Today Federal Member for Oxley, Milton Dick MP, was joined by Shadow Minister for Defence Richard Marles MP, Ipswich Acting Mayor Paul Tully and local Division 1 Councillor David Morrison and called for a 137ha parcel of Defence Force land to be rezoned for community use.
Referred to as the ‘Springfield Environmental Corridor’ the land sits adjacent to Woodcrest State College beside the Centenary Motorway and is equal in size to 10 Suncorp Stadium precincts.
Mr Dick said it was time the Defence Department either uses it or loses it.
“For years now local schools, community groups and residents have been calling for this land to be handed over to the Ipswich City Council for more appropriate use” said Mr Dick.
“Both Ipswich Acting Mayor Paul Tully and Councillor David Morrison have lobbied me to see this land put to better use. I was proud to show the site to Richard today. He’s agreed that a future Labor Government would explore how to get the most out of the site for the community.”
“With housing and Woodcrest State College both close by, the Defence Department has very limited use of the land and should do the right thing by handing it over to the local community.
Such handovers of land are not without precedent after the rezoning of the Wacol ‘Pooh Corner’ bushland site in 2005.
Almost identical in size to the Springfield Environment Corridor, Pooh corner had been identified for development, but was transferred to the Brisbane City Council for $1 to be managed as a nature conservation reserve after a grass roots community campaign.
The Springfield community has been loud and clear that this land should also be handed over to the local council.
“I want to see this land used by our community, and will keep up the pressure on the Federal Government and the Department of Defence to do so” said Mr Dick.
“I’ll work closely with Richard and my Labor colleagues to make sure this land is an asset for our community.
“From bush walking to bird watching, this land rightly deserves to be in community hands.”
Local State Labor Candidate for Jordan Mrs Charis Mullen welcomed the commitment.
“This parcel of land is in an ideal location to be used by community groups” she said.
“I look forward to working with Milton and Richard to get the most out of the Springfield Environment Corridor for our local community.”