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Ipswich’s boom suburbs won’t see rail for at least six years

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Ipswich's boom suburbs won't see rail for at least six years

IPSWICH commuters will have to wait at least another six years before work starts on the local network’s long-awaited rail extensions.

The extension to the Ipswich rail network, including connecting Ipswich to Springfield and Redbank Plains, has been repeatedly promised by the Labor State Government.

Now, it has confirmed work will not start until after 2024, with the Government claiming “the extension(s) rely on the completion of Cross River Rail”.

That has been vehemently disputed by Ipswich Rail Advocate Robert Dow, who says work on the extensions should start immediately before the lack of transport infrastructure hits crisis point.

The Palaszczuk Government said this month it remained committed to the extension of the Springfield line and had set aside land for a future passenger rail.

But the Department of Main Roads did not say when the works would start and gave no budget details or an explanation as to why these extensions related to the city-centric Cross River Rail project.

Cross River Rail is a Brisbane CBD rail project that includes a 10.2km rail line between Dutton Park and Bowen Hills with a twin tunnel under the Brisbane River.

The inner-city transport project is due to be finished in 2024.

A spokesperson for the Palaszczuk Government said Cross River Rail would “provide the necessary capacity to expand the rail network, it is the key to unclog the bottleneck on our rail network and deliver additional services”.

According to a statement issued last year by Deputy Premier Jackie Trad, Cross River Rail will deliver new links to Flagstone and Ripley.

Rail Back on Track advocate Robert Dow said the Ipswich extensions could, and should, go ahead independent of Cross River Rail.

“The lines can simply be extended out to Redbank Plains and Ripley,” Mr Dow said.

“The roads are failing badly and there is a massive amount of development happening along that corridor. We need to get more people on to public transport and off the roads. The only way to do that is have public transport.

“Redbank Plains is one of the fastest growing residential areas in this country. This is just nonsense.

“We have consistently been far too late in matching our infrastructure needs to actual growth.”

What Main Roads said

“The Ipswich to Springfield Future Public Passenger Transport Corridor has been preserved since 2009 following extensive community consultation.

The corridor is also identified as a future rail corridor in strategic documents such as SEQ Rail Horizon and Shaping SEQ.

Transport and Main Roads is undertaking a study to review and update rail corridor planning in response to surrounding land use.

The required timing of the extension will be determined as part of a broader rail network investment strategy.

It will consider factors such as whole of network train operating strategies and capacity constraints, as well as population growth along corridors and associated demand forecasts, particularly in peak periods when demand is at its highest.

Redbank Plains’ road network is mostly council.”

Originally Published: www.qt.com.au

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City Deal a $58bn ‘Game Changer’ for Southeast Queensland

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City Deal a $58bn ‘Game Changer’ for Southeast Queensland

South-east Queensland could be green-lit for the biggest “city deal” in Australia, with a $58 billion proposal to guide its growth, and the prime minister announcing his support for the major plan.

With a focus on supporting diverse sectors within the region including housing and planning, tourism, manufacturing and education, the SEQ City Deal could also pave the way for government-owned land to be opened for development.

Queensland deputy premier Jackie Trad this week released Transforming SEQ, which highlights 35 “opportunities” that could be considered as part of the future City Deal, including six “game changers” for the region.

“Modelling by KPMG has shown a SEQ City Deal could stimulate an increase of up to $58 billion in our economy by improving the productivity and competitiveness of the region,” Trad said.

‘Game Changer’ for Southeast Queensland-min

Prime minister Scott Morrison will be meeting with the SEQ Mayors and Queensland government to discuss the proposal this week.

The City Deal, which involves all three levels of government — council, state and federal — would see government working on priorities to drive the SEQ economy.

Under a City Deal plan, all three levels of government sign an agreement to set the priority infrastructure projects and initiatives.

City Deal a $58bn ‘Game Changer’ for Queensland

Integrated land-use planning approach?

Property Council chief executive Ken Morrison described the announcement as “a game-changer for the region.

“Our growing cities and urban regions are the engine rooms of the Australian economy,” Morrison said.

“The city deal model brings together all levels of government around the same plan to boost productivity and jobs through targeted investment in city-shaping projects and infrastructure.”

Property Council Queensland director Chris Mountford said the council has been collaborating with state government and SEQ councils for nearly six years on the potential for a city deal.

“The State and local governments have also agreed in principle to a more coordinated integrated land-use planning approach,”

“Opening up under-utilised government-owned land for development has also been agreed as a clear opportunity to unlock economic activity, create jobs and build business confidence.”

City Deal a $58bn ‘Game Changer’

Growing population

The region’s current 3.5 million population is forecast to increase to 5.3 million within the next 25 years, ultimately requiring an extra 800,000 homes and additional one million jobs.

Focus has been placed on the recently released people mass movement study which identifies the impact of the expected population growth on the region’s ability to cope with future transport demand.

