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The federal government had withdrawn money from the project, because it was unhappy with Queensland’s previous offer.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.
Original Publish: http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/
BUDGET: Cash splashed to fix Ipswich’s congested highway
ONE of Ipswich’s worst intersections will be fixed with the Federal Government committing to fund an upgrade to the Cunningham Highway.
In his third budget, Treasurer Scott Morrison revealed $170 million would go towards improving the dreaded Amberley Interchange.
The project will include a realignment of the highway between Yamanto and Ebenezer Creek and an upgrade of the Ipswich-Rosewood Rd.
Expansions and growing military activity at RAAF Base Amberley has put pressure on the interchange.
The $170 million funding injection also comes as the Ipswich City Council considers a proposal from Lantrak to move 1 million tonnes of landfill each year to rehabilitate the New Hope coal mine at Jeebropilly.
According to the application more than 250 heavy vehicles would transit the highway each day.
The government says the Cunningham Highway upgrade will “improve travel reliability and reduce congestion”.
It is expected the Queensland Labor Government will match the funding to start the $340 million project.
Federal Labor MP Shayne Neumann confirmed his party would offer bipartisan support and also commit to fixing the highway in a “major boost for the economic capacity of the Ipswich region”.
“The road takes 2700 heavy vehicle movements a day, and plays a significant role in transporting people and freight between Brisbane and Sydney,” he said.
“These vital upgrades to the Cunningham Highway have long been identified on Infrastructure Australia’s Infrastructure Priority List.
“That’s why it’s disappointing the Turnbull LNP Government have had to be dragged kicking and screaming to fund this project.”
Become an entrepreneur
OLDER residents in Ipswich will be encouraged to become entrepreneurs so they can stay in the workforce longer.
The Federal Government will roll out 20 new entrepreneurship facilitators across the regions over the next four years.
Ipswich, along with central Queensland, Ballina and Tweed, will benefit from the program.
The small business experts will teach mature-age people how to start and maintain sustainable businesses.
The Federal Government has set aside $2.7 million in the 2018-19 financial year for the project.
A further $15 million will fund the program until June of 2022.
The government has also committed to continuing the Job Change project that assists mature-age workers to remain in the workforce as retirement and pension ages creep upwards.
Amberley cashes in on Defence spending
RAAF Base Amberley will take a share in millions of dollars in upgrades in the Defence portfolio.
A new Air Traffic Control Radar will be installed at Amberley as part of an estimated $96 million investment in new technology across several bases.
Working accommodation, maintenance, warehousing and training facilities will be built to support the introduction of the Growler Airborne Electronic Attack Capability aircraft.
The project is scheduled for completion by early 2021.
A C-17 maintenance facility, aircraft apron and associated infrastructure will also be constructed.
It is scheduled for completion by early 2019.
Australia’s largest solar farm planned near Ipswich
Somerset already hosts a number of energy projects including hydroelectric plants at Wivenhoe Dam and Splityard Creek Dam.Contributed
AUSTRALIA’S largest solar farm has been proposed for a rural site near Ipswich.
The proposed plant, east of Harlin along the D’Aguilar Highway, would have final capacity of 1,500 megawatts, six times larger than its closest rival.
Plans include two substations and the capacity to hire to 60 people.
The Sunraysia solar farm in NSW is Australia’s largest under construction, at 250 megawatts.
Other Australian solar farms of up to 1,000 megawatts have been proposed.
Somerset Mayor Graeme Lehmann said it was a complex development application from Ethos Urban planning consultants.
The company has been involved in other large infrastructure projects throughout Australia, on behalf of Sunshine Energy Australia Pty Ltd.
“We understand the attractions of the site include its proximity to the existing high voltage power network and proximity to Brisbane,” Cr Lehmann said.
“The site has been largely cleared in the past and is within one hour of the 570 MW pumped storage hydroelectric plant at Splityard Creek which is also in the Somerset Regional Council area.
“The development application includes two substations, facilities for up to 60 employees and provision for battery storage.”
“The application has been referred to various government departments and agencies for their input and we will carefully assess it against our planning scheme like any other proposal.”
Somerset Regional Council is reviewing the application.
Education City link approved by Ipswich Council
A FOOTPATH that will link Springfield’s Education City to the Robelle Domain Parklands in Springfield Central has been approved by Ipswich City Council.
Plans were lodged by Springfield Land Corporation on February 2 this year and first approved on February 26.
However Ipswich City Council did not approve the use of Hoop Pines to landscape the pathway.
After some negotiating a new decision notice was issued on April 9 with the condition stipulating that Hoop Pines were not to be used deleted.
The land where the pathway is being constructed is lot 810 Sinnathamby Boulevard, Springfield Central.
Described as an open space boulevard pathway, the public concrete path and associated landscaping work has been approved in full subject to conditions.
Footpath lighting is to be installed, and a spotter catcher is to be engaged to supervise vegetation removal and ensure any native fauna including native bees are identified and relocated.
The spotter catcher is to submit a report before and after vegetation clearing works are undertaken detailing what wildlife has been identified and preventative and remedial actions taken to ensure animal safety.