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Queensland offers $200 million to break Ipswich Motorway congestion



Queensland offers $200 million to break Ipswich Motorway congestion

Queensland offers $200 million to break Ipswich Motorway congestion

Main Roads minister Mark Bailey on Wednesday morning described the section as a “morning and afternoon car park.”

He said if agreement could be reached with the federal government, preliminary work could start within two months.

“We can get the spades and shovels going on the light work on this project within two months and get the heavy work going by early next year,” Mr Bailey said.

The project to widen the final section from four lanes to six lanes is estimated to cost $400 million, with debate over the proportions to be paid by the federal and state governments, stalling the project.

Traffic in morning and afternoon peak hours mounts up dangerously on the exit and entry ramps blocking whole lanes near the Oxley Hotel, causing worsening delays and perennial accidents.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, deputy premier Jackie Trad and Mr Bailey fronted a media conference in Brisbane on Wednesday to announce Queensland would provide $200 million for the project.

“I am very concerned that this is an accident waiting to happen if we do not move on this,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

“So my government is bringing forward this project now – before the budget – because I am absolutely dedicated to providing jobs for Queenslanders.”

Ms Palaszczuk said the Queensland Government would increase its share of the project from 20 per cent to 50 per cent ($200 million) to get the work underway and provide 470 jobs.

“Now I call on Malcolm Turnbull. It is up to Malcolm Turnbull. It is up to Malcolm Turnbull to come to the party,” she said.

The federal government had withdrawn money from the project, because it was unhappy with Queensland’s previous offer.

Ms Palaszczuk said the Queensland Government wanted a partnership to get the project finished.

“Partner with us, let’s create the jobs and let’s get this final stage of the motorway finished.”

Deputy premier and infrastructure minister Jackie Trad said population growth between Brisbane and Ipswich made the road project critical.

“We know that in the western suburbs population is predicted to double in the coming years,” Trad said.

“So we need the Ipswich Motorway fixed.”

Ms Trad said Queensland’s funding response was an indication of its attitude to Queensland’s soon-to-be release State Infrastructure Plan.

She said Queensland’s increased share for the final section of the Ipswich Motorway was the first project to be announced from Queensland’s new State Infrastructure Plan.

Mr Bailey said the “car park” was a major productivity problem because 12,000 trucks used that section of the Ipswich Motorway each day.

“We need to deal with it to maximise jobs and to maximise economic efficiency and getting that car park out of the way, so the people in the south-west can get into the city in the morning,” he said.

“And most importantly access that massive Rocklea and Archerfield industrial link, the rail link at Acacia Ridge and road access at Granard Road as well.”

Fairfax Media is seeking comment from the Federal Government on the Queensland Government’s offer.

The five previous sections of the Ipswich Motorway out to Ipswichwere widened to six lanes by 2012.

Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale welcomed the funding offer from Queensland to break the motorway deadlock.

“If the federal government accept this we will finally get a motorway connecting to a motorway, rather than a motorway connecting to a car park,” he said.


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Rail line grows three times faster than state average



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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Queensland’s $46 Billion Infrastructure Boom



Queensland’s $46 Billion Infrastructure Boom

The Palaszczuk Government has released an update to its 2018 State Infrastructure Plan as it aims to roll-out a total of $45.8 billion worth of infrastructure over the next four years.

The second part of its State Infrastructure Plan (SIP) focuses on a range of infrastructure spending with its updated release, outlining the $11.6 billion of infrastructure investment to be rolled out in 2018-19, which aims to support up to 38,000 jobs.

Economic forecaster Deloitte Access Economics said that the outlook for engineering construction in Queensland is better than it has been for some time.

“Rather than wallowing in cash from a strong property market and asset privatisations as NSW and Victoria are, the Government is relying more heavily on raising new tax revenue and increasing debt to fund this infrastructure,” Deloitte’s quarterly Business Outlook report said.

