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Some of Ipswich's priority projects; clockwise from top left Ipswich Central Second River Crossing, Cunningham Highway upgrade between Yamanto and Ebenezer Creek, North Ipswich Sport and Entertainment Precinct and the Ipswich Central to Springfield Central Public Transport Corridor.
Some of Ipswich's priority projects; clockwise from top left Ipswich Central Second River Crossing, Cunningham Highway upgrade between Yamanto and Ebenezer Creek, North Ipswich Sport and Entertainment Precinct and the Ipswich Central to Springfield Central Public Transport Corridor.

The projects crucial for Ipswich’s future

TREASURER Josh Frydenberg will hand down the federal budget next week and we will learn how much money will flow for infrastructure, upgrades and other programs in Ipswich.

Ahead of the budget, the QT asked all of the city’s elected representatives what they believed to be the priority projects in their patches.

As the fastest growing city in Queensland, Ipswich desperately needs the infrastructure to keep up the expected population growth with the total number of residents set to more than double to 558,000 in the next 20 years.

Here’s what they said:

FEDERAL MEMBER FOR BLAIR SHAYNE NEUMANN (LABOR)

Blair MP Shayne Neumann.
Blair MP Shayne Neumann.

Mr Neumann said his top priorities include the Cunningham Highway upgrade between Yamanto and Ebenezer Creek, the Mount Crosby interchange upgrade, finishing the Ipswich Motorway upgrade, the North Ipswich Reserve stadium, the business case for the Ipswich to Springfield rail corridor and a veterans hub for the region.

“I think that in our area we’ve been neglected by the current federal government … they’ve had three terms now and are going for a fourth,” he said.

“We’ve spent more than a billion dollars on (RAAF Base Amberley) but haven’t fixed the road outside.

“If they were fair dinkum they would push that (Cunningham Highway upgrade) issue.

“The Mount Crosby interchange is the bane of people’s existence in the north side.

“We need a veterans’ hub. I wrote to the government to ask for the money and they weren’t prepared to do it. At the last federal election they didn’t do it. It’s so important, particularly with the royal commission (into veteran suicide).”

FEDERAL SENATOR PAUL SCARR (LNP)

LNP Senator Paul Scarr is based in Springfield.
LNP Senator Paul Scarr is based in Springfield.

Mr Scarr said his priority list for new infrastructure included the Amberley interchange, the Mount Crosby interchange, planning for the Ipswich to Springfield public transport corridor, bringing back businesses to the Ipswich CBD, sports infrastructure such as the North Ipswich Sport and Entertainment Precinct and the USQ tartan track to take advantage of a potential 2023 Olympics, the Ipswich Motorway upgrade, the Brisbane Valley Highway upgrade, road upgrades in the Ripley Valley and a new public hospital in Springfield.

Mr Scarr believed the region needed a new “fair dinkum” public hospital and not just a new satellite hospital being planned for the city.

“The question has to be asked, what is the state Labor government doing to provide better health services in the fastest growing area in Queensland?” he said.

“Premier Palaszczuk and Labor should stop taking Ipswich for granted.”

Mr Scarr said the federal government had committed $170 million to upgrade the Amberley interchange on the Cunningham Highway and he called on the state government to match the funding so works on the upgrade could get underway.

STATE MEMBER FOR IPSWICH JENNIFER HOWARD (LABOR)

Ipswich MP Jennifer Howard.
Ipswich MP Jennifer Howard.

“Transport, health and education will be the big winners as the Palaszczuk Government continues to invest in job creating infrastructure,” Ms Howard said.

“The upgrade to the East Ipswich train station will make a huge difference to my constituents.

“Work is already underway and 250 jobs are being supported.”

STATE MEMBER FOR IPSWICH WEST JIM MADDEN (LABOR)

Ipswich West MP Jim Madden.
Ipswich West MP Jim Madden.

“Ipswich is undergoing an infrastructure transformation which will only gather pace as the Palaszczuk Government rolls out its economic recovery plan to create hundreds of jobs across the region,” Mr Madden said.

“I am also fighting for funding for projects like a new police station in Rosewood and a new school hall for Ipswich State High School.”

STATE MEMBER FOR JORDAN CHARIS MULLEN (LABOR)

Jordan MP Charis Mullen with Queensland Treasurer Cameron Dick.
Jordan MP Charis Mullen with Queensland Treasurer Cameron Dick.

“The benefits of this investment in infrastructure will not only be jobs during construction, but better services for the people of our region,” Mrs Mullen said.

“Work on the $44.5 million Springfield Central Park ‘n’ Ride upgrade is well underway and will add 1,100 parking spaces across the station precinct, more than double the current number of parks available.”

STATE MEMBER FOR BUNDAMBA LANCE MCCALLUM (LABOR)

Bundamba MP Lance McCallum.
Bundamba MP Lance McCallum.

“Our priority is to keep Ipswich safe and in work,” Mr McCallum said.

“That’s why these new infrastructure projects are so important for our city’s future.

“They deliver new jobs and help our world-class health services, education and transport keep pace with our growing community.

“I’m really proud to see strong growth in local social housing, with 56 new apartments at three sites in Redbank and another in Bellbird Park as part of our $1.6 billion Housing Construction Jobs Program.”

Ipswich’s state Labor MPs also submitted a combined list of projects, some of which were already funded, and priorities they believe to be key for the region.

“We have also committed $1 million towards a business case for a future rail line between Ipswich and Springfield via Ripley, and we’re working with Ipswich City Council and the federal government on that project,” they said in a statement.

“The Warrego Highway continues to be a priority under our government.

“There is $546.8 million in joint funding locked in for Warrego Highway upgrades, with continued planning to upgrade the Warrego Highway – Haigslea-Amberley Road intersection.

“That work also includes planning for long term upgrades to the 80 km stretch of the highway west of Ipswich, between Dinmore and Helidon Spa.

“The Cunningham Highway is also a major focus for funding. The state and federal governments have committed $212.5 million in joint funding for various safety works and future improvement projects. This includes … $20 million for future planning on the corridor, including at Amberley and $139.5 million for delivering future priorities on the Cunningham Highway.

“Planning for long term upgrades of the Centenary Motorway between Logan Motorway and Willowbank is also currently underway to address the growing populations along the corridor.

“$10 million has also been committed to improve the intersection of Brisbane, Chermside and Glebe roads at East Ipswich.

“There is significant work underway on the 15-year delivery of the West Moreton Health Master Plan. Construction continues on the $91 million acute mental health unit. West Moreton Health has received $2 million to commence planning for stage two of the master plan, which includes a business case to consider use of the Ipswich City Council properties.

“(The state government is) planning for new schools in Ripley, Greater Springfield, Bellbird Park/Brookwater and Augustine Heights/Redbank Plains.

“(A) new QFES fire station in Springfield Central (is) currently in land acquisition and design phase.

“The Olympic Games bid is an exciting opportunity not only for Queensland, but for Ipswich, and we’re committed to working in collaboration with both local and national government representatives to ensure our local community capitalises and shares in the benefits should the bid be successful.”

STATE MEMBER FOR SCENIC RIM JON KRAUSE (LNP)

Scenic Rim MP Jon Krause MP with Tarome vegetable producer Steve Moffatt.
Scenic Rim MP Jon Krause MP with Tarome vegetable producer Steve Moffatt.

Mr Krause said an upgrade of the Amberley interchange on the Cunningham Highway is the number one issue for the Ipswich section of his electorate.

“The interchange is dangerous and has seen a number of serious accidents,” he said.

“Residents from all over are at risk; especially people from Willowbank, Walloon, Thagoona and Rosewood who commute through it every day.

“This interchange is a huge drain on productivity.

“The delays caused by the congestion would sap millions from local businesses each year.

“There is no way further industrial development at Ebenezer, as the Queensland Labor government is pushing for on land that they themselves own, can be allowed to go ahead without a proper upgrade of this interchange.

“We all want to see new jobs created, but there also needs to be recognition that this interchange is ‘kaput’ and cannot be allowed to be left unchanged if there will be a significant increase in vehicles passing through.

“Traffic lights are not the answer.

“There are also three dumps proposed around Willowbank, with applications before (Ipswich City Council) that the Queensland Labor government refuse to stop, and other developments further along the Cunningham Highway that are approved and will place more traffic on the road.”

Mr Krause said other priorities included an overtaking lane on Ipswich Boonah Road between Yamanto and Peak Crossing, which he said is needed to improve the safety and efficiency of the road for local businesses and residents.

“The Ipswich to Springfield rail corridor project is a longer term project, but one that will be important to improving links between communities in and around that corridor and the rest of south east Queensland, while taking some commuter traffic off the road network,” he said.

IPSWICH CITY COUNCIL

Elected representatives were returned to Ipswich City Council in 2020.
Elected representatives were returned to Ipswich City Council in 2020.

The council outlined its list of priority projects and included why they’re important, where funding will need to come from and the status of each project.

Ipswich Central to Springfield Central (I2S) Public Transport Corridor

Proponents: State and federal governments

Project Status: Strategic assessment completed and submitted to Infrastructure Australia

Budget request: $2.5m commitment to support business case progression

“Investing in a plan to develop a 25km public transport corridor that will connect Queensland’s fastest growing communities between Ipswich and Springfield, and support south east Queensland in securing connectivity, liveability and prosperity.”

Ipswich Central Second River Crossing

Proponents: Council and state government

Project Status: Preliminary business case completed and submitted to Infrastructure Australia

Budget request: $2.5m contribution towards detailed business case

“Investing in a plan to flood and future proof the connectivity of inner city Ipswich through a second river crossing. The second river crossing will improve the flow of traffic through a strategic transport corridor, increase the economic capacity of Ipswich Central and ensure that essential transport infrastructure keeps pace with the Ipswich CBD redevelopment projects.

“The David Trumpy Bridge is the only river crossing in Ipswich city and it reached the end of its 50-year design life in 2015. Every day, 40,000 vehicles use the David Trumpy Bridge which will increase to 53,000 by 2036. One third of these vehicles are through-traffic, with no other way to cross the river.”

Cunningham Highway upgrades (Yamanto to Ebenezer Creek)

Proponents: State and federal governments

Project Status: Detailed business case requires re-prosecution

Budget request: Federal action in ensuring previously allocated funds are used as intended

“Investing in critical upgrades to ensure freight efficiency, road safety, and improved access to RAAF Base Amberley. Negative safety impacts and congestion are expected to worsen alongside population growth, the future expansion of (the base) and the proposed Ebenezer Intermodal Terminal which will use this route as its primary access for road-based freight.

“The Yamanto to Ebenezer Creek section of Cunningham Highway is a major national freight route that also services RAAF Base Amberley and 6,000 hectares of future industrial land in the Ebenezer Regional Industrial Area, which includes Ebenezer Willowbank Industrial Park.

“This 4.75 km section of national highway is in poor condition and in need of critical upgrades. It is prone to accidents which causes $45m lost in productivity to the local economy per annum.”

Mt Crosby interchange

Proponents: State and federal governments

Project Status: Detailed business case requires re-prosecution

Budget request: Federal and state action in ensuring previously allocated funds are used as intended

“The Warrego Highway - Mt Crosby Road interchange is creating congestion, reduced traffic flow, queuing and safety impacts for motorists. Urgent funding is required from state and federal Government to support the Queensland Government in delivering timely upgrades to ensure safety issues for motorists and pedestrians are resolved.”

Ripley Valley catalyst infrastructure

Proponents: Council and state government

Project Status: Shovel-ready

Project Status: $92m in funding assistance to support timely delivery of trunk infrastructure to Ripley PDA

“Ripley Valley is a 4,680 hectare Priority Development Area scheduled to accommodate 120,000 residents and 50,000 dwellings as a key residential expansion area for south east Queensland. Due to shortfalls in trunk infrastructure funding, there will be infrastructure shortfalls creating misalignment with scheduled population growth, leaving the residential expansion area with congested roads and undeveloped public spaces.

“PDA catalyst funding provided to Ripley PDA by the Queensland Government was markedly lower ($45m) than Flagstone PDA, which received $70m for a development with the same trunk infrastructure costings and similar population and dwelling accommodation.”

North Ipswich Sport and Entertainment Precinct

Proponents: Council, state and federal governments

Project status: Options analysis completed

Budget request: $2.5m contribution towards detailed business case progression

“Investing in a transformational revitalisation of North Ipswich Reserve into a national-standard sporting precinct capable of attracting and hosting national sporting competitions to Ipswich. Ipswich is under consideration to secure NRL and A-League sporting licences.”

Ebenezer Regional Industrial Area

Proponents: State and federal governments

Project Status: Business case

Budget request: Investment decisions on trunk infrastructure and commitment to Ebenezer Intermodal Terminal

“Concurrent action is required on interdependent projects to realise an industrial employment precinct on state land at Ebenezer Regional Industrial Area which will secure local benefit from Inland Rail and support national supply chain productivity.

“The realisation of the Ebenezer Intermodal Terminal (under investigation through the SEQ Intermodal Terminal Business Case), upgrades to the Cunningham Highway and the provision of trunk infrastructure to Willowbank Industrial Park will enable a thriving and diversified economy. “

University of Southern Queensland Ipswich Tartan Track

Proponents: State government

Project Status: Shovel-ready

Budget request: $2m funding contribution

“Ipswich and USQ suffer from a lack of world-class sporting facilities, which is limiting access to sporting outcomes and participation and is disadvantaging the local community.

“An upgrade to sporting facilities at USQ will provide accessible and quality sporting infrastructure that can form the basis of sporting programs for local schools, university sporting students and general sporting participation within the community.”

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