Canberra predicting 56,000 new jobs for Ipswich
A FEDERAL Government report has predicted Ipswich will become the fastest-growing region for population and jobs in south-east Queensland.
The Department of Infrastructure and Transport report into the future of south-east Queensland has forecast that more than 56,000 jobs will be created in Ipswich's central suburbs by 2026.
The report predicts that most of the new jobs will come on the back of the manufacturing sector, spurring a retail and services boom.
It also projected the population of Ipswich's central and eastern suburbs will explode over the next two decades.
More than 140,000 new residents are expected to move to central Ipswich and 124,000 to eastern Ipswich, which includes Springfield and Goodna.
However, the report also noted that the western corridor's job growth between 2001 and 2006 was "limited" at 3.1 per cent, and did not keep pace with the rest of the south-east's growth of 3.6%.
But Mayor Paul Pisasale said he was confident the region's employment growth would reach 6% in the coming years.
He said the city has 43% of available industrial land in Queensland, which offered potential for the region.
"The city has worked hard and the good thing is everything is starting to become positive," he said.
He said council has been striving to ensure job growth matches population growth.
Ipswich Chamber of Commerce president Brett Kitching said Ipswich was finding a new economic identity for the first time in 20 years, after the decline of the coal mining and railway industries.
"Ipswich has the highest amount of industrial land. So as the population grows and as there are more people available to work, that will attract more industries into the region," he said.
"As that is happening and jobs are being created for those people, we need to provide services for those people."
Mr Kitching said the coming decade would be an exciting time for the city.
"Having come through the 20-year period without having an identity we can see the plans for the region."
Blair MP Shayne Neumann said the region's manufacturing sector was already strong, employing 8500 workers in the electorate of Blair, and he predicted industry would continue to thrive.