Business hopes for boom as thousands move into the valley
NOT so long ago, Ripley was considered a quiet suburb on the rural brink of Ipswich.
Today, dozens of new businesses and more than 1500 residents are moving into Ripley and South Ripley each year.
As more lots are created there and developments are approved at Deebing Heights, the Ripley Valley stands to become the fastest-growing region in Queensland.
In 2010, the State Government designated a 4680ha site southeast of Ipswich as the Ripley Valley Priority Development Area.
The state has aimed to provide about 50,000 dwellings to house a population of more than 120,000 people.
Lindy Ralph opened Eco Shot cafe at Ripley Town Centre in May last year.
She decided to open the business along with partners Jason Ralph and Nick Harris, knowing the area was ready to grow.
"In five years' time, this place will be huge," she said.
"It will be pumping."
For now, however, things are "very quiet" in the cafe.
"We thought after a year it would be better," she said.
"A lot of the businesses in the town centre were late in opening too."
Ms Ralph hoped the community cafe would continue operating while the population grew.
She said the cafe offered a children-eat-free deal to help alleviate the financial pressure on some families.
Ripley Town Centre, built by Sekisui House, is slated to be the "bustling core of the entire region".
"It'll deliver an unmatched level of convenience, culture and connectedness offering retail, dining, healthcare and education, commercial, speciality services, entertainment, destination parklands, and a proposed state-of-the-art transit centre," according to Sekisui's project brief.
The large-scale project is tipped to create more than 20,000 new jobs.
At Providence, Ripley, a community centre, water playground, sporting fields and a three-story childcare centre are being developed.
Economic Development Queensland envisages, by 2030, Ripley Valley residents will have easy access and connections to employment opportunities and an integrated public transport system within and beyond the area to provide travel alternatives.