenary Sports Hub at Springfield despite the Federal Government's current position being to refuse to fund the project.

The QT reported on October 7 of last year that the hub, which will also house the Lions' new training and administration base, was in jeopardy owing to the Abbott government's refusal to commit $15 million in funding towards the project. But both the Lions and the council remain committed to the project, as they have stated in the past.

Labor announced on August 15, 2013, that it had allocated $15 million to Ipswich City Council from round five of the Regional Development Australia Fund (RDAF) towards the project. But a spokesman for Infrastructure and Regional Development Minister Warren Truss said round five funding promises "will not be proceeding as these were Labor election commitments and were not funded".

Lions chairman Bob Sharpless and Mayor Paul Pisasale have met Mr Truss about the project where he asked for a new submission. Mr Truss will receive the submission this week setting out the history of the project, an overview of what construction works the project entails and how it was never suggested that the project was contingent on the previous Labor government's winning the election.

Mr Sharpless, also deputy chairman of Springfield Land Corporation, said he was aware of the new government's position, but added that his own experience in securing government funding for projects proved that an initial "no" can be reversed.

"With the Federal Government's radiation oncology funding for the Mater Hospital here in Springfield we had three rejections before they finally approved it," he said.

"A change of government always creates new challenges. The project received funding from the previous government. Now our challenge is to obtain funding from the new government.

"I am still optimistic we can receive Federal Government support and ultimately a level of funding for the project. What I don't know is how long that is going to take.

"I haven't given up on it. We did meet with Minister Truss and he suggested we make a submission to him, and that is what we have done. It is a very good project with a lot of benefits to all the various stakeholders and to the community at large."

He pointed out the facility, to be built on council land, would also be utilised by other groups.

The Lions will consider alternative arrangements if need be, but Mr Sharpless said they remained committed to the move to Springfield. Infrastructure works have already started on the project.

The spokesman for Mr Truss said the Coalition's $1 billion National Stronger Regions Fund "may be an avenue" for future funding of the project if it was considered favourably.

"The fund will allow councils and community groups to apply for grants between $20,000 and $10 million, to meet up to half the cost of community projects," the spokesman said.

But the maximum allocated funding would still leave the council $5 million short of the $15 million promised.

Cr Pisasale said he hoped "common sense will prevail" and the project's merits recognised by Mr Truss.

"We've written to the Deputy PM who has seen the facility himself and was very impressed with it.

"He said, 'Give me the evidence a commitment was made and you've got it'."

Bob Sharpless, who was installed as chairman of the Lions by the AFL in the wake of last year's bitter board split, because of his position as deputy chairman of the Springfield Land Corp, says the fight is not over but accepts it is time to look for a "Plan B."

Topics:  afl aussie rules brisbane lions springfield

Culture feast brightens city

COLOUR: This year's Diwali Festival was a hit.

Diwali Festival embraces happiness and joy

LETTER Monty Python circus with squirrels marrying squirrels

Squirrel in Yellowstone National Park during summer.  - User Contributed

God help us with the current crop of egomaniacs in Canberra

Bagging up some Christmas cheer

GOOD CAUSE: Wesley Mission representative Mike Jeffrey and Queenslander Credit Union CEO John Weier prepare for the Red Bag Appeal.

Almost half a million people are living below the poverty line

Local Partners

The Summer that Melted Everything

See what happens when you invite the devil to town

Leonardo DiCaprio nearly drowned while filming

Actor Leonardo DiCaprio

Oscar winner almost drowned in Galapagos

Miranda Kerr to wed next year

Supermodel Miranda Kerr

Supermodel and Snapchat founder to wed

What's on the small screen this week

Georgia Love pictured in a scene from The Bachelorette finale.

TWO big reality shows wrap up this week while

The Ipswich stamp fair has it all licked

RARE METAL: Dave Roberts with his aluminium Tongan stamps from 1965.

Ipswich stamp fair will feature rare and unusual stamps

Seven decades of keeping Ipswich entertained

This is what the Incinerator Theatre in Queens Park looked like when the Ipswich Little Theatre Society performed its first play.

Times Past with QT columnist Beryl Johnston

Hit songwriter's Noosa mansion on market

SPECIAL PLACE: The Cintamani estate is going to tender, marketed by Tom Offermann Real Estate.

Is this Queensland's best property?

Kiwi siblings snap up Dotcom mansion for $32.5m

The new toy company owners of the Coatesville mansion want replace any controversy with positivity and fun. Photo / Barfoot and Thompson

The trio paid $32.5 million for the property in June

New $200 million development will create 580 jobs

Cassie And Josh with baby Alfie and daughter Andee. They have bought at new Lennox Head development Epiq.

Majority of new positions will be given to Northern Rivers locals

Cherrabah's mega resort plans axed

PLANS for a massive development at Cherrabah have been scrapped.

What our mayor thinks of the new draft SEQPlan

The plan to use the innovative technology as part of the new Maroochydore CBD was cemented on site today when Mayor Mark Jamieson and Envac Asia Region president Chun Yong Ha formally signed the contract for the $20 million underground waste collection system.

New plan accommodates Sunshine Coast Council's vision for growth.

Dusit Thani finance crisis 'just a small hiccup'

ON TRACK: Springfield Land Chairman, Maha Sinnathamby, Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale, Developer Richard Turner and Springfield Land Deputy Chairman, Bob Sharpless, at the recent resort sod turning ceremony.

Property developer says project remains firmly on track