UPDATE: State Govt says it will build rail infrastructure
THE State Government has this morning said it is committed to extending the Ipswich rail network.
Deputy Premier and Infrastructure Minister Jackie Trad says her government will fully deliver on rail infrastructure for Ipswich but says first, the Cross River Rail project must go ahead.
"There are motions before the conference, put forward by Ipswich members, to complete the extension of the Springfield line and build the Ripley line - and they will be passed," Ms Trad said.
"We have consistently said we will build these vital connections and we will.
"But to build this vital infrastructure, we first need to build Cross River Rail - it will be a catalyst for the whole South East Queensland region.
"It will enable us to unclog the bottleneck, deliver extra services and commuters won't have to face delays if a possum causes a power outage in the overhead lines. The trains will keep running because we have a second rail crossing through the city.
"Tim Nicholls and the LNP need to stop trash talking vital rail projects in a bid to keep One Nation on side.
"The only two infrastructure projects the LNP have announced for the state are two projects smack bang in Brisbane's CBD - its seems eerily familiar to their time in government when the only project they built was the white elephant 1 William St."
The motions to be debated
- Labor will complete the extension of the Springfield to Ipswich line and provide appropriate infrastructure to support the line's functionality.
- Labor will build an inner city solution consistent with the Cross River Rail capacity outcome as part of a broader vision to revitalise and transform rail services. It will increase frequency and provide more express services. It will also deliver new links to Flagstone, Ripley, Coolangatta, Maroochydore and through the North West rail link along the Trout's road corridor, consistent with the SEQ Connecting 2031 transport strategy.
PROPOSED extensions for the Ipswich rail line will not go ahead under this state government, leaving residents with little option but to join the traffic gridlock in and out of the city.
The Labor Party's pre-election conference in Townsville is on today, where a raft of motions will be debated.
Those debates won't include extending the railway line from Springfield Central to Ripley Valley or Springfield to Redbank Plains, according to documents leaked ahead of the conference.
The leaked Labor Party documents show motions put forward on the railway extensions were rejected.
South Ripley and Redbank Plains are two of Ipswich's fastest growing suburbs.
According to Ipswich City Council's latest planning and development report, 517 people moved to Redbank Plains in the three months between March and June.
There are long-term state government plans to extend the rail line to service both areas, although funding is yet to be allocated.
Goodna resident and passionate rail advocate, Robert Dow said without adequate transport infrastructure, congestion on the roads surrounding Ipswich would continue to worsen.
Mr Dow was shocked to hear the proposed rail extensions wouldn't even be debated.
"I'm a little bit stunned they would do that," head of advocacy group Rail Back On Track, Mr Dow said.
"'We need to push that line through, particularly at Redbank Plains and South Ripley.
"There are columns of traffic every day going back kilometres.
"Almost daily, there is gridlock on the Centenary Highway, which is a flow-on from commuter traffic in and out of Ipswich.
"This is a project that would set those new residential areas up from day one and that would mean getting those people off the roads.
"We need roads, of course we do, but we can't expect everyone to keep travelling on roads. We need a better transport option and that option is rail."
An extended rail line would also service Deebing Heights, Bellbird Park and Springfield Lakes.
Along with Redbank Plains and South Ripley, these suburbs are the five fastest-growing in Ipswich.
During the three months between March and June this year, 1646 people moved into those five suburbs, the council's figures show.
The people moving into those booming suburbs will likely join the long queue of frustrated drivers sitting in traffic every morning and afternoon.
The State Government's website says while the rail line extension is needed, the majority of the corridor is likely to be built after the Cross River Rail Project, a project facing fresh controversy over its business case.
Opposition leader Tim Nicholls said Ipswich residents had been treated as "like mugs".
"Annastacia Palaszczuk and Labor have let down the people of Ipswich over the past three years by failing to identify and build crucial infrastructure, while only focusing on Brisbane's Cross River Rail," Mr Nicholls said.
- Labor will extend the Springfield Line through to Redbank Plains and Ipswich by December 2023 and supply appropriate infrastructure and resources to the line's functionality
- Labor commits to completing the extension of the railway line from Springfield Central to Ripley Valley