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Drinks making giant brings the fizz to Ipswich with $400m project

Drinks making giant brings the fizz to Ipswich with $400m project

International beverage company Frucor Suntory will develop a $400 million facility in Ipswich.

The project was expected to generate about 45o jobs during construction next year and 160 operational jobs from 2024.

Among Frucor’s brands are V, Pepsi, Mountain Dew and 7Up.

The company has found a 17-ha greenfield site in the New-Gen Business Park at Swanbank.

Chief executive Darren Fullerton said the investment recognised the growth trajectory the company believed was possible.

He said the company wanted the new facility is set a benchmark for its investment in sustainable technologies that would also drive efficiency and minimise the carbon footprint.

The facility would include beverage processing, packaging, warehousing and distribution.

“Pending approvals we’re planning to start work on construction in the third quarter of this year and commence operations in mid-2024,” Fullerton said.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said it was a coup for the state given that Queensland was selected ahead of other states.

“The value of attracting this investment to Queensland will have significant benefits for our economic recovery and most importantly it will create new jobs for Queenslanders,” she said.


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Ipswich community feedback called for Richardson Park design

Richardson Park design, Ipswich

Residents and families can share their thoughts on modern amenities, beautified landscaping and an immersive ‘river life’ playground that are detailed in council’s concept plan for upgrading Richardson Park in Goodna.

Growth, Infrastructure and Waste Committee Chairperson Ipswich Mayor Teresa Harding said the detailed concept design was developed using the community feedback council received in February.

“The playground, amenities block and exercise equipment in Richardson Park are in need of replacing, and an upgrade will provide a renewed space that highlights the special local environment for young and old,” Mayor Harding said.

“All amenities and exercise equipment will be upgraded and the new playground centrepiece will be a ropes and climbing structure, creating a river life-themed playground suitable for young children to play on and explore imaginary waterways.”

IF Richardson Park Detailed Concept Design A

If Richardson Park Detailed Concept Design B

Growth, Infrastructure and Waste Committee Deputy Chairperson and Division 2 Councillor Paul Tully said the community can view and share feedback on the concept design on Shape Your Ipswich.

“Important features of the concept design include a nature area with a dry creek bed and water play equipment, more seats to take in the wonderful views of the Brisbane River, retention of the magnificent Jacaranda trees and more garden beds,” Cr Tully said.

“The detailed concept plan also includes improved lighting for security and safety, renovated and accessible toilets and more modern fitness equipment.”

Division 2 Councillor Nicole Jonic said the community can share their thoughts about the detailed concept plan online now until the end of the month.

“The concept plan has reimagined Richardson Park including open green spaces for picnics near the existing flying fox as well as a looped path for exercise,” Cr Jonic said.

“I encourage residents to again take part in our community consultation process and tell us what they like or want added to the final design of the park.”

Construction is scheduled to begin next financial year.



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Ipswich infrastructure critical to keep Queensland’s fastest-growing region moving

Ipswich infrastructure critical to keep Queensland’s fastest-growing region moving

Infrastructure critical to the future of Ipswich’s major population centres is in desperate need of significant investment, with no Federal election candidate yet committing investment to prevent gridlock from stunting economic productivity, future growth and the region’s liveability.

Ipswich Mayor Teresa Harding said the Centenary Highway was one significant area that needed urgent planning, design and delivery of critical upgrades that were already lagging behind the population boom.

“As the Federal election draws near, council is calling on candidates to invest in the fastest-growing city in Queensland,” Mayor Harding said.

“Ipswich has the most rapid population growth of any local government area in Queensland with 6,000 new residents each year.”

Mayor Harding said that population growth was centred on hotspot areas connected by the Centenary Highway – including Greater Springfield, Ripley Valley Priority Development Area and Redbank Plains.

“That population growth is set to continue with an abundant pipeline of new land for housing along that corridor,” Mayor Harding said.

Mayor Harding said the Centenary Highway in particular, was essential to the movement of people and freight around South-East Queensland.

“Without public transport options – such as the Ipswich to Springfield Central Public Transport Corridor –hundreds of thousands of new residents and businesses will be forced to use the highways, leading to congestion and putting the brakes on the economic and social growth for the whole region,” Mayor Harding said.

Deputy Mayor Division 1 Councillor Jacob Madsen said Ripley Valley was deemed a Priority Development Area (PDA) by the State Government, but coordinated action from all levels of government was required to address a $92 million catalytic funding shortfall.

“We are preparing for another 120,000 new residents moving into the Ripley corridor over the next 20 years – as well as other new housing developments in surrounding areas – and significant upgrades are required to the Centenary Highway and associated road network to cater for this growth,” Cr Madsen said.

Division 1 Councillor Sheila Ireland said the Ripley Valley PDA was one of the largest growth areas in Australia, covering 4,860 hectares and set to have a total of 135,000 people in 50,000 dwellings.

“We are only at the beginning of the boom in Ripley Valley. If the State and Federal governments are serious about liveability in South-East Queensland they will invest in the infrastructure this nationally-significant area needs before it is too late,” Cr Ireland said.

