AFTER more than five years of delays Queensland's biggest housing development is under way.
Ecco Ripley, the new name of the Ripley Valley development, will have 50,000 houses and 120,000 people in the next 15 years.
To be developed by Sekisui House, the largest homebuilder in Japan, Ecco Ripley had the first sod of dirt turned on the site yesterday.
Sekisui House Australia president and managing director Toru Abe said Ecco Ripley was the company's biggest development outside of Japan.
"Ripley Valley is a very exciting development for us as an organisation as it represents a site and scale of development in this country that is almost unheard of," he said.
"At Sekisui House we accept our responsibility to society to create better and more liveable communities. At the heart of every community and development we undertake the desire to build a positive society for future generations."
Mr Abe said the company has built more than 20 million homes in Japan.
Ipswich mayor Paul Pisasale said the 194-hectare housing development would provide a new benchmark for sustainable houses.
"This is not about subdividing land, it's about creating a community for all of us," he said.
"I've been to Japan a number of times, I understand with Sekisui House that they want to create a point of difference, sustainability is not just a term but it's an action.
"And what you're going to see here today and in the future are houses that are going to be friendly with the community, friendly with the environment and more importantly understand where we're we need to go as a community and a country."
Cr Pisasale promised yesterday's event wasn't another false start for the development.
"We've had two or three false starts at Ripley, but this time, we're in partnership with the government," he said.
Vote in our poll or leave your comment below
Is the Ripley Valley development good for Ipswich and why?
This poll ended on 08 November 2012.
Yes - 61%
No - 29%
Undecided - 9%
This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.