LIKE an actor stepping into the spotlight, Ipswich is taking centre stage in a leading role in south-east Queensland's population drama.
Director of Urban Design at THG, Peter Sippel, said that as the fastest-growing region in the state Ipswich would play a major role in alleviating the pressure of Brisbane's expanding population if its connectivity issues could be resolved.
Mr Sippel said the burgeoning city was set to evolve into a major self-contained population node that would no longer rely on its big brother Brisbane to provide employment opportunities.
"The primary issue shackling the future potential of the city is the connectivity of the western corridor to Brisbane," Mr Sippel said. "The western car arterials are packed and there is only one western train line. Connectivity has to be resolved – and quickly."
He said the lack of a train line to Springfield constrained expansion and had to be delivered for optimal densities in those areas.
"That said, as the expense of commuting rises and we become more aware of our carbon footprint, we will become less willing to commute to work and it will become more and more important to be able to easily move between our employment, living and recreation," he said. "By recognising the future lies in this self-containment model, Ipswich is placing itself in good stead to continue its rise as a second powerhouse of Queensland."
He said Ipswich City Council, led by Mayor Paul Pisasale and former Director of Planning Gary White, "did their homework" when the south-east Queensland Regional Plan was tabled, positioning the western corridor for rapid housing expansion.