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30 January 2008

Albert Street Goodna floodway warning

The floodway in Albert Street Goodna between Alice Street and Smiths Road can be hazardous after heavy rain.

There is a large water catchment from Redbank Plains Road in the south, Queen Street in the east and west to Stuart Street.

Because of the recent rain which has saturated the ground, Albert Street can flood within 15 minutes of a torrential downpour followed by Smiths Road between Albert Street and Arne Street.

Both roads were flooded this afternoon shortly after 3.00pm.


Cars negotiate the Albert Street floodway at Goodna.




Twenty years ago, the Ipswich City Council acquired a residential property on the western side of Albert Street which was badly affected by floodwater several times a year.

Local Councillor Paul Tully has asked drivers to take extreme care when floodwater is covering Albert Street or Smiths Road.




All asplash as a 4WD drives across the Albert Street floodway.



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Notorious Goodna intersection to be upgraded

The notorious Smiths Road/Albert Street intersection at Goodna will be upgraded following today's serious accident when a car in Albert Street collided with a vehicle travelling west along Smiths Road towards Stuart Street.

Division 2 Councillor Paul Tully was only 100 metres away in Albert Street when the accident occurred shortly after 3.40pm.

Cr Tully said although there were stop signs on both legs of Albert Street, accidents had continued to occur.

Today's accident saw police, fire and ambulance services on the scene quickly with one of the drivers transported to hospital.

Cr Tully told local residents that a decision would be made within days as to what works would be undertaken at the intersection.

He said in the past, speed and inattention had been identified as the major causes of the accidents at this location.

Cr Tully said Smiths Road would be upgraded in the next three to four years with a direct connection from St Ives Shopping Centre at Goodna via Chalk Street to Redbank Plaza.

"This will necessitate traffic lights at Stuart Street where there are currently 4 stop signs, with future traffic lights also planned for William Street and Albert Street.

"But we cannot wait for three or four years because the Albert Street intersection needs to be upgraded as soon as possible."

Cr Tully said all possible options for the Smiths Road/Albert Street intersection would be examined and a decision made quickly to enable work to proceed as a matter of priority.

"This is a dangerous intersection and I will escalate this matter to achieve a satisfactory outcome for local residents and drivers," Cr Tully said.




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27 January 2008

All Division 2 Schools to have flashing warning signs

All schools in Division 2 will have flashing warning signs operating for the start of the school year to alert motorists of the 40kph zones through school pedestrian crossings.

Division 2 Councillor Paul Tully has organised Council workers to install the warning devices over the Christmas break in time for the start of first term.

Cr Paul Tully inspects the new 40kph warning
lights installed in Church Street Goodna near
St Francis Xavier School.



The flashing lights are programmed via a remote-controlled system using a mobile phone signal to automatically turn the lights on and off in the mornings and afternoons when the 40kph school speed limit applies.

The activation of signs for each school has been customised for the whole year to take into account different school hours, holidays and pupil free days.

Cr Tully said the new signs had been erected at:

St Francis Xavier School, Goodna
Goodna State School,
Westside Christian College, Goodna, and
Redbank State School.

A trial of the warning lights has been undertaken at Kruger State School on Kruger Parade at Bellbird Park with those lights completely replaced last month with an upgraded system.

The cost of the five warning systems is $85,000. .

Cr Tully said the trial of flashing signs on the approach side of school pedestrian crossings had resulted in a speed reduction around schools.

He said some drivers deliberately ignored speed limits while others became oblivious to speed signs around them.

"These new flashing signs have amber warning lights at the top and bottom and a flashing 40kph sign in the middle, so there is no excuse if drivers get caught speeding around our local schools in the future.

"Young children are often not aware of the dangers of speeding cars and I urge all motorists to take care near our schools especially at the start of the school year when a lot of youngsters will be learning the road rules for the first time."

Cr Tully said he also planned to extend the warning sign program this year to include St Augustine's College at Augustine Heights.

"These signs are designed to reinforce speed limits and save lives around our schools and if drivers get caught speeding, they will have only themselves to blame," Cr Tully said.


