KUALA LUMPUR, July 22 (Bernama) — Malaysian-born developer Maha Sinnathamby has been inducted into the Queensland Business Leaders Hall of Fame for his visionary leadership in creating Australia’s first privately-constructed city.
Known as Greater Springfield and now 27 years in the making with a population of more than 41,000, the city has been described by Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull as a “nation-building project of national significance”.
The Queensland Business Leaders Hall of Fame was established 11 years ago to recognise the significant contributions by businesses and their leaders to the state’s reputation, economic and social development.
In a statement to Bernama, Springfield City Group said also inducted into the Hall of Fame was Sinnathamby’s Greater Springfield co-founder Bob Sharpless, both of whom had created the city out of 3,000 hectares of land they acquired in 1992 in the middle of an economically and socially depressed area of Southeast Queensland.
This is the second accolade bestowed on Sinnathamby in two months. Last month, he received an Appointment as a Member (AM) of the Order of Australia from Queen Elizabeth in Her Majesty’s Birthday Honours List.
Sinnathamby, 79, born in Rantau, Negeri Sembilan, moved to Australia as an 18-year-old student at the University of New South Wales studying an engineering degree before migrating permanently in 1971.
He was also recently listed as Australia’s 47th richest man with a net worth of AU$1.66 billion.
Springfield City is now one of Australia’s fastest-emerging cities and is the only other city besides Canberra to be built from scratch.
It is home to the University of Southern Queensland, an 80-bed private hospital, 11 schools with 15,000 students that were expected to increase to 30 schools, all within five minutes of each other.
Greater Springfield has also been recognised on the world scale for several achievements, including the World’s Best Master Planned Community by the International Real Estate Federation (FIABCI) and Australia’s Best Master Planned Community by Urban Development Institute of Australia.
According to the statement, to date, a total of AU$17 billion had been invested in the project with 25 per cent completion rate and when fully completed was expected to have 140,000 residents.
Sinnathamby said he was extremely proud to accept the award with Sharpless, adding that the success of Greater Springfield was the result of a collaborative effort of many individuals.
“While this is humbling recognition for my business partner and me, we must also pay tribute to the many hundreds of people who helped build this city and the 41,000 residents who now call Greater Springfield home,” he said.
“Being inducted into the Hall of Fame is an acknowledgement and testimony that with passion and dedication and a never-give-up attitude, anyone can benefit from this great state,” he added.