The Honourable Anna Bligh
Transport hub to boost Ipswich’s future: Bligh
The Honourable Anna Bligh
Monday, March 03, 2008
Transport hub to boost Ipswich’s future: BlighIpswich: The State Government today unveiled a bold plan to revitalise the Ipswich city heart including development of a transport hub that will replace the existing transit centre, rail station and the Bell St bus interchange.
“The sleeping giant of the Ipswich CBD is about to be awakened. This exciting development will potentially include community space, and residential facilities, as well as office space for more than 1200 State Government and other workers,” said Premier Anna Bligh.
“To begin with the State will spend $5 million to kick-start detailed planning for this combined transport, business and residential precinct in the heart of Ipswich.”
“The timeline is compact.”
• The business case will be developed for Cabinet’s consideration in August.
• Expressions of interest from the private sector to build the project called by November, with selection of the preferred developer early in 2009.
Speaking at the award-winning Workshops Railway Museum in North Ipswich, the Premier said the funding would help deliver the recently released Ipswich Integrated Strategy and Action Plan.
“That Plan highlighted 17 projects that were vital to help Ipswich continue to grow into a world-class city,” Premier Bligh said.
“Adding that many office workers to the middle of town daily will give great confidence to major retailers to then help further support and revitalize the Ipswich CBD.”
“We’re building a better future for Ipswich and surrounds,” the Premier told the more than 550 attendees to today’s post- Cabinet gathering.
Deputy Premier and Minister for Infrastructure and Planning Paul Lucas said the State’s Coordinator-General is proposing to make the area around the project a State Development Area to help deliver the proposal.
“The majority of the area around the planned development is currently under utilized, which is quite different from the integrated transport, community space, residential, office and retail use that’s being proposed,” Mr Lucas said.
“Declaring a State Development Area would let the state, through the Coordinator-General, carry out the master planning for the area, which would help streamline the development process,” Mr Lucas said.
Member for Ipswich Rachel Nolan said that today’s announcement is “really fantastic”.
“This will finally allow us to breakthrough on the much-needed revitalisation of Central Ipswich.
“The current city centre was condemned to its current dreadful position by poor planning in the 1980s which turned its back on the Bremer.
“Some landholders have been reluctant to invest in our wonderful city’s future development. I’m really thrilled that Premier, Deputy Premier and Cabinet are showing such compelling leadership for the people of Ipswich,” she said.
Mr Lucas said that the Coordinator-General is considering a State Development Area bounded by the Bremer River, the existing car parking area at River Heart Parklands, the Queensland Rail-owned land on Ellenborough Street, Brisbane Street as far as Marsden Parade and the existing Ipswich rail station car parking area on Marsden Parade to the river bank. (See map, attached.)”
Mr Lucas said the Coordinator-General would seek public comment on the boundaries of the proposed State Development Area, and would make his decision in the next few weeks.
“At the end of the day, this is about delivering a world-class Ipswich city heart with improved connection to, and across, the Bremer River.
Mr Lucas said initial community response to the Ipswich Integrated Strategy and Action Plan, including the proposed transport hub, had been extremely positive.
“That document, developed by the State Government and Ipswich City Council along with community and business leaders, is the planning blueprint that will see the private sector participate in taking Ipswich take its place as a world-class city,” Mr Lucas said.
“Getting the middle of the city right is crucial to the future not only of Ipswich, but of the entire corridor to the west of Brisbane.”
Media contacts: Deputy Premier’s Office 3224 4600