INCUMBENT Oxley MP Bernie Ripoll has told the Premier to “get real” after the State Government held firm on its demand for a 80-20 funding deal for the stalled Darra to Rocklea Ipswich Motorway upgrade.
The short stretch of highway is a known traffic bottleneck with cars and trucks often backed up for kilometres during peak hours.
Last Wednesday the Federal LNP candidates for Blair, Moreton and Oxley fronted the media to announce they would match Labor’s existing offer of $279 million for the vital upgrade.
But the announcement fell flat after the State Government confirmed it would not start the upgrade until an LNP or Labor government stumped up 80 per cent of the cash, or $446 million.
In response, the Oxley candidate Andrew Nguyen said a Coalition government would work with the State to “finalise a fair funding agreement” for the project.
PLANS are being hatched to make the game of hockey a hit in Springfield and Redbank Plains by establishing a new club to services the growing regions.
Ipswich Hockey Association will finalise plans for a new club at a management committee meeting in September and plans to start recruiting players in Term 4.
There will also be a series of “come and try” days next February with the aim of fielding mixed under-5s, 7s and 9s teams in the 2013 program.
Brisbane Hockey Association development co-ordinator Phil Jackwitz is leading hockey’s charge on the region and his son Steele Jackwitz, 6, and his mates Tyler Brown, 6, and Aiden Yates, 7, hope to be among the first to sign on.
Mr Jackwitz received in principal support for the creation of a new club and is “very close” to having those plan realised.
The yet-to-be-named club’s catchment would include the rapidly expanding suburbs of Greater Springfield, Redbank Plains and Ripley Valley.
RESIDENTS of Collingwood Park streets which back on to bushland are calling for signs to be erected warning of local wildlife after several lizards, ducks and small mammals were found squashed on the road.
Sarah Lees of Debora Drive, said people drove too fast through the area and were hitting animals because of poor visibility on the bends.
She has called on Ipswich City Council to take measures to slow down traffic, including installing “shared zone” or wildlife warning signs and speed bumps, and considering reducing the speed limit to 40km/h.
The former New Zealander said she and her husband moved to the area because of the wildlife and it was “distressing” to see animals killed by cars.
Ms Lees said she encouraged wildlife to visit the area by planting trees and feeding the possums and kookaburras but the speeding had to stop.
FOUR business leaders were given a rare glimpse inside Springfield’s digital fortress last week when they toured the Polaris Data Centre.
Built in 2008, the $241 million data centre hosts a large bank of servers that store data for companies such as Dell, Suncorp, HP, Ipswich City Council and more.
The tour was organised by the Springfield-based IT services business Oper8, which is one of the few companies retailing “rack space” at Polaris.
Rosanne Cotter of Cotter Accountancy, Peter Walsh of Springfield Legal Service, Rod Nicholls of Jericho Web Services and Clarity Wealth Advisers’ Ralph Breaden joined Oper8 accounts manager Antoine Vidal for a look inside the region’s largest data centre.
Entering the facility is akin to visiting a prison, with bulletproof glass, sliding doors and security cameras in every corner manned by a facilities manager.
FORMER Navy seaman and Clive Palmer’s man-for-Moreton Jeremy Davey wants parliament recalled to debate refugee policy before “lives are lost at sea”.
The Palmer United Party federal candidate for Moreton spent much of his 18-year Navy career patrolling Australia’s northern waters and said a turn-back-the-boats policy would be reckless and diabolic if implemented.
“In my opinion, and in my experience, turning back the boats increases the danger to our men and women,” Mr Davey said.
“Boats are being overcrowded and people have a high anxiety. They really want to get here.
“If the Coalition government is elected and they implement this policy, without a doubt I can see refugee boats being scuttled and people being thrown into the ocean because they’re going to want to be rescued by the Australian authorities.”
ELECTION officials will arm voters with magnifying glasses at polling booths to deal with Queensland’s burgeoning Senate ballot paper.
With up to 50 political parties planning to field candidates for the state’s six contestable Senate seats, a voter would need hawk-eye vision to read the anticipated tiny-font, metre-long Senate ballot paper.
Australian Electoral Commission confirmed on Tuesday it planned to order enough magnifying glasses for every voting screen in Queensland.
AEC spokesman Evan Ekin-Smyth said it was difficult to find a printer capable of printing millions of ballot papers larger than one metre at short notice, meaning the font size must shrink.