Minister for Cities Alan Tudge said he, along with the prime minister, will be meeting with the SEQ Mayors to discuss the Deal.

“We need to cater for this rising population and the SEQ City Deal will be a huge step forward,” Tudge said.

South-east Queensland is already home to over two-thirds of the state’s population.

The region is home to nearly one in every seven Australians.

The agreement marks the second city deal for Queensland following the policy being first established in Townsville.

So far, city deals have been developed for Western Sydney, Townsville and Launceston, and a further four more are currently under negotiation in Adelaide, Hobart, Perth and Geelong.

 

Source: brisbaneinvestor.com.au

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$63b infrastructure plan to keep SEQ moving till 2041

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$63b infrastructure plan to keep SEQ moving till 2041

It’s going to cost $63.7 billion to keep South East Queensland moving over the next two decades, according to a study released today by the region’s mayors.

The population of the region is expected to grow by about 1.8 million people to more than five million people by 2041, putting extraordinary demand on the already strained transport network.

The SEQ People Mass Movement Study lists a total of 47 projects designed to keep city-to-city trips under 45 minutes and urban commutes under 30 minutes, including a faster rail network connecting the Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast via Brisbane and west to Ipswich and Toowoomba.

Brisbane Lord Mayor Graham Quirk said the infrastructure plan, coined the Strategic Transport Road Map, would keep the region “economically productive” while maintaining its liveability.

“Business as normal is not going to work, we need to increase the amount of money that is being spent in South East Queensland,” Cr Quirk said.

He said the plan would require an average expenditure of about $2.7 billion per year until 2041, which he said was “not an unrealistic figure”.

“What we are seeing in Sydney and Melbourne right now is this massive spend on infrastructure. That’s because they allowed it to get too far behind. We cannot do that in South East Queensland.”

He said there had been no shortage of plans for the region’s transport network, but it was time for all levels of government to unite with a shared vision.

Redland City mayor Karen Williams said the plan delivered the projects over a “reasonable amount of time with a reasonable amount of investment”.

“It’s not a matter of ‘can we afford this?’ It’s the fact that we can’t afford not to do it,” Cr Williams said.

Faster Rail is not as fast as high speed rail, which delivers speeds up to 350km/h, but could run at about 160km/h with top speeds of up to 200-250kmh, with limited stops.

It would be connected to the light rail networks on the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast in order to ease congestion on major arterials.

Other projects include the Brisbane Metro, Cross River Rail and road upgrades, including the Pacific, Sunshine, Centenary, Ipswich and Logan motorways and the Bruce, Warrego and Mt Lindesay highways.

The study also took into account emerging technologies including autonomous vehicles.

It was first proposed in 2016, and began in September 2017, with the aim of bringing together multiple local, state and national transport studies into one cohesive plan.

The South East Queensland region takes in the Brisbane City, Ipswich City, Lockyer Valley Regional, Logan City, Moreton Bay, Redland City, Scenic Rim Regional, Somerset Regional, Sunshine Coast and Toowoomba Regional council areas.

Source: brisbaneinvestor.com.au

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Rail line grows three times faster than state average

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springfield rail line

THE number of passengers travelling on Springfield’s rail line has grown almost three times faster than the state network average.

springfield rail line

In a glimmer of good news for Ipswich’s public transport situation, new data shows 1.09 million passengers travelled on the Richlands Springfield Central line in the 2017-18 financial year.

Springfield Central was the most popular station, with 482,913 passengers.

Rail Back on Track spokesman Robert Dow said the figures were good news for Ipswich’s busy eastern corridor.

“It’s good people are using the system and it adds momentum for improvements to the bus network to get people to and from the station,” he said.

Since the 2016-17 financial year, patronage across the state’s rail network has grown 3.36 per cent.

Growth at Springfield Central has outstripped the average by recording an 8.13 per cent increase.

“Springfield looks good,” Mr Dow said.

While passenger numbers are positive at Springfield, other rail lines remain underutilised, Mr Dow said.

“It’s been pretty bad on the Ipswich-Rosewood line,” he said.

In the previous financial year, 1.77 million passengers used the line.

It was the first time in five years the network has recorded an increase in growth after a steady decline in numbers from a height of 2.1 million in 2012-13.

Mr Dow puts the most recent increase partly down to a new fare structure and regional growth.

“The population is increasing generally and people at Redbank Plains and places like that are driving to the Ipswich rail line,” he said.

Mr Dow said improvements still needed to be made on the region’s bus network.

He said park ‘n’ ride facilities at stops along the network were at capacity. Ipswich Station had the highest passenger fall, with 23,389 people deserting the track.

Redbank was the most improved station, with passenger numbers growing about 19,000 on the previous year, to 229,145.

“It’s good to see Rosewood has got growth – people are starting to use the Ipswich to Rosewood line,” Mr Dow said.

He said the passenger number information should be made free on the Translink website.

“TMR should make this sort of data available,” he said. “Having to pay $48 for this is fairly outrageous.”

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