Energy crops - Pongamia plants
In an Australian first, QUU recently established ‘energy crop’ farms at their Toogoolawah and Boonah Sewage Treatment Plants, which involved planting 5,800 Pongamia plants, complete with custom irrigation systems. These trials are expected to reduce effluent discharged to the environment by irrigating the ‘energy crops’ with treated effluent, and offset their fossil fuel dependency by harvesting the seeds to produce bio-fuel. It is estimated that four hectares of plants could yield 12,000L of biodiesel every year, which is enough to run around 24 fleet vehicles. The crop farms will also provide a drought proof source of water to help maximise the trees’ annual seed yields and diversify land use in regional areas.
Get Out and Get Active Funding
This programme provides funding for projects that will deliver community-based sport and recreation activities that increase opportunities for participation by women and girls who are either currently inactive, or would otherwise benefit from further participation.
Start Playing Stay Playing
The Queensland Treasurer and Minister for Sport, Curtis Pitt, has launched the Queensland Government’s new Join the Movement campaign urging women and girls across the state to become active and healthier for life. Join the Movement, is part of the government’s sports encouragement Start Playing Stay Playing initiative, and would use popular social media channels as well as a dedicated website to inspire more women and girls to get active. See more
Scenic Rim Eat Local Week
Join in and experience the food and wine of the Scenic Rim at Scenic Rim’s Eat Local Week. Eat Local Week provides visitors and locals with an opportunity to learn about and enjoy the outstanding array of fresh, local products available right on their doorstep. Eat Local Week connects consumers with farmers and highlights the benefits of sourcing food that’s in season, close to home. More info
University of Southern Queensland Update
Whilst attending a University of Southern Queensland forum at their Springfield campus, Assistant Minister for Local Government Jennifer Howard MP and RDAIWM Chair Kathy Bensted were given an update by the Vice-Chancellor Jan Thomas about the university’s commitment to the southwest corridor and the Ipswich region and the increase in student numbers at both the Springfield and Ipswich campus. Ipswich has a major focus on health studies, while Springfield sees the introduction of a Bachelor Degree in Aviation.
Somerset Timber Bridges Replacement
The Mayor of Somerset Regional Council Graeme Lehmann recently toured the region with RDAIWM Chair Kathy Bensted and Committee Member Albert de Ruiter. On the agenda was the funding applications for the replacement of the timber Pryde Creek Bridge on England Creek Road and Apple Tree Creek Bridge at Cressbrook. This will provide reliable transport networks to both major employers in the food manufacturing and cattle by-products industries in the region.
RAAF Amberley Briefs RDAIWM
Whilst attending a community information forum, RDAIWM Chair Kathy Bensted was given a briefing on the expansion currently planned for the RAAF Base Amberley. The $1 billion development is a massive economic development boost both to Ipswich and the surrounding regions.
Lockyer Valley Future Projects
Lockyer Valley Regional Council Deputy Mayor Tanya Milligan discussed with RDAIWM Chair Kathy Bensted, their councils two latest NSRF applications. The Gatton West Industrial Zone (GWIZ) and the Sustainable Water Project are both important pieces of infrastructure that will be critical to the future development of their $262 million annual agricultural industry. These two projects have the potential to unlock major economic investment in the region, generating much-needed jobs and business attraction
National RDA Chair's Reference Group
Whilst recently in Canberra to attend the National RDA Chair’s Reference Group, Queensland representative Ms Kathy Bensted presented to the Minister of Regional Development Senator Fiona Nash the priorities of the Ipswich and West Moreton region. Ms Bensted had the opportunity to advocate on behalf of the region projects including the Ipswich CBD Lagoon, the Somerset timber bridges replacement program and the Lockyer Valley Gatton West Industrial Zone and Sustainable Water Project. All projects are highly significant to the economic development of region and surrounding communities.
Advance Queensland Ignite Ideas Fund
Businesses and startups can now apply for up to $250,000 to help turn their ideas into market-ready products through the $10 million Advance Queensland Ignite Ideas Fund. Funding is available to help businesses by supporting activities that prove your idea will work or to assist with identifying a market or investor for your product, process or service.