As reported in Monday’s edition of Ipswich First, the Mayor is spruiking a wish list of infrastructure and spending he’d like to see stumped up by the future state government. The list identifies big items which will drive Ipswich forward. They have been put into a formal document which is being presented to candidates.
Here it is, unedited and in full.
The City of Ipswich is one of the fastest growing cities in Australia located in a region with five of the ten biggest councils in the nation.
The city’s current population of just over 200,000 is on a trajectory for rapid growth.
By 2036 it is projected to increase to 484,000.
This document presents the priorities which deliver long term sustainable benefits for residents, businesses and visitors to Ipswich.
I’m also calling for a review of public transport services to ensure we have fit-for-purpose train and bus services meeting the needs of a growing city.
For the future success of Ipswich there needs to be an alignment of goals, priorities and agendas to keep our city moving forward.
Infrastructure priorities for Ipswich
(in line with the Council of Mayors SEQ advocacy priorities)
Norman Street bridge $250 million
This bridge will provide a second crossing of the Bremer River for the Ipswich CBD – a designated Principal Regional Activity Centre. This crossing will improve access and productivity by removing non-essential through traffic, and will also ensure a key additional access during emergencies and natural disasters.
Cunningham Highway (Yamanto to Willowbank) $276 million
This project is driven by road safety and capacity constraints arising from a combination of rapid development in the south-western corridor and limited transport networks available to support the demand.
This project would improve safety, reduce congestion and provide greater efficiency in the movement of interstate and inter-regional freight to the Port of Brisbane and Australian Trade Coast precinct as well as improving access to RAAF Base Amberley (one of Australia’s largest Defence facilities) and the state and regionally significant Ebenezer Willowbank Business and Industry Area.
Springfield to Ipswich southern rail corridor $150 million
The opening of the passenger rail corridor from Darra to Springfield has increased public transport usage in the western corridor and reduced the number of vehicles on the Centenary Highway. Springfield Central to Ipswich rail will further improve accessibility to public transport for significant urban growth areas and support increased density around a planned new centre at School Road Redbank Plains. Initially the rail network should be extended from Springfield Central to School Road as well as from the Ipswich CBD to Ripley.
Ipswich Regional Performing Arts Centre (IPAC) $100 million
This project includes a 1,000-seat main theatre, a 300 – 400 seat flat floor theatre, a 750 seat performance / function facility and ancillary areas for conferences, a kitchen, rehearsal spaces, entertainment and selected retail outlets. The space will be used for the performing arts, conferences, exhibitions, functions and events, boosting the regional economy and supporting the role of the Ipswich CBD as a designated Principal Regional Activity Centre.
Ipswich Motorsport Precinct redevelopment $93 million
Ipswich City Council is committed to the vision of positioning the Ipswich Motorsport Precinct as an internationally recognised motorsport facility and maximising the potential commercial and economic benefits to the state, regional and local economy. The proposal involves the redevelopment of existing facilities and the addition of exciting new motorsport disciplines including motorcycle racing and speedway, along with the development of a motorsport business hub to support motorsport in SEQ. Estimated to cost $93 million, the redevelopment will provide 460 jobs during construction and sustain some additional 600 jobs in the region through motorsport activities
Ripley Valley community infrastructure $4 million
The Ripley Valley is a significant PDA for the state. Located in one of the largest industry growth areas in Australia the Ripley Valley development will provide residential growth to meet the region’s affordable housing needs. Investment in community infrastructure is fundamental to community health, well-being and economic prosperity. Purpose-built community infrastructure in the Ripley Valley will bring people together, strengthen community capacity, build community resilience and enhance community cohesion.
Bring forward the business case for Toowoomba to Rosewood passenger bus/rail service $2.5 million
Development of the Toowoomba to Rosewood passenger bus/rail service would provide essential public transport infrastructure from the south-west of the state to Ipswich and Brisbane. This is vital now rather than deferring in anticipation of the possible future delivery of passenger rail through the inland rail delivery mechanism.
Brisbane Valley Highway upgrade (Blacksoil to Blackbutt) $45 million
This project involves upgrading of a large section of the Brisbane Valley Highway. This project will increase road safety, improving the freight and transport links between the Somerset Region, the South Burnett and the Warrego Highway. It will provide for the growth in commuter traffic using the Brisbane Valley Highway to access work and retail hubs in Ipswich and the western suburbs of Brisbane.
Social and community priorities for Ipswich
Continued investment in social housing
Redevelopment of key state owned land within the region to ensure the lower income and disadvantaged households are adequately housed and supported to engage within the community. These housing developments would be well located close to transport, education and other services to encourage educational and economic participation. Included in this call is to develop the capacity of the housing levels to provide crisis housing for need as it is identified (e.g. young people and victims / offenders of domestic violence).
Commitment to a public transport network review
Prioritised delivery of public transport to key expansion areas within the LGA in particular to prioritise the provision of rail and essential transport to Redbank Plains and ultimately to the Ripley Valley to encourage economic and environmental sustainability of this rapidly growing area.
Commitment to review employment pathways
To support the city’s planned industry aspirations with a view to connecting local people to local jobs.
Increased funding for community centres
Community Centres are needed to support the needs of a rapidly growing and increasingly diverse population. These facilities enable community connectedness, social inclusion and provide a space for the delivery of critical social programming.
Prioritised spending and accelerated development of educational facilities
This includes the purchasing of land for schools in the Ipswich area. Recent scoping with Education Queensland identified the need for many new schools (20+ over the next 10-15 years) to address Ipswich’s young population and projected growth. Current schools will need the infrastructure upgraded sooner rather than later to meet the projected growth in a planned implementation (i.e minimising strain on current resources).
Ipswich’s younger population will also mean there will be further pressure placed on higher education systems, including TAFE and a focus on this area would encourage youth employment and potential engagement in many growth employment opportunities including in community services, construction industry and the health sector.
Funding to develop a Cultural Centre for Traditional Owners
This centre will provide a dedicated facility to honour and celebrate the local Indigenous culture, history and also provide opportunity for local young people and Elders to lead and encourage community participation.
Commitment to the ongoing coordination of planned outcomes in the Priority Development Area of Ripley Valley
To manage sustainable growth of this development will require timely coordination of key state departments in the delivery of vital infrastructure and services and a commitment to working with Ipswich City Council to deliver positive social, economic and environmental outcomes for the community.
Commitment to continued funding of library programs and collections
- First Five Forever Family Literacy project (targeting children 0-5 years) – this is a state wide initiative that has been run through Queensland Public Libraries over the last four years. Funding will expire in December 2018 and submissions have been provided to the Queensland Government requesting a further funding commitment to continue this initiative for another four years. If the state does not renew the funding, the F5F project will cease to exist or the cost will be transferred to council.
- Continued indexation of the Public Libraries Grant – this is a collection grant provided by the state to LGAs for the provision of library collections (currently the full collection spend of Ipswich Libraries is funded by this grant), the current funding model is indexed for CPI with additional weightings for growth projections, age demographics for younger populations, and cultural weightings – this indexation of the grant should be continued (it is currently being reviewed).
- Coding/robotics and digital literacy programs – state funding has been provided for these programs as competitive rounds through the State Library of Queensland. Council is seeking continuation of this level of funding support.