Revitalising Ipswich from the suburbs to the city centre sits at the centre of Ipswich City Council’s $692.6 million 2023-2024 Annual Plan and Budget handed down on Thursday.
The balanced budget continues the council’s focus on revitalising the suburbs with $267.2 million for capital works this year alone, and more than $500 million across the three-year program.
The budget will invest $9.7 million to parks, sports and the environment, $53 million to the completion of the Nicholas Street Precinct redevelopment, and $42 million to major road and transport projects.
Cr Paul Tully said the 2023-2024 Annual Plan and Budget would continue work on the new draft planning scheme, Ipswich Plan 2024.
“We are the fastest-growing region in Queensland, so progressing work on this major new planning scheme will ensure our city can grow as our community needs,” Cr Tully said.
“The new Ipswich Plan 2024, together with the new Local Government Infrastructure Plan forecasting future infrastructure needs across our region, will guide our city’s growth well into the future.”
Ipswich Central Redevelopment Committee Chairperson Cr Marnie Doyle said the $53 million for the Nicholas Street Precinct redevelopment included $5.5 million for the finalisation of the Commonwealth Hotel restoration and $34.9 million for the Venue-Cinema redevelopment.
“These catalyst projects are the capstones of our major city centre redevelopment project, which has been ongoing for the past three years,” Cr Doyle said.
Community, Culture, Arts and Sports Committee Chairperson Councillor Andrew Fechner said the 2023-2024 Annual Plan and Budget included upgrades to multiple suburban sporting facilities as council works to improve options for young and upcoming athletes.
“Among other allocations, this Budget includes $782,000 to install new lighting at Fernbrooke Sports Fields in Redbank Plains, $1.5 million for the construction of a new canteen, pathways, toilets and storage at Willey Street Park BMX track, and $50,000 for a new cricket pitch at Brittains Road,” Cr Fechner said.
“A further $206,000 is also set aside for various works and programs in our much-loved and well-respected Ipswich Art Gallery.”