Five projects Ipswich needs over the next five years

THERE'S no shortage of projects in Ipswich pitched to drive the region forward.

Major projects like the CBD redevelopment and the motorway upgrade will no doubt attract new investment to the city.

Exciting new projects like the Woollen Mills conversion and the performing arts centre project are placing the region at the forefront of innovation.

Here are five projects the Ipswich region will be banking on over the next five years:

1 Business case will show benefits of Norman Street Bridge

The economic and social benefits of a second bridge crossing of the Bremer River will be detailed in a business case to be developed for stage one of the Norman Street Bridge project.

City Infrastructure and Emergency Management Committee Chairperson councillor Cheryl Bromage said the second traffic bridge across the Bremer River, linking north Ipswich and east Ipswich, has been "identified for many years".

The business case is likely to include travel time savings, a reduction in congestion, costs and funding, enhanced access to the emerging northern part of Ipswich city centre and improved pedestrian and cyclist connections.

2 A performing arts centre

Mayor Paul Pisasale went to the last mayoral election with a $100 million performing arts centre the centrepiece of his campaign. Ipswich City Council adopted the project in May 2011.

It includes a 1500-seat main auditorium with a 400-600 seat secondary auditorium. A function facility to seat 500 is part of the project which will include ancillary areas for conferences, a kitchen, recording studio and rehearsal spaces.

"All our school kids are going into Brisbane for their formals because we don't have facilities big enough to handle it," Cr Pisasale said, at the time.

In June this year Cr Pisasale allocated $400,000 for a 'business case investigation' for the centre.

3 Revitalise the Ipswich CBD

Partnering up with epc.Pacific, Ipswich City Council is expected to move ahead with its $150million project to revitalise the city's CBD before February next year.

The project focuses on new leisure, entertainment and retail offerings to a three-level mixed use centre. The first stage will see a new 5 Green Star multi-level headquarters constructed for council's administration functions. A new 2,000sq m library facility is also included.

Ultimately, the Nicholas Street Mall is slated to be opened up to the river, linking with the Bradfield Bridge to connect both sides of the river.

According to the Property Council, the Ipswich City Council has committed to completing the revitalisation project in the 2018-19 financial year.

Artists impression.
Artists impression.

4 Woollen Mills conversion

Ipswich City Council has bought the historic Woollen Mills and the nearby Hancock Sawmill site, which it plans to turn into a botanical parklands.

Inside the enormous mill building, where outstanding murals already line the walls, mayor Paul Pisasale wants to create a hub for artists and vibrant markets like the Victoria Markets in Melbourne.

"Ipswich's main industries were once coal rail and wool mills and we knew we would lose those traditional industries," he said.

In this year's council budget $200,000 was allocated to investigating whether the space can be used by artists, and as a market space.

5 Getting the 'goat track' fixed

The federal government has committed to spending $200 million to upgrade the Darra to Rocklea stretch of the Ipswich Motorway between now and 2020.

Budget papers showed the government has vowed to spend $50 million on the project in the coming financial year.

The stretch of the highway has become known as the 'goat track':

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