Up to 65 per cent of the Queensland’s infrastructure budget is allocated outside of the greater Brisbane area, explained Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Cameron Dick.

“Programs like the Queensland Transport Roads and Investment Program 2018-19 to 2021-22 outlines $21.7 billion in transport and road infrastructure over the next four years, estimated to support an average of 19,200 direct jobs over the life of the program.

Queensland’s $46 Billion Infrastructure Boom

The $5.4 billion Cross River Rail project, the biggest state funded infrastructure commitment in more than a decade, will be delivered in partnership with the private sector, explains Dick.

Infrastructure Association of Queensland chief executive Steve Abson said the infrastructure investment strategies update provides the private sector with confidence to invest in their Queensland operations.

With it now required to be “actioned collaboratively by all levels of government and the private sector”.

Seven new projects have been added to the Building Queensland (BQ) infrastructure pipeline, including upgrades to the centenary motorway and Sunshine Motorway, and a third track to be added to the Gold Coast rail line between Kuraby and Beenleigh.

Queensland’s $46 Billion Infrastructure Boom
Seven new projects have been added to the Building Queensland infrastructure pipeline, including a third track on the Gold Coast railway line to be further investigated

BQ Infrastructure Pipeline Report which presents priority infrastructure proposals under development by the Queensland government, shows 18 proposals from the pipeline has received funding commitments from state government since June 2016.

These include upgrades to the M1 from Eight Mile Plains to Daisy Hill, and Varsity Lakes to Tugan, the Beerburrum to Nambour Rail Upgrade, the Lower Fitzroy River Infrastructure Project and the New Performing Arts Venue.

A rise in interstate migration is seeing more people moving to Queensland, according to the Deloitte’s Business Outlook report, which says the sunshine state now has the third-fastest rate of population growth behind Victoria and the ACT.

The report said that Queensland is “well and truly” through the worst of its mining construction downturn as eye-watering house prices south of the border are sending more “economic refugees north to Queensland”.


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Five Ipswich public high schools to get new classrooms



Five Ipswich public high schools to get new classrooms

The State Government will commit $250 million over two years in the State Budget to build additional classrooms at more than 60 schools including Bremer, Ipswich State High School, Laidley State High School, Lowood State High School and Springfield.

Deputy Premier and Treasurer, Jackie Trad, said the ‘2020 Ready’ funding boost would support students in more than 60 Queensland high schools across the State.

“Our kids are our future and, as a government, one of the most important things we can do is give Queensland students a world-class education,” Ms Trad said.

“This investment will deliver more classrooms and learning centres to provide the best possible environment for learning.

“Queensland is a fast-growing State and this investment is about planning for the future.”

Education Minister Grace Grace said in 2020, for the very first time in Queensland’s history, high schools would have a full complement of students across Years 7 to 12.

“This infrastructure program is about making sure we are ‘2020 Ready’,” Ms Grace said.

“This $250 million investment will ensure our schools can accommodate the additional 17,000 students expected in our high schools from 2020 and into the future.

“It brings the total funding commitment towards increasing the capacity of state secondary schools to more than $470 million between 2017-18 and 2019-20.”

Ms Grace said the ‘2020 Ready’ program signals the next phase of Queensland’s major education reforms, which started more than a decade ago.

“Queensland’s first intake of Preppies were those whose birthdays were in the first half of the calendar year – so theirs has always been a much smaller cohort of students, known as the ‘half cohort’,” she said.

“Our next educational reform came in 2015, when we moved Year 7 into high school and established six years of secondary education, which was also supported with significant infrastructure investment.

“However, our smaller ‘half cohort’ has been in high school since 2015 too – meaning we have never had the full complement of students across all six year levels in our secondary schools.

“With the original Prep students set to graduate from high school at the end of 2019, we will have – for the very first time – six full year levels of students in Queensland secondary schools from 2020.

“This new $250 million investment for additional classrooms will prepare those schools identified as requiring additional capacity for the additional students expected in 2020.”


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