“We can only hypothesise based on the number of parties,” he said. “If we have 100 or 120 (senate candidates) it could get down to 7pt or 6.5pt font.”
A LEADING Australian economist has used a visit to Springfield to paint a rosy picture of Queensland and the country’s economic outlook.
Professor Ian Harper of Deloitte Access Economics said Australia was more than just a “quarry and farm” and predicted growth would stay on trend at three per cent as the mining boom shifted gears from its capital investment phase to long-term resources export.
Speaking at the University of Southern Queensland’s Springfield campus earlier today, Prof Harper said talk of possible recession in Australia was unfounded and that there was a disparity between the bleak economic perception and brighter reality.
“Things have been bumpy along the bottom internationally but there’s no disaster here,” he said. “The long term outlook for us is as rosy as it could possibly be for a country of 23 million people.”
He said the manufacturing industry would change but survive, and there would be ongoing demand for Australian services and commodities as the growth of the middle class in China and India continued.
Former porn star and AFL legend Warwick Capper says Wayne Swan is “like watching grass grow” after being announced as the The Burger Urge Party’s candidate for the Brisbane seat of Lilley.
Famous for distributing condoms to West End homes as a publicity stunt, fast food franchise Burger Urge says it registered the party with the Australian Electoral Commission and plans to run a number of candidates at next election, including Mr Capper in Lilley.
On Friday Mr Capper – best known for his stint with the Sydney Swans and being kicked of Big Brother for nudity – declared himself “the face of small business” and said he wanted to introduce a referendum to recognised multiculturalism in the constitution.
“I’ve got a bit of colour in myself anyway and a great suntan so I’ve got to stand up for the common man and dark people,” he said. “I’ve got a bit of aboriginal in me.”
Mr Capper said he lost 5kg in six months from eating Burger Urge burgers and plans to open coffee shop in Melbourne.
The south-western Brisbane badlands have kept police busy with a spate of high profile crimes in recent days.
Guns were used at Oxley Motor Inn when it was robbed by a gang of masked thugs on Saturday night.
It is believed the same group was behind an another robbery at a Hamilton motel later that night, while at Ipswich three masked men produced a firearm at Jacaranda St bottle shop before fleeing over a back fence with cash.
The wave of gun crime comes just months after a highly successful Queensland Weapons and Firearms Amnesty in which 8000 firearms were surrendered to police.
Centenary Patrol Inspector Richard Kroon said there were still a number of illegal firearms around but police faced the added problem of replica guns being used in robberies.
“A number of them are replicas; however even to a trained person it’s difficult to tell the difference between the real and the replica without physically inspecting the item,” he said.
STEP aside Dark Lord, there is a new Lord of the Rings in town but he does not want to rule them all.
Modern day treasure hunter Justin Millman spends his spare time scanning land and sea, even dog poo, with his metal detector to find long-lost jewellery, heirlooms and historical artefacts.
Over the past six years the Jamboree Heights man has collected more than 200 gold, silver and platinum rings which he hopes to some day reunite with their owners.
He said if people email a photo of their lost ring to firstname.lastname@example.org he will check his collection and return it if possible.
TREASURE TROVE: Lost something? You might see it here
As a hobby Mr Millman has scoured beaches at Fraser and Hamilton islands, Tangalooma, Tweed Heads and the Sunshine and Gold coasts and regularly comes across rings, hearing aids, rare coins, matchbox cars, sinkers, toys, zippo lighters and keys.
Click here to read the full story at The Australian.
THE track stars behind the Richlands to Springfield railway project expect the line to be operation by late December if weather permits.
TrackStar Alliance manager Brad Jackson and Queensland Rail senior project manager Tony Snelling have been directing crews to move hills and bridge chasms to make way for the 9.5km dual-track railway line.
At total cost of $475 million, the project included train stations at Springfield and Springfield Central, two 5.5km northbound Centenary Motorway lanes, 800 car spaces, seven rail bridges and three road bridges.
Since the official sod turning in October 2011, Mr Jackson’s civil construction Alliance teams cut more than one million cubic metres of dirt and dumped about 368 Olympic-size swimming pools-worth of fill.
The highway upgrade required 6,100 tonnes of asphalt to cover an area of 71,000sq m. The roads needed 101,000sq m of road seal, 35km of line marking, 13,000m of guard railing and 2200m of concrete barriers.