Funding secured in boost for vital transport infrastructure
THE State Government will put $1 million on the table to progress plans for a vital piece of infrastructure for Ipswich and will seek a matching contribution from the Federal Government.
Local Labor MPs announced government funding was locked in for the next stage of planning for the passenger rail extension in the booming corridor between Ipswich and Springfield via Ripley.
Ipswich’s population is expected to rise from 222,000 to 558,000 by 2041.
About 70 per cent of that growth is expected to happen along or adjacent to the corridor between Ipswich and Springfield.
Jordan MP Charis Mullen said it was vital to start planning future public transport infrastructure now with the area set to explode.
“(Earlier this month) we turned the sod on the $44 million Springfield Central station commuter parking upgrade, we’ve delivered more train services than ever before, and now we’re turning our attention to the next generation of upgrades,” she said.
Bundamba MP Lance McCallum said the strategic business case could see a total of nine potential stations connecting the Springfield Central line to the Ipswich line.
These stops could be included at the University of Southern Queensland’s Ipswich campus, Churchill, Yamanto, Deebing South, Ripley North, Ripley Town Centre, Swanbank, Redbank Plains and Augustine Heights.
The State Government will now seek a matching contribution of $1 million from the Federal Government and $500,000 from Ipswich City Council.
“We’ve seen the different levels of government co-fund other projects like the Sunshine Coast rail duplication and Gold Coast light rail, and I’m hoping we can work together positively on getting this next stage up and running,” Ipswich MP Jennifer Howard said.
“I know council has supported this important local project, and we’re keen to work with them on securing $500,000 to progress to the next stage.”
The Ipswich Central to Springfield Central public transport corridor is a major focus for the new council.
The Ipswich Leaders Alliance, chaired by mayor Teresa Harding and made up of industry and business leaders, named it as one of its three priority projects ahead of the state election next month.
The group has sent out campaign fact sheets to all candidates in the Ipswich, Ipswich West, Bundamba, Jordan and Scenic Rim electorates outlining what infrastructure and polices will help propel the rapidly growing region forward.
“This is the first time our city has taken a collaborative and strategic approach to State and Federal Government advocacy, with city leaders uniting to represent the needs of our diverse community,” Cr Harding said.
“It is absolutely crucial that we present the projects that need investment now in order to deliver short and long term benefits for Ipswich; ones that will ignite employment, private sector investment and growth in the region.”
Read more stories by Lachlan McIvor here.