An artist’s impression of the new Ripley Valley development south of Ipswich.
An artist’s impression of the new Ripley Valley development south of Ipswich.

Ripley Valley plans back moving

CONSTRUCTION on the Ripley Valley in the near future is now a real possibility as Ipswich City Council regains control over the developing region.

Premier Campbell Newman announced the return of Urban Land Development Authority (ULDA) development approval to councils on Friday, which were stripped by the Bligh government two years ago.

Since then, work on the next growth area of Ipswich has come to a halt, much to the frustration of Ipswich City councillors.

Mr Newman said he had spoken to many mayors, including Ipswich mayor Paul Pisasale, about returning the powers to work in partnership with local governments.

Cr Pisasale said his conversation with the premier focused on how the council would work in partnership to develop Ripley Valley.

The hand back requires a change in legislation which is expected to be one of the first changes made when parliament resumes next week.

Cr Pisasale said the premier's decision was common sense.

"It's absolutely fantastic. We are working with Campbell now in regards to Ripley Valley and getting it moving again. In the last two years it's come to a standstill," he said.

"The partnership is the right thing. Council had it all under control and they took it off us. We'll work with the government infrastructure and the environment right and it will save the tax payers a lot of money."

Ipswich City Council formed the Ripley Valley Task Force in 2005, and work was set to begin when the Bligh Government stepped in.

Cr Pisasale said the two-year period had been very frustrating for council.

Councillor Paul Tully, head of the Planning and Development Committee, said the ULDA experiment was a complete failure.

"The ULDA sat on their hands for two years and now we can engage with developers again," he said.

Cr Tully said the proof of Ipswich City Council's development capabilities was in their delivery of the Springfield master plan.

"We were ready and we had done all of the planning up until 2010 when the power was taken away from us. Now we can sit down with developers and bring Ripley Valley on line as quickly as possible."

Mr Newman made it very clear in his announcement what the decision meant.

"The point we're making here today is that we want to actually give councils across Queensland... the opportunity and the authority and the resources to go forward and do a better job for their communities," he said.

"I've indicated to all of them (the mayors) that they can expect a great new partnership with this State Government, giving them the tools, the authority to take their communities forward.

"All we ask is that they do that in a responsible way and that particularly in these tough economic times, that they make sure that the fast track appropriate and sensible development for the benefit of all people in Queensland."

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