26 April 2022
Investment in the Ebenezer Regional Industrial Area (ERIA) will unlock 3,500 full time equivalent jobs across diversely skilled and high-value industries including manufacturing, transport, postal and warehousing.
Mayor Teresa Harding said the ERIA is a future industrial area that would support national supply chains, Inland Rail, and the potential Ebenezer Intermodal Terminal.
“We are seeking a commitment from Federal candidates to deliver infrastructure upgrades to unlock an important future employment precinct for Ipswich,” Mayor Harding said.
“Council delivered a Social and Economic Impact and Benefits Study for the Ebenezer Intermodal Terminal in 2020 and investment in the ERIA is a critical enabler of delivering the expected benefits for the Ipswich region.
“The ERIA will not only activate employment-generating industrial land, but will also unlock employment opportunities and deliver catalytic truck infrastructure that would include fixing the Amberley interchange and upgrading the Cunningham Highway.”
Deputy Mayor, Division 1 Councillor Jacob Madsen said the future ERIA requires investment from all levels of government as Ipswich’s rapid population growth requires an equal acceleration of investment in population-supporting infrastructure.
“Ipswich could become a major rail freight hub in coming years with the proposed Intermodal Terminal at Ebenezer and the ERIA would support warehousing of goods delivered via the inland rail,” Cr Madsen said.
“We need to see the Cunningham Highway, the backbone to Ipswich’s transport network, urgently upgraded to meet both the current and future demand as it services RAAF Base Amberley, Ipswich’s growth corridor, the Ripley Valley Priority Development Area (PDA), and will also service the future ERIA.
“Council supports business opportunities and economic productivity but a key part of that is investment in highways, so people and freight continue to move safely and efficiently.”
Division 1 Councillor Sheila Ireland said the Yamanto to Ebenezer Creek section of the Cunningham Highway needs to be improved.
“This section needs duplication to 4 lanes along with upgrades to the Amberley Interchange which services RAAF Base Amberley, and the planning, design and delivery of interchange configurations at Ripley and Swanbank to enable growth in the Ripley Valley PDA,” Cr Ireland said.
“Both federal and state governments have allocated some funding towards upgrades to the Cunningham Highway, with $20 million earmarked for future planning along this highway, including at Amberley.
“While this is a good starting point, it will only deliver a quick fix and we need a comprehensive package of infrastructure upgrades to support the growth in Ipswich.
“Council understands that Transport and Main Roads is in the process of developing options for upgrades at the Amberley Interchange, which will be the subject of community consultation by TMR at a date to be determined in 2022.
“The Western Ipswich Bypass that will run between the Warrego Highway at Haigslea through to the Cunningham Highway at Willowbank will be a necessary infrastructure project.”