The Karalee Shopping Centre will service the Chuwar pocket.
The Karalee Shopping Centre will service the Chuwar pocket. Rob Williams

Ipswich is sitting 'at the head of a 'people tsunami'

IPSWICH is sitting at the head of a population tsunami, slowing rising before it crashes through the southwest corridor of Queensland.

As Brisbane, Australia's most liveable city grows from 2.5 million to four million people in the next 20 years Ipswich stands to benefit.

By 2030, the population in the Ipswich region, which includes Esk and Boonah, will grow to 553,461 people.

About 388,320 will live in the Ipswich local government area, representing an 88 per cent growth rate.

"It is predominately the whole Ripley Valley," leading demographer Bernard Salt said.

"Ipswich is sitting at the head of a tsunami heading out the southwest corridor.

"It goes north for kilometres up to Caboolture and south for kilometres down to Beenleigh; sort of a long skinny sausage."

Mr Salt said as Brisbane grew from 2.5 million to four million people it would develop a third corridor.

"That third corridor must be through Ipswich, through Springfield and Ripley Valley," he said.

"That's what's driving this (population growth). You can't have a city of four million people being long and skinny."

The Ipswich local government region is Australia's 13th largest urban area.

It has about 26,000 more people than Townsville and 23,000 fewer than Hobart, but is growing at three times the rate.


Ipswich population growth graphic.
Ipswich population growth graphic. Centro Art

Mr Salt said Ipswich would be poised to house half a million people by 2030.

He said it would have a profound effect on the development of Australia's third-largest city.

"This is going to define Brisbane for the first half of the 21st century and you can see it unfolding in these figures," he said.

"This is the coalface of Australia growing and developing for another 10 years.

"It's a good place to be a plumber, an electrician, a carpenter, a tradie... a good place to be selling whitegoods or bricks."

Mr Salt said Ipswich showed similar growth to the western flank of Melbourne.

He suggested Ipswich establish a sister city relationship with Wyndham, a town facing the same exponential growth as Ipswich.

"Simpatico," Mr Salt said.

"A lot of similarities between Ipswich and Wyndham.

"You're both dealing with the same issues; extraordinary growth, new housing estates, the fight to deliver hospitals and schools and dealing with people living in your community but working somewhere else."

The majority of Ipswich's growth will come through the Springfield and Ripley Valley corridor. At Springfield, 2860ha will be transformed into more than 2.6 million sqm of mixed-use space and 22,850 apartments in its CBD.

The population of Springfield will grow from about 36,000 now to 115,000 in 2036.

While open space is being transformed into homes at a rapid rate in the Ripley Valley and Springfield, there are pockets experiencing significant growth. In Chuwar, new homes coupled with the expansion of Karalee Shopping Centre have driven up values.

The median sales price for houses in Chuwar, in the past year, was $557,500 based on 28 home sales.