Plans for a future rail line between Ipswich and Springfield via the booming Ripley community are moving forward, with the Palaszczuk Government announcing it will put $1 million on the table to progress plans to the next stage.
Following the announcement of a full station upgrade for Bundamba commuters last week, local Ipswich MPs today announced government funding was locked in for the next stage of planning for a passenger rail line extension in the western corridor.
Member for Jordan Charis Mullen said the population in the area was expected to more than double in the next two decades to a quarter of a million, making planning for public transport now absolutely vital.
“Last week we turned the sod on the $44 million Springfield Central station commuter parking upgrade, we’ve delivered more train services than ever before, and now we’re turning our attention to the next generation of upgrades,” Ms Mullen said.
Member for Bundamba Lance McCallum said the strategic business case could see a total of nine potential stations connecting the Springfield Central line to the Ipswich line at:
- The University of Southern Queensland Ipswich campus
- Berry Street, Churchill
- Deebing South
- Ripley North
- Ripley Town Centre
- School Road, Redbank Plains
- Keidges Road, Augustine Heights
“The Palaszczuk Government backs public transport in Ipswich. We’ve seen that with additional services brought online, plus upgrades to the Bundamba, Ebbw Vale and Redbank stations,” Mr McCallum said.
“The rail corridor for a Springfield to Ipswich connection has already been preserved, and with strong future growth the capacity will be there to support a future rail link to Ripley.”
Member for Ipswich Jennifer Howard said the government would now seek a matching co-contribution of $1 million from the Australian Government and $500,000 from Ipswich City Council.
“We’ve seen the different levels of government co-fund other projects like the Sunshine Coast rail duplication and Gold Coast light rail, and I’m hoping we can work together positively on getting this next stage up and running,” Ms Howard said.
“I know council has supported this important local project, and we’re keen to work with them on securing $500,000 to progress to the next stage.
“I’m proud it’s our government that has been able to start work on the East Ipswich station upgrade and roll out the first bus services for Ripley, and I look forward to getting the ball rolling as soon as possible on this business case.”
Member for Ipswich West Jim Madden said getting public transport right was a crucial part of supporting growth, jobs and industry in the region, alongside continuing to invest in roads.
“We’ve seen Queenslanders rally together to manage the health impacts of COVID-19, enabling the Palaszczuk Government to deliver Queensland’s plan for economic recovery,” Mr Madden said.
“For our region that means getting on with $400 million in Warrego Highway upgrades, including the Mount Crosby interchange, plus important future-proofing planning.”