Ipswich MP pushing for $1.5m towards criterium track
SECURING key infrastructure for Ipswich and facilitating employment opportunities for youth are two key goals for Ipswich MP Jennifer Howard in her first term.
Ms Howard said she would be working hard to secure $1.5 million towards the cycling criterium track which has been in the pipeline for years.
"Troy Dobinson from 24/7 Cycling has been fundraising ever since his mother passed away, to get a criterium cycling track built in the Ipswich area, and (councillor) David Morrison has been doing an enormous amount of work with plans," she said.
"I met with David a couple of weeks ago and I wrote to the sports minister to come out and have a look at the site and have a chat to the local cycling community and Cr Morrison about the project.
"We had a velodrome in Ipswich for many years … but the sport has come a long way since those velodrome days and a criterium track is a far more appropriate facility for Ipswich cyclists."
Ms Howard said the track would be utilised by all age groups, males and females and people from all walks of life.
"The people at 24/7 Cycling have done a tremendous job raising $100, 000 for the development and the council are going to kick in $1.5 million, and they want $1.5 million from us" she said.
"I'm going to agitate until it happens."
Reducing unemployment through the Skilling Queenslanders for Work program is one Ms Howard said would bring lasting benefits.
"We have already produced $60 million in funding for 2015/16 and people are putting in submissions locally and I have been writing letters of support for different groups for funding," she said.
"When we had it running before, it was successful in getting Ipswich people in jobs.
"Just one aspect of the program is driver mentoring, where a volunteer from the community will sit with a disadvantaged young person so they can get their 100 hours up, because not having a driver's licence has been identified as one of the biggest impediments to young people getting jobs."
Ms Howard has written to the Premier and minister for main roads about the need to upgrade the Darra to Rocklea stretch of the Ipswich Motorway, which will require joint funding.
"I know we get an allocation in the budget that could go towards kicking off some studies around the completion of it, and then as a government we could start lobbying the Federal Government," Ms Howard said.
"It is a very important project and infrastructure has been identified as something that all governments no matter what their political persuasion need to get serious about investing in."