Ipswich set for $1.9 billion in major development
AMID the doom and gloom of the COVID-19 crisis, a local organisation with links across Australia is using cold hard data to promote Ipswich and West Moreton's massive potential, and help small business and job hunters see the silver lining.
Key to that silver lining is the amount of investment in construction in the region this year, a total of $1.9 billion.
Regional Development Australia's Ipswich and West Moreton branch is tasked with promoting economic growth and job creation by keeping the public informed on major infrastructure projects happening across the region, linking businesses to potential investors, and providing access to government funding.
Another of its key functions is to identify what sort of jobs are available in the region, providing a guide for people of any age on where best to focus their training in order to find sustainable work.
RDA Ipswich and West Moreton CEO Rees Banks said there was a forecast $1.9 billion in construction work happening in 2020, but he believed the region was nowhere near its potential.
"The forward forecast is phenomenal," Mr Banks said.
"I believe we are being totally under-utilised. We need to work more collaboratively to promote our region.
"What we are trying to show is that we have the fastest growth in Queensland, and there are jobs out there.
"If you study here there are jobs in the region that you can hold onto for life."
Ipswich's population growth is one of the key factors in where the city is headed in terms of future jobs and major infrastructure projects.
The population of the Ipswich and West Moreton Region, which also includes Somerset, Scenic Rim and Lockyer Valley local government areas, jumped 15 per cent from 2013-2018 to more than 323,000 people.
Residential construction projects in the 2019 financial year total more than $300 million, with the majority of activity in Ipswich's major growth centres of Redbank Plains, Bellbird Park, Springfield, Ripley and Deebing Heights.
The RDA Ipswich and West Moreton January-June 2019 Project Status Report also shows health and education projects totalled $559 million, including the massive Aveo Springfield development stages 3-9, which has a value of $400 million alone.
Of the 2020 projects forecast, the massive Waterlea Walloon residential development, which is already under way, was the biggest, with a value of $350,000,000.
That has encouraged further investment in what was a rural township.
Other major projects listed to start this year include $124 million Ipswich Hospital Mental Health Unit, $160 million Weedman St Storage and Distribution warehouse, and the $160 million Springfield Central Gardens.
Major 2020 projects already underway
Ipswich State High School - O Block: $8 million
Bognuda Street Dwellings (Bundamba): $29.75 million
Silica Street Warehouse Units (Carole Park): $50 million
Goodna State Special School: $7.5 million
Ipswich District Area - DOE AC Program: $3.9 million
Majans Snack Foods Manufacturing Facility (Redbank): $24 million
Aldi Redbank Plaza: $1 million
Hymba Yumba Independent School (Springfield): $8 million
Springfield Fair Shopping Centre: $1.25 million
Lakeside Vista Springfield Lakes Stages 2-5: $38.1 million
Springfield Lakes Boulevard Child Care Centre: $3 million
Dental Members Super Clinic (Springfield Lakes): $1.5 million
Waterlea Village Child Care Centre & Market Hall (Walloon): $4.26 million
Ipswich Grammar School Stem Building: $7.5 million
Ipswich and West Moreton overview
Projected population 2041: 722,498
3447 new houses approved (2018)
6261 residential dwelling sales (2017-18)
841 businesses with turnover of more than $2 million
18,344 businesses, including 18.6% in construction and 16.8% in agriculture, forestry and fishing (2016-17)