Council hope $20m funding request will bring Lions to Ipswich

IPSWICH City Council remains committed to bringing the Brisbane Lions to the city and has submitted a new $20 million funding request to the State and Federal governments to bring that vision about.

The plan is to secure funding for a new community sport facility for a site next to Springfield Central train station at an estimated cost of $30 million.

The Brisbane Lions will be the chief tenant at the previously announced high performance training and administration facility.

The former Labor government committed $15 million funding for the project which was rejected by the current Abbott Government. Labor said the funding was in the forward estimates while the Liberals rubbished the commitment as an unfunded election promise.

But Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale said the project was still on track with council making "applications for funding of $10 million through the Queensland Government's Royalties to Regions Program and $10 million from the Australian Government's National Stronger Regions Fund".

"Already some $20 million has been invested in infrastructure surrounding the site, including access to the train station," Cr Pisasale said. "The project is shovel-ready and will generate up to 194 jobs during construction and 180 jobs when completed."

Cr Pisasale said the new community sports hub would also bring economic and social benefits to the wider community of an estimated $23 million per annum and was "fully endorsed by major stakeholders in the region".

"Ipswich remains the most advanced site for the future growth of the Lions in Brisbane and the wider region."

Joint funding of $8.5 million from Ipswich City Council and Springfield Land Corporation has been confirmed. Council CEO Jim Lindsay has been to Melbourne to talk to the AFL about why Ipswich is the best place for the Lions.

"I have heard rumours, and they better not be true, that the Federal Government has said the money is available for the north coast and not for Ipswich.

"But as I have said to (former LNP candidate for Blair) Teresa Harding, 'If the money is available from the Federal Government the Lions should determine where the money is spent'.

"I want fair play. I don't want to see any political games. But I am more confident than I have ever been that we will succeed."



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