Division 2 Councillor Paul Tully said the current state of the Centenary Highway with the 60km/hr roundabouts and single-lane 100km/hr sections was already struggling with the growing volume of traffic.

“It is critical that these upgrades are planned and funded by the State and Federal governments to confirm interchange locations and configurations and unlock the ongoing development of the Springfield region, Ripley and beyond,” Cr Tully said.

Division 2 Councillor Nicole Jonic said council was calling for immediate action on the planning of corridor duplication and the Centenary Highway/Augusta Parkway interchange.

“Ipswich is a high-growth city that requires investment in strategic roads to ensure people and freight continue to move safely and efficiently,” Cr Jonic said.



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This $68 billion Australian city wants to become the next Silicon Valley

Australian city

Travel up the sunny shores of Australia’s Gold Coast, 25 kilometers outside of Brisbane, and you’ll find Greater Springfield, a city that’s different by design.

You may never have heard of it. Unsurprising; the city is not yet 30 years old. But that isn’t holding it back. In a few years, it could be the next Silicon Valley, says developer Springfield City Group (SCG).

“The world has learned a lot from Silicon Valley,” founder Maha Sinnathamby told CNBC. “We said: that’s 85 years old. Let’s design the latest version.”

Sinnathamby is the brains behind Greater Springfield, Australia’s only privately built city and its first masterplanned city since the capital Canberra was created more than a century ago. The octogenarian property tycoon — who spent a 50-year career creating residential and commercial developments across Australia — said his latest project, like its inspiration Silicon Valley, is about creating a modern business hub designed around technology, education and health care.

And now, he’s looking for big name companies to help him realize the next stage of his estimated $68 billion vision.

“We’re trying to attract the Microsofts and Googles of the world,” said Sinnathamby, noting that the group is currently in discussions with one multinational tech company.

An innovation hub for Asia Pacific

Developed on a 7,000 acre plot of land purchased for $6.1 million, Greater Springfield — the world’s tenth largest masterplanned community — is already a living, breathing city much changed from the disused forestry operation Sinnathamby acquired in 1992.

Home today to 46,000 residents, 16,500 homes, 11 schools, a national university campus, a hospital and a railway line connecting it to neighboring Brisbane, Sinnathamby said the city is so far 25% complete after receiving $15 billion in private and state funding.

But more businesses are needed to make it into a true innovation hub within Asia-Pacific, and hit its targets to triple the population and create 52,000 new jobs by 2030. To date, 20,000 jobs have been directly and indirectly created under the project, SCG said.

“We want to turbocharge it with highly respectable companies, who are highly talented and who want to make a lot of profit,” said Sinnathamby. “We can’t do this massive job on our own.”

 Australian city

Greater Springfield is the first privately built city in Australia and the world’s tenth largest master planned community. Springfield City Group

The bait, as Sinnathamby puts it, is the city’s greenfield location, which, like Silicon Valley, offers companies a space to get experimental. That includes offering purpose-built facilities in which large companies and smaller start-ups can innovate. Meantime, its “living lab” provides room to test new technologies related to smart work, living, learning and play.

Engie SA is one business currently testing the waters. In 2018, the French utility company signed a 50-year strategic alliance to make Greater Springfield Australia’s first net-zero energy city as it aims to showcase its green credentials.

By 2038, Engie plans for the city to generate more energy than it consumes by focusing on five key pillars: urban planning, mobility, buildings, energy and technology. Increasing electric vehicle infrastructure, prioritizing public transport, constructing environmentally friendly buildings, introducing solar panels to all available rooftops, and retaining 30% of the region’s landholding for open green space are among the various methods it will use to achieve this.

Elsewhere, earlier this month Sydney start-up Lavo chose Greater Springfield as the manufacturing hub for its “world first” 30-year hydrogen battery set said to be able to power a home for two days with a single charge.

Developing a knowledge workforce

The new business operations will sit within Greater Springfield’s so-called Knowledge Precinct, the city’s primary employment hub designed to attract knowledge workers with skills related to its core pillars: technology, education and health care.

Health City, a 128 acre health precinct developed with Harvard Medical International, will provide top health care as well as thousands of medical jobs, said Sinnathamby. Meanwhile, the city’s expanding education network, including two new universities and a focus on indigenous communities, will nurture the new generation of professionals, he said.

I want partners to come who are committed to this vision.
Maha Sinnathamby

“We’re very closely committed to try and make sure this knowledge precinct is a gift to not only Australia but perhaps to the world,” said Sinnathamby.

Still, the timing of the project cannot be ignored. The pandemic has led many people to rethink the appeal of major business hubs, with some estimates suggesting as many as 53% of U.S. tech and media workers have already left or plan to leave behind big cities’ rising living costs.

Sinnathamby, however, is confident his vision for Australia’s future city will hold out — and perhaps even provide a blueprint for others. With its focus on emerging industries, Greater Springfield does appear to have weathered the pandemic better than some other places, recording an unemployment rate of 3.9% compared to Queensland’s statewide level of 5.9%.

“I’m committed to this as a nation building project,” said Sinnathamby. “Now, I want partners to come who are committed to this vision.”


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