Rail link a priority to maintain region's quality of life
A RAIL line through the state's fastest growing corridor must be built to prevent Ipswich suffering a poor quality of life, a new report reveals.
In the most significant push to date, Ipswich City Council has commissioned a study into the need for a Springfield to Ipswich Central rail link.
The project will include a 25km heavy rail line and nine stations.
The report, released to the council's Economic Development Committee this week, says if better public transport is not provided there will be serious, negative effects on congestion, parking, safety, public health and overall living standards in the region.
"The rapid rate of population growth and other urban development is currently outpacing the delivery of mass transit infrastructure," it said.
About 259,000 people will live between Ipswich Central and Springfield Central by 2036.
The council's Office of Economic Development will invest $70,000 to fund a strategic business case for the rail corridor project in the next financial year.
A further $500,000 will be sought from the State and Federal governments to fund the preliminary business case.
The final step before the project is built will be a detailed business case.
Rail Back on Track spokesman Robert Dow said the project needed to start.
"You've got rapid development in that area and it's only going to get worse," he said.
"What we've seen, particularly with new rail in the southeast, is it's been up to 100 years too late. This is the opportunity to turn it around."
The project will increase accessibility for 128,000 workers, reduce congestion and provide greater access to the future Springfield Stadiums Precinct.
Mr Dow said the line should be pushed from Springfield to Ripley first and then on to Ipswich Central.
He said the project should be done concurrently to Cross River Rail.
"The problem has been everything is on hold out here," he said.
"They're not doing anything.
"Other states are doing huge things."
Mr Dow said land had been set aside and the project was ready to go.
"It's just a matter of building it," he said. "It's needed now, not in 10 years."