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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Minister for Transport and Main Roads
    The Honourable Paul Lucas

    Ipswich to Springfield public transport study puts rail in the loop

    Minister for Transport and Main Roads
    The Honourable Paul Lucas

    Tuesday, October 24, 2006

    Ipswich to Springfield public transport study puts rail in the loop

    Public transport options between Ipswich and Springfield would be built from the “ground up” under a new State Government study, Minister for Transport and Main Roads Paul Lucas said today.

    Mr Lucas joined Member for Ipswich Rachel Nolan and Member for Bundamba Jo-Ann Miller to launch the Ipswich to Springfield Public Transport Corridor Study, which will develop potential public transport options in the region over the next 20 years.

    Mr Lucas said the population in the western corridor is tipped to reach 250,000 by 2026, with much of that growth in Ripley, Redbank Plains and Springfield.

    The study will examine options for developing a 25km high-quality public transport connection between Ipswich and Springfield ahead of major population growth and development in the area.

    “This is smart public transport design for one of Australia’s fastest growing regions,” Mr Lucas said.

    “The study gives us a great opportunity to integrate public transport into these communities right from the word go.

    “Under this plan, Ipswich could be the first provincial city in Australia with a rail loop. We’ve already committed to building a rail line from Darra to Springfield and what is just as critical is doing the planning now and preserving a corridor for future use.

    “I’m impressed with the way Ipswich has embraced development in Springfield and Ripley.

    “A public transport corridor linking back into Ipswich from Springfield and Ripley would ensure high speed/high quality public transport within Ipswich, rather than just making it high speed/high quality to and from Brisbane.

    Mr Lucas said the study, which has been identified under the State Government’s innovative South East Queensland Infrastructure Plan and Program, would be undertaken in two phases. The first phase will be conducted in 2 sections, with each section having two possible route options.

    Section one goes from Ipswich to Ripley. Option 1A passes through Yamanto. Option 1B passes through Flinders View. Section 2 goes from Ripley to Springfield. Option 2A goes via Redbank Plains South, Option 2B goes via the South West Transport Corridor.

    Mr Lucas said the study would look at both bus and heavy rail public transport modes for future use of the chosen corridor.

    Member for Ipswich Rachel Nolan said extra public transport options would provide an economic and social boost to the region.

    “This is not about putting on an extra train or bus service,” Ms Nolan said.

    “This study will help us identify a route for a high quality busway or train line, which will be a boost for Ipswich for decades to come.

    “Dedicated public transport will support employment and build industry growth in the corridor. The era of cheap oil is ending and we need to plan a sustainable transport future, that's what this corridor is about.”

    Member for Bundamba Jo-Ann Miller said planning a dedicated public transport corridor ahead of major growth in the region was a smart approach.

    “Doing this work now lets us develop good public transport and good planning for the communities that will be growing up in the western corridor in coming years,” Mrs Miller said.

    “Providing dedicated public transport connections into and out of Springfield, Redbank Plains, and into Ipswich is a benefit for the whole region.

    “While the Federal Government continues to ignore Ipswich and refuses to upgrade the entire motorway, the State Government is backing the region’s future.

    Mr Lucas said the State Government was building a rail link to Springfield and extending the Centenary Highway to Yamanto to help enure the region’s transport future.

    Mr Lucas said around 35,000 newsletters would be distributed in the region over the next week. The first round of consultation will run for six weeks with four community open days planned during consultation and displays at seven sites.

    The decision on the preferred corridor is expected to be made early 2007. Further consultation will follow with the community on the EIS and preferred corridor, and a final decision is scheduled for mid-2007.

    Media inquiries
    Minister’s office: Robert Hoge 3237 1942, 0419 757 868
    Member for Ipswich: 3202 3452
    Member for Bundamba: 3288 3737