Ipswich Mayor Teresa Harding has welcomed a $1 million funding commitment towards the next stage of the options analysis for the Ipswich to Springfield public transport corridor by the Palaszczuk Government.
In a joint statement by local State Government members, Jennifer Howard (Ipswich), Jim Madden (Ipswich West), Lance McCallum (Bundamba) and Charis Mullen (Jordan) part-funding was committed to progress the proposed 25km public transport corridor between Ipswich and Springfield via the booming Ripley community.
Ms Howard said the government would now seek a matching co-contribution of $1 million from the Australian Government and $500,000 from Ipswich City Council for the $2.5 million business case.
Mayor Harding was delighted with the new funding commitment for the city and acknowledged the hard work of council and the community in getting to this point.
“As a result of a solid business case and proactive advocacy program over the last few months, including the establishment of the Ipswich Leaders Alliance; letters to MPs, party leaders and Ministers; Infrastructure Australia submissions and strong community support – we have had a small win,” Mayor Harding said.
“This is great news for all of Ipswich and is a significant step on the journey to securing a game-changing transport infrastructure project in South East Queensland for our booming high growth city.”
The business case and options analysis will likely take 12-18 months to complete, but is necessary to secure State and Federal Government funding for what will be a lengthy and expensive construction project.
Council and advocacy group Ipswich Leaders Alliance, chaired by Mayor Harding, had both focussed on the I2S public transport corridor ahead of the 31 October State Election.
Mayor Harding said 70 per cent of the city’s population growth – 500,000 by 2040 – will occur between Ipswich and Springfield and this public transport corridor will help to ensure access to the booming suburbs in Greater Springfield, Ripley and Deebing Heights.
“Ipswich is the fastest-growing region in Queensland, with an annual population growth rate of 4.1 per cent – 3 per cent above the state and national averages,” she said.
“Ipswich is a city of opportunities and connectivity through this corridor will ensure we become the most liveable and productive region in Queensland.”
She said without a mass transit solution, the road network will fail by 2031, with realistic forecasts of a two-hour-plus commute from Ripley to Brisbane by car in 2036.
“With approximately 70 per cent of the population growth in Ipswich occurring in the region between Ipswich and Springfield, this public transport corridor will help to ensure that the people of Ipswich keep our great lifestyles as the region grows and continued access to jobs and vital services.”
Mayor Harding said a corridor, with up to nine new stations between Ipswich Central and Springfield Central stations, would support quicker trips to and from Brisbane, the Gold and Sunshine Coasts.
“A dedicated connection between Ipswich and Springfield, which will dove-tail into the SEQ Council of Mayors’ fast rail network proposal, will provide unprecedented accessibility for our residents.
“There will be improved travel times, economic and employment opportunity along the corridor, diversified housing supply and the improved congestion.”
Early iterations of the business case for the project indicate that the development of the corridor would provide a catalyst to mixed-used land outcomes, including the potential to encourage economic hubs and enhanced service provision along the corridor, providing residents with employment and service accessibility opportunities, and local business with investment opportunities in close proximity to a large residential workforce.
Potential stations on the route include:
* The University of Southern Queensland Ipswich campus
* Berry Street, Churchill
* Deebing South
* Ripley North
* Ripley Town Centre
* School Road, Redbank Plains
* Keidges Road, Augustine Heights