‘Potential options’ being worked through for transit centre
THERE is no clear direction ahead for the future of the Ipswich Transit Centre, which has sat abandoned and derelict since it was flooded ten years ago.
The state-owned asset is an unused eyesore in the city’s CBD and residents are eager to see new life breathed into it.
Many ideas have been mooted over the years but nothing has ever come to fruition.
It is understood simply demolishing the facility is out of the question as it would cost tens of millions of dollars to do so.
The Department of Transport and Main Roads is currently investigating a range of “long-term options” for the future use of the site.
“We are keen to see the site ultimately complement the city centre and TMR is continuing to work with relevant stakeholders to reach the best outcome.
“Existing site constraints, topography, easements, existing built form, adjacent roads, site access, proximity to David Trumpy Bridge, and the site being traversed by Mansfield Pl limits viable redevelopment options and the attractiveness of the site to future owners.”
Former councillor David Martin, who was in office for ten months, said a solution was well overdue a decade on from the 2011 floods.
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Work to completely demolish the Brisbane Transit Centre in the heart of the capital was completed in December to make way for Cross River Rail and the $2.1 billion Brisbane Live entertainment precinct.
“Brisbane’s ugliest building has officially made way for Brisbane’s new ‘Grand Central’,” McConnel MP Grace Grace said.
Mr Martin said it was frustrating watching these works under way while Ipswich’s abandoned transit centre was again overlooked.
“Ipswich deserves better, for too long we have been given crumbs,” he said.
“Our city deserves a decent train station with a bus terminal and decent car park.
“Our facilities at Ipswich resemble a third world country.
“Ten years have past since the flood, and it’s a disgrace.
“When it happened it was promised to be fixed within 12 months.
“Sadly there has been a lot of talk without anything of substance coming to pass.
“Our State Government has committed billions to the Cross River Rail project, yet our fastest growing region in the state gets nothing.
“Roma St has a fully functioning transit centre which is being demolished and redeveloped at a cost of hundreds of millions, yet our derelict and non-functional facility gets nothing.”
Mr Martin said a meeting to discuss the issue with Ipswich MP Jennifer Howard alongside then acting mayor Wayne Wendt fell through in 2018 before the council was dismissed.
“The site is flood prone, and I believe should be repurposed as a carpark as part of the whole redevelopment of the train station,” Mr Martin said.
“Certainly our city deserves a better entrance when you get off the station at Bell St.”
Ipswich mayor Teresa Harding said the council is working closely with the State Government to determine the future use of the site.
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She said it was an issue that was regularly raised by residents.
“(Council wants) to ensure renewal of this asset is a priority and to achieve a positive outcome for the community,” she said.
Cr Harding, with deputy mayor Marnie Doyle and Division 3 councillor Andrew Fechner, met Ms Howard on-site to discuss its future at the end of last year.
“Council officers have also separately met with officers from the department on-site in September, with further discussions taking place in late 2020 to discuss options for the site,” she said.
“Ms Howard and I spoke earlier this week about the transit centre and I am delighted that council and the State Government are working through potential options.
“This week is the 10 year anniversary of the 2011 floods.
“It’s important to ensure that whatever is planned for the site, which is in a prime location in our CBD, can deal with floods.
“One option for the State Government to consider would be to conduct community consultation.
“We have heard a lot of good ideas from the community ranging from filling it in and making a garden, transforming it into a creative precinct or a veterans recovery centre or rehabilitating the site to be a transit centre again.
“I think the community would welcome consultation on this key CBD location.”
Read more stories by Lachlan McIvor here.