500 jobs to follow as $700m resort gets underway
FOR more than 25 years Maha Sinnathamby has been carefully piecing together his multi-billion dollar Springfield vision and today he celebrated yet again by adding another vital piece to his complex jigsaw.
Following on the heels of the openings of the Mater Hospital, the second stage of Orion Shopping Centre, the Orion Lagoon and USQ stage two he welcomed the Dusit Thani five star resort.
The $700 million project has been on the drawing board for more than three years and some death knockers in the community were eager to predict that it would never arrive.
They were proved wrong once and for all yesterday as Dusit Thani representatives from Thailand joined Springfield Land executives and Mayor Paul Pisasale to turn the soil on the project.
The first of three stages will be built at the entrance to the Brookwater Golf Club and along the 10th fairway and it's predicted the resort will welcome its first international tourists by March 2018.
Springfield Land's deputy chairman, Bob Sharpless, told more than 100 guests at yesterday's sod turning that his company could have partnered with a number of smaller hotel operators.
"We stayed true to our vision and in the process I discovered the man who put this project together, Richard Turner, is a very determined person who is great at juggling a lot of balls," he said.
"Anyone who bites off a project like this and succeeds is a talented individual, especially as this involved high level negotiations in multiple countries.
"Richard has now positioned Brookwater and Ipswich internationally and the flow on benefits will be enormous.
"This five star international resort is not just about bringing people here to play golf, opportunities will now open up to promote all things in Ipswich such as our heritage, hot air ballooning, small vineyards and the like.
"I trust Ipswich gives Richard Turner the keys to the city when the doors finally open, because he deserves it."
Springfield Land Chairman, Maha Sinnathamby, said when you have a dream unless you bring it to reality it remains just a dream.
"With the total commitment of Ipswich Council our dream today became a reality.
"This region should be delighted that we have a luxury brand like Dusit Thani coming here.
"The benefits, which will include providing 500 jobs, will be a huge economic driver for the region."
While the expansion of Springfield has been rocketing in the past few years Mr Sinnathamby predicted the future was looking even brighter.
With a broad grin he told the assembled dignitaries "you ain't see nothin' yet".