Source: The Queensland Time

IPSWICH could be defined as the “Parramatta of Brisbane” as part of an integral southeast Queensland proposal that will deliver future needs for one of the country’s fastest growing regions.

Ipswich City Council interim administrator Greg Chemello joined business and community leaders in a round table conversation with Minister for Population, Cities and Urban Infrastructure Alan Tudge to highlight how the Federal Government can focus its attention on Ipswich’s immediate infrastructure needs.

Representatives from chambers of commerce, developers, educators, transport advocates, architects and more were involved in discussions about key projects already part of the South East Queensland City Deals proposal.

“The round table forum was an opportunity to talk about the City Deal concept and the intention to establish a long term strategy and program agreed by all three levels of government and having bipartisan support at state and federal levels,” Mr Chemello said.

The proposal has been accepted in principle by the Federal Government and if carried through it’s estimated to have multi-billion dollar benefits for Ipswich, according to council.

One of the key issues discussed involved Ipswich’s “brand” and whether the city should move to emulate the success of Parramatta as Sydney’s ‘second CBD’ just half an hour from Brisbane.

The meeting also stressed three major transport infrastructure issues, including revising and improving bus routes, building the Ipswich Central-Ripley-Springfield rail line and delivering faster rail on current routes.

The table also discussed the need to create more jobs in Ipswich so less people would have to travel outside the region for work.

Other discussions involved the need to better use existing infrastructure, particularly rail lines, and the role universities and cultural and civic facilities can play in adding to thriving communities.

“This region is one of the fastest growing areas in Australia, and we’re making no secret that transport is a major concern which accompanies growing pains of a city expected to double in size over the next 20 years,” Mr Chemello said.

“We need the public transport corridor from Springfield Central to Ipswich Central to be addressed with urgency. Fast rail is another critical link which would inject huge benefit to the economy of Ipswich City and the surrounding region.

“If hundreds of thousands of people are to call Ipswich their new home, they need access to reliable housing, liveable communities, and jobs.

“It’s our responsibility to ensure the right messaging reaches all tiers of government when it comes to developing a city people are proud to call home, along with a buoyant economy.”