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How a City Was Made: The Story of Springfield

Posted on 14 April 2015

Springfield, located west of Brisbane in Queensland, might look like an ordinary everyday suburb, but it owes its existence to the dream of a man who grew up in a poor Malaysian village and sought a better life in Australia.

The vision of Springfield

Springfield was the dream of Maha Sinnathamby, who came to Australia with his family in the 1970s. He and his business partner Bob Sharpless paid $7.2 million for the 2,860-hectare site between Brisbane and Ipswich in the early 1990s. When he bought the land, Maha envisioned a self-contained city where people could live ‘cradle to grave’.

According to an article in The Courier Mail, it wasn’t an easy feat for Maha in the early days; he spent years trying to convince people that building a privately owned city on scrubland was not a crazy idea. In those days, the area between Brisbane and Ipswich was socially and economically depressed, but Maha knew that his vision of nurturing the pillars of community, particularly education, technology and health, could turn the area around.

And indeed it has. Now better known as Greater Springfield, it’s Australia’s largest master planned city, incorporating six suburbs, and an estimated current population of 30,000 residents. By 2030, the population of Greater Springfield is projected to be 105,000 residents, which is comparable to Darwin in the Northern Territory.

Designed to cater for a number of lifestyles

Each of the six suburbs that make up Greater Springfield has been designed to cater for a variety of tastes, budgets and lifestyles, and all have easy access to childcare, shopping, parks, schools, and sporting facilities. Whether a first home buyer or someone “winning the game of life” as is the tagline for the golf community of Brookwater, almost everyone is catered for in Greater Springfield.

Purpose-built business district at heart of thriving community

It’s not all housing estates either. At the heart of the city lies Springfield Central, a purpose-built, 390-hectare CBD. The CBD offers office, retail, educational, health and technology facilities. GE’s state headquarters opened in the CBD in February. The Mater Private Hospital and stage two of the Orion Shopping Centre are two of the most recent development projects, and many more are either planned or underway.

As well as the commercial precinct, Greater Springfield is also home to Education City, extensive parklands, shopping centres, and a rail line and two train stations.

One vision – and many strategic partnerships

Although much of the city has been driven by the vision of one man, there have been a number of strategic partnerships formed with developers and service providers such as Suncorp, Thiess, Lend Lease, LandPartners and Australand to build the satellite city. Australand developed house and land packages, and Lend Lease managed the $8.79 billion residential development of the suburb of Springfield Lakes.

Raynuha Sinnathamby, Maha’s daughter and Managing Director of Springfield Land Corporation, told The Australian newspaper: “We realised early into the project we couldn’t row the boat ourselves - thousands of hectares and one single private company. So we formed strategic partnerships.”

Greater Springfield has been a specifically planned vision spanning over 20 years. It started off as a master plan on an office wall, and over the years, pieces of the puzzle have come together to form a thriving self sufficient and sustainable community with top class facilities.

If you are one of the lucky people planning to call one of the suburbs in Greater Springfield your home, contact Compare Inspections to arrange your pre-purchase pest and building inspections today.


By Darel McBride


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