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19 January 2008

Ipswich property prices soar - Bellbird Park up 20.2%

THE QUEENSLAND TIMES REPORTS

Saturday 19 January 2008


Buy now or risk paying more is what many Ipswich property experts are saying.

Walkers Real Estate principal June Frank predicts Ipswich property prices will rise 30 per cent this year.

"Buy as many properties as you can finance as the prices are on the up and up," Ms Frank said.

"And if you do sell, ensure you buy again right away to not lose on the rapid growth that Ipswich and the south-east is experiencing."

The latest Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ) figures show that in the 12 months to the end of September last year Ipswich local government area prices increased 13.
3 per cent to a median $269,000.

The most affordable areas in the 12 months to the end of September were Dinmore ($192,000), Leichhardt ($214,000) and Tivoli ($214,250).

The most expensive were Springfield Lakes ($360,000), Barellan Point ($385,000) and Karalee ($432,500).

Highest percentage changes were recorded at Riverview (25.4 per cent), East Ipswich (22.5 per cent) and Bellbird Park (20.2 per cent).

Ms Frank predicts North Ipswich to boom because of the popularity of Riverlink shopping centre and the centre of Ipswich.

She also expects more homes throughout the city to reach six figures.

"Yes more houses will hit the million-dollar mark, as the entry level price pushes up and land values keep increasing, so do all the other price brackets," she said.

LJ Hooker Ipswich area specialist Linda Hart said investing your money in Ipswich was like guaranteed money in the bank.

"I am hoping to see an increase of as much as 10 per cent from now to the end of the year," Mrs Hart said.

"We are having a huge start to the year and believe it will keep getting stronger.

"We are getting calls from all over Australia wanting information on both areas (commercial/residential)."

Mrs Hart said One Mile was about to "take off" and would go out with a "bang" soon.

"One Mile certainly has the affordability more so than other suburbs, this creates interest from both first-home buyers and first-time investors looking to start their portfolio, she said.

LJ Hooker Ipswich principal Darren Boettcher said prices in Ipswich would continue to steadily climb as they had for the past five years.

"By the end of the year I think it will be difficult to find a home under $300,000," Mr Boettcher said.

"This will put added pressure to the first-home buyer.

"Today's market is totally different to when I started 16 years ago. Back then we had over 100 listings and 20 buyers. Today its 100 buyers and 20 listings."

Mr Boettcher said in the next couple of years some parts of Yamanto and Brassall would soon see that magical million-dollar price tag due to new homes being built with state-of-the-art decor and theatre rooms.

As for the rental market, Mr Boettcher predicts the market to move at least another $30 a week average this year because of high rental inquiry and a lack of new homes being built because of a land shortage.

Ray White Ipswich principal Warren Ramsey said Ipswich prices would continue to rise because of a major shortage in the more affordable end of the housing market.

Mr Ramsey predicts Dinmore, Ebbw Vale, Riverview, North Booval, Churchill, One Mile and Leichhardt to be boom areas.

"Ipswich is fast becoming one of the most desirable places to live within south-east Queensland," he said.


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St Francis Xavier School Church Street Goodna gains with footpath upgrade

The footpath and planter beds in Church Street Goodna - from the Catholic Church, south to the Goodna Police Station - are going through a major transformation.

Ipswich City Council workers are re-laying almost 100 metres of concrete footpath, including concrete build-outs to the kerb, to facilitate the drop-off and pick-up of hundreds of school children every day.

Some of the existing footpath has deteriorated over the years, with nearby tree roots undermining the footpath and buckling it - making it dangerous for all pedestrians.



Work is progressing on the footpath upgrade in Church Street
Goodna in time for the opening of school at the end of January.

Two years ago, the Council trialled new planter beds - replacing the existing ones made from railway sleepers with sandstone blocks which will never deteriorate.

These have proved very successful.

As part of the current project, all of the old planter beds will be upgraded with sandstone.

These two projects between make this section of public footpath up to the corner of Church Street and Alice Street a very safe and attractive part of Goodna.

