|Lga:||City of Ipswich|
|Region:||South East Queensland|
|Stategov:||Ipswich, Ipswich West, Bundamba, Part of Lockyer|
|Fedgov:||Blair, Oxley, Wright|
Ipswich is a city in South-East Queensland, Australia. Along the Bremer River Valley, it is approximately 40 km away from the state's capital, Brisbane. The suburb by the same name forms the city's Central Business District and administrative centre. Ipswich has a population of 163,383.
Urban sprawl from the mid-20th century onwards has made it become part of the Greater Brisbane conurbation. However, it has retained municipal status and has an independent history and culture. Ipswich is a major commercial and industrial area that is currently undergoing major transit oriented urban renewal, which was first planned in the Ipswich Regional Centre Strategy. Ipswich was proclaimed as a municipality on 2 March 1860, and became a city in 1904.
Prior to the invasion of European settlers, what is now called Ipswich was home to multiple tribal lands, including the Yuggera and Ugarapul Indigenous Australian groups. The area was first explored by European colonists in 1826, when Captain Patrick Logan, Commandant of the Moreton Bay penal colony, sailed up the Brisbane River and discovered large deposits of limestone and other minerals.
The town began as a limestone mining settlement and grew rapidly as a major inland port. Ipswich was initially named Limestone, however in 1843 it was renamed after the town of Ipswich in England. It became a municipality in 1858. Originally Ipswich was going to be the capital of Queensland, but in 1859, it made a failed bid, losing to rival Brisbane. It was proclaimed a city in 1904.
In 1827, the first convicts and overseers arrived to mine the area. The town that built around this industry became known as Limestone and is remembered by one of the main streets through the Ipswich city centre. In 1843, the settlement officially became known as Ipswich, making it the oldest provincial city in Queensland. The name change was proposed by surveyor Henry Wade and approved by Sir George Gipps, a soldier and Governor of New South Wales. The town of Ipswich in England was once called Gipeswic, derived from the Old English for "workplace by water".
From the 1840s onward, Ipswich was becoming an important river port for the growing local industries such as coal, and wool from the Darling Downs, so a regular paddlesteamer service from Brisbane Town, 'The Experiment', was established in 1846. This, and other steamer services, remained the primary form of mass/bulk transport between the two cities until 1876, when the construction of the original Albert Bridge, spanning the Brisbane River at Indooroopilly, completed the railway line begun between Ipswich and Brisbane in 1873.
Father William McGinty, a native of Northern Ireland, took charge of Ipswich Roman Catholic Parish in 1852 and had the first St Mary's Church built. This building was described as "a rude slab building of small dimensions, without glass windows, only shutters." This church was later demolished and replaced by a "beautiful stone edifice of Gothic design" as quoted from a member of the church community. That was the old St. Mary's and it cost £7,000 in 1862.
Ipswich was proclaimed as a municipality on 2 March 1860 and became a city in 1904. Damaging flooding has occurred on numerous occasions, the largest being the 1893 Brisbane flood peaking at 24.5 m, and more recently during the 1974 Brisbane Flood, peaking in Ipswich at 20.7 m. Collectively, 8500 houses were flooded in Ipswich and Brisbane.
In the 1980s and the 1990s, with land in nearby Brisbane becoming fully developed, and very expensive for housing, many new large scale housing estates became attractive for buyers in Ipswich with lower prices and bigger lots. Such new housing estates sprung up in Goodna, Brassall, Springfield Lakes, Collingwood Park, Redbank Plains with acreage estates in Karalee, Barellan Point, and Chuwar. The first masterplanned community in South-east Queensland was subsequently established at Springfield.
Ipswich was a major mining centre, particularly coal mining. The city is the 'cradle of coal mining in Queensland'. Other secondary manufacturing industries included earthenware works, sawmills, abattoirs and foundries, while the region is also rich agriculturally.
Ipswich is the site of RAAF Base Amberley, the Royal Australian Air Force's largest operational base. RAAF Amberley is currently home to No. 1 and No. 6 Squadrons flying the Boeing F/A-18F Super Hornet. No. 36 Squadron (flying C-17 Globemaster III transport aircraft) are also based out of Amberley. In addition a number of ground support units are located at Amberley. The airbase is currently being expanded and will eventually also house No. 33 Squadron (flying Airbus A330 MRTT tanker-transports) and several Army units.
Ipswich is also home to a campus of the University of Queensland, the annual Ipswich Cup horse races one of the biggest race meets in Queensland where over 24,000 attend, and The Workshops Railway Museum to commemorate the first trainline in Queensland from Ipswich to Grandchester (Bigges Camp), approximately 25 km to the west. The present Ipswich Station is a major transport interchange.
A large shopping complex is being developed in the eastern suburb of Springfield. Accompanying this is a satellite campus of the University of Southern Queensland, which has its primary campus in Toowoomba. Redbank Plaza shopping mall has had eight cinemas added as well as a fourth floor of shopping. Three clear retail and service hubs are developing outside Ipswich central and besides Springfield. Brassall and Karalee to the north, Yamanto to the South, and Booval in the central east.
The traditional Ipswich dwelling has always been a detached home on land, however this is changing as housing demand and a desire to live closer to amenities increases. New estates and suburbs are currently under development in the south-eastern section of the city as well as Ripley Valley.
Ipswich Hospital is the major public hospital in the city. St Andrew's Private Hospital is the city's only major private hospital.
The main form of transport in Ipswich is the private vehicle. Ipswich also has direct access to the Ipswich Motorway (linking to Brisbane); the Cunningham Highway (linking to Warwick); the Warrego Highway (linking to Toowoomba); and the Centenary Highway (linking Springfield and the Ripley Valley to Brisbane).
Ipswich Railway Station is a major hub for rail transport. The electified rail lines that runs from Ipswich through Brisbane's western suburbs to the Brisbane CBD is known as the Ipswich Line. The Rosewood railway line is also electrified and continues west through Ipswich's western suburbs to the town of Rosewood. Both lines are operated by Queensland Rail. A rail line has been proposed to run south from Ipswich to Yamanto and Ripley, eventually connecting with the Springfield line. The Westlander, operated by Traveltrain stops at Ipswich Station twice a week on its journey to and from Charleville and stops along the way include Toowoomba.
Ipswich is also the hub of a large bus network. Westside Buslines is the prominent bus company in Ipswich, linking all sides of town to Ipswich CBD; Redbank; Springfield; or Forest Lake (in Brisbane). They also operate services on behalf of Queensland Rail to Fