Ripley Rail Line One Step Closer As New Mayor Funds Business Case Study

Ripley Rail Line One Step Closer As New Mayor Funds Business Case Study

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26 AUG 2020

The much-anticipated rail link connecting the Ripley Valley to Ipswich and the Brisbane CBD is one step closer with the newly-elected Ipswich City Council putting it to the top of their infrastructure priorities for the city.

The 25-kilometre extension to the Springfield Line has been under consideration for many years and is likely to be built in stages with construction subject to funding and the completion of the Cross River Rail project. 

Ipswich City Council's new Mayor Teresa Harding recently announced the concil would make a submission to Infrastructure Australia in a bid to convince the State and Federal Governments to accelerate construction of the rail link.

“The Ipswich Central to Springfield Central Public Transport Corridor is vital infrastructure of national significance and we cannot afford to delay its progression any further,” Mayor Harding said.

The Ipswich to Springfield Central business case will cost $2.5 million and take between 12 to 18 months to complete.

Mayor Harding said that the significant population growth in the Ipswich to Springfield corridor made this project a high priority for the city.

“The strategic assessment provides a compelling case and is time imperative for the development of the corridor across transport, land use, and social outcomes,” the mayor said.

“Ipswich is the fastest-growing region in Queensland, with a yearly rate of population increase of more than 4 per cent – that’s approximately 3 per cent above the state and national averages.

“Ipswich is a city of opportunities and connectivity through this corridor will ensure we become the most liveable and productive region in Queensland.

“With approximately 70 per cent of the population growth in Ipswich occurring in the region between Ipswich and Springfield, this public transport corridor will help to ensure that the people of Ipswich keep our great lifestyles as the region grows.”

Mayor Harding said it would also encourage people to live and work in Ipswich, a city with the highest forecast growth in Queensland of 4.6 per cent per annum to 2036.

Chair of the General Purposes Committee Cr Andrew Fechner said that the project – colloquially known as I2S – should be at the centre of council’s work on infrastructure across the three levels of government.

“This is one of the single most important regionally significant projects for us to be championing as a new council. As our communities expand we need to maintain good connectivity and access to work, education and health services.” Cr Fechner said.

The business case for the project indicates that the development of the corridor would provide a catalyst to mixed-used land outcomes, including the potential to encourage economic hubs and enhanced service provision along the corridor, providing residents with employment and service accessibility opportunities, and local business with investment opportunities in close proximity to a large residential workforce.

The report to council, presented at the General Purposes Committee today (21 July), recommends four options to be taken forward to the next stage of the business case process for the I2S corridor, focussing on heavy rail, light rail, trackless trams and rapid bus transport.

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