Weather permitting, all the work will be completed before school resumes at the end of January.

The current works fits in with Council's Goodna Town Centre Master Plan which identifies Goodna as one of the key locations for implementing the "City of Centres" strategy across Ipswich.



A safe, new footpath linking in Church Street Goodna, between Alice Street and the Goodna roundabout.







Map of Church Street Goodna showing where the upgrading project is occurring.







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18 January 2008

Eagle Street to link Goodna and Bellbird Park

Eagle Street is the boundary between Goodna and Bellbird Park and until 1995 was the common boundary between the City of Ipswich and the former Moreton Shire.

Eagle Street - coming from Redbank Plains Road - has been a dead end road for a hundred years, petering out just west of the intersection of Elkhorn Street and Mair Drive.

Eagle Street has now been upgraded for a distance of 500 metres to a fully kerbed road with overhead street lighting and a concrete footpath, west to the newly built Siffleet Street at Bellbird Park.



The newly-constructed Eagle Street looking west from the
corner of Elkhorn Street Bellbird Park and Mair Drive Goodna.


Eagle Street is now fully constructed to within 70 metres of Kruger Parade.

The developer of the new estate at the western end of Eagle Street - behind the Kruger State School - had proposed a short, 70 metre road link to Kruger Parade - which could have left the section from Siffleet Street back to Elkhorn Street and Mair Drive as a "missing link" for many years.

Ipswich City Council is now finalising the design plans for the remaining section of Eagle Street.


The new Eagle Street between Redbank Plains Road Goodna and Kruger Parade Bellbird Park.


Local Councillor Paul Tully said this would be a "tricky exercise" with high voltage power lines and underground cables right at the intersection of Eagle Street and Kruger Parade.

Cr Tully said the Council planned to install traffic lights at the intersection.

He said the work was planned to commence in mid-2008 and once it was completed, it would provide a much-needed link between the two suburbs.

It would enable motorists to avoid the notorious Kruger Parade roundabout and discourage illegal u-turns at the corner of Redbank Plains Road and Brennan Street.



Eagle Street at the corner of Siffleet Street
Bellbird Park looking towards Kruger Parade Redbank.








Where the new connection road will be built along Eagle Street to connect Redbank Plains Road at Goodna with Kruger Parade Bellbird Park.






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Alice Street Goodna gets major upgrade

Alice Street Goodna is currently undergoing a major pavement upgrade from Bertha Street west to Jo Street.

Alice Street is the major link from Goodna, through Gailes, to Old Logan Road Camira.

Local Councilor Paul Tully described the existing surface of Alice Street as "needing a major face lift".

Cr Tully said some significant patching was undertaken two years ago but the subsurface area of Alice Street had failed, requiring a significant upgrade.



Ipswich City Council will be working on the project over the next 2 weeks, with Alice Street under daytime traffic control during that time.

The speed limit has been reduced to 40kph through the works zone.

Motorists and pedestrians are requested to exercise extreme caution during the construction period.



Map of where the work is occurring at Alice Street Goodna.


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15 January 2008

Western Corridor Recycled Water Pipeline surges through Camira, Gailes and Goodna

The Western Corridor Recycled Water Project is surging ahead as construction continues through Camira, Gailes and Goodna.

One pipeline has already been constructed through the grounds of the Wolston Park Golf Course and across Brisbane Terrace near Woogaroo Creek.

That pipe will be extended to Woogaroo Street where it will travel west to Layard Street and meet the eastern pipeline from Luggage Point coming through Camira and Gailes.

The eastern pipeline comes past the Camira State School, across Newman Street at Gailes and through Kippen Park - the home of soccer in Goodna - then via Mill Street to Leslie Park, opposite the BP Service Station.

The 6 metre deep access hole - almost big enough to fit a truck in -
at the corner of Woogaroo and Layard Streets Goodna, as part of a
tunnel boring operation for the Western Corridor Recycled Water Project.


It will then go under the Ipswich Motorway and the Ipswich to Brisbane Railway line in a massive tunnel boring operation.

It then emerges at the corner of Woogaroo and Layard Streets where it will run parallel to the first pipeline, across Layard Street, under the Goodna netball courts and into Evan Marginson Park.



Cr Paul Tully (right) and Cr David Morrison inspect the Western Corridor Recycled Water Project at Goodna as a crane lowers a pipe into the massive 6 metre deep pit.



At present, there is a massive entry hole constructed at the corner of Woogaroo and Layard Streets - 12 metres deep with an underground mechanical digger inching its way under Layard Street over the next few weeks.

The pit is 12 metres deep and a laser beam guides the operator - one of two little guys from Thailand - who sit for 12 hours at a time inside the 1.5 metre piping guiding the unit through the heavy clay.

A new section of pipe is added after the digger makes a little more progress with this delicate and highly-skilled operation.

The pipe will become the outer casing for the actual water recycling pipe.

It is a slow and meticulous 24 hour a day operation.

This is part of the third largest recycled water pipeline project in the world and the largest in the southern hemisphere.

It is the State Government's answer to the worst water crisis on record in southeast Queensland.

Local residents have been very patient with the associated traffic and personal disruptions created by this project which is forging ahead as the southeast corner is "drought-proofed" for future generations.

The recycled water pipelines for southeast Queensland all converge at Goodna in the biggest construction project ever seen in the suburb.

Map of where the tunnel boring is occurring at Woogaroo Street Goodna.


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13 January 2008

Ipswich Decides: Goodna's future grows on locals

THE QUEENSLAND TIMES REPORTS:

As former mayor of Ipswich and chairman of Moreton Shire Council, Bellbird Park resident John Nugent can be expected to closely follow the workings of his local government.

He has lived in the area currently designated Division Two of Ipswich City Council since 1951.

"It's changing a lot," Mr Nugent said.

"It had an undeserved bad name.

"Goodna is a desirable area to be now.

"I think it's a great place to live.

"Within 10 to 15 years, most of the central area of Goodna will be going to units because you're within walking distance of everything.

"The whole region will be unrecognisable in the next 10 to 20 years.

"It'll still be a young demographic but with a lot more of the middle-income group."

His view is that council's plans for the future are "ontrack".

Divisional Councillor Paul Tully intends to stick around to see those plans to fruition.

He will contest the March 15 local government election for the slightly altered division.

A State Government redraw of the boundaries has put all of Augustine Heights, a new suburb within the Springfield region, Bellbird Park south of Jones Road and a small area of Camira between Newman Street and Old Logan Road within Division Two.

The western side of Kruger Parade at Redbank has gone over to another division.

Multiculturalism and a growing population are defining characteristics of the division which is based around Goodna.

Ninety ethnic groups were identified in the 2006 Census.

"Goodna had a major boost five years ago when property prices trebled," Cr Tully said.

The Federal Government's planned upgrade of the Ipswich Motorway from Dinmore to Gailes is expected to turn Goodna into the major centre between Brisbane and Ipswich.

If re-elected, Cr Tully intends to concentrate on roads, footpaths and park improvements.

"I promised a campaign of back-to-basics (in the last election in 2004)," he said.

"I've never lost sight of the
need for improvements around the local area."

Cr Tully was first elected in 1979 at the age of 27 as the youngest Councillor ever elected to the Ipswich City Council.

He is currently Ipswich's longest-serving Councillor and Queensland's longest-serving elected city Councillor.

He remains in favour of a bridge over the Brisbane River to the western suburbs to replace the Moggill Ferry.


The bridge should be a part of a northern extension of the Logan Motorway, he said.

Cr Tully first suggested in 2005 that the antiquated ferry service was inappropriate as a major link between Ipswich and Brisbane.

"The Government should start resuming land for an ultimate road corridor to link Goodna and Moggill as part of a western ring road around Brisbane," he said.


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18 percent boost for Goodna townhouses

THE QUEENSLAND TIMES REPORTS:

Units, townhouses and duplexes are the flavour of the month in the Ipswich region, according to Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ) zone chairman Peter Mendoza.

Mr Mendoza couldn't find one property fitting that description for sale on his books at PRD Nationwide yesterday - they'd all been sold.

"They're becoming more popular with home buyers," Mr Mendoza said.

"At the moment the stock in units has dried up."

Buyers of units usually aren't keen on looking after yards, or are attracted by the affordability compared with houses, Mr Mendoza said.

He estimates that Ipswich properties are 30 per cent cheaper than Brisbane.

"Any residential property's strong at the moment," he said.

"Sixty per cent of our buyers are local.

"Thirty per cent are investors and some of those are from interstate."

Mr Mendoza said popular suburbs for buyers at the moment were Flinders View, Yamanto, Brassall and Woodend.

January and February are good sales months for PRD Nationwide, with lots of buyers.

The Goodna area has recorded a price increase of 18.2 per cent for units and townhouses in the 12 months to the end of September 2007, from $148,000 to $175,000.

Buyers at Redbank Plains are now looking at a median price of $190,000, a rise of $31,000 since the end of September 2006.

REIQ figures released yesterday show that it is still possible to buy a unit or townhouse for less than $250,000 in one-third of Queensland's major centres.

"While declining housing affordability continues to be a serious issue for first-home buyers, many people are now recognising that there is a way to get into the property market, and that is units or townhouses," REIQ chairman Peter McGrath said.

"With the possibility of more interest rate rises this year, and some banks already raising interest rates independently of any moves by the Reserve Bank, first-home buyers especially need to be careful not to over-capitalise to get into the market.

"Units and townhouses continue to be affordable options with these housing types still having medians under $250,000 in many parts of the State.

"In today's market, properties under $250,000 represent a very affordable way into the market and ensure that first-home buyers can better meet their monthly loan repayments."


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Raining cats, dogs and bombs at new RSPCA site Redbank

THE BRISBANE TIMES REPORTS:

A myriad of underground mine tunnels and unexploded World War II bombs has forced a six-month delay to the start of work at the RSPCA's new $19 million headquarters at Redbank.

The RSPCA planned to start work this month, as part of its plan to shift from its run-down Fairfield home.

However, seven "unexploded ordnances", or WWII bombs, were found on the site in the latter half of 2007, while a recently discovered network of underground mine shafts from the nearby Westfalen mine was still causing delays.

RSPCA Qld chief executive officer Mark Townend said the seven unexploded ordnances had been exploded but the mine tunnels remain a problem.

"There are more underground mine shafts that didn't show up on the previous surveys," Mr Townend said.


An police officer inspects the remains of a live
mortar exploded on 12 July 2007 on the former
Redbank Rifle Range which was the site af an
Australian and American Army Base during
World War 2.

"But we still plan to finish onsite by mid-July 2009. It is still the location for us, there is no doubt."

Mr Townend said there was no longer a problem with unexploded ordnances.

"The UXOs have been cleared. It is a clear site," he said.

Mr Townend said he understood the RSPCA still had enough unencumbered land on the Redbank site to house the buildings planned for the purpose-built animal refuge.

Plans for the new animal shelter have yet to be approved by Ipswich City Council.

Ipswich City Council planning and development committee chairman Cr Paul Tully said the plans had only recently been received, but he said underground mine tunnels were not unusual in Ipswich.

"They have only just lodged the town planning application," Cr Tully said.

"These are issues, but they are still side issues.

"The tunnels are from the Westfalen mine which is about two kilometres to the west."

Cr Tully said the old mining tunnels could influence where the RSPCA's planned buildings were built on the Chalk Street site at Redbank.

He said Ipswich City Council also planned to extend Smiths Road at Goodna through to Chalk Street as the Ipswich Motorway upgrade program started, a move which would help the new RSPCA site.

"We are looking to do this in the next two years," he said.

The RSPCA still needs $6 million in capital support from private sponsors to allow the new centre to go ahead.

The State Government allocated $14 million in December 2006, which included a $10 million grant, about $2 million from the sale of the Fairfield site, plus the "gifting" of $2 million for the new site at Redbank.

Mr Townend said he anticipated clearance for the location of buildings "above ground" to occur in mid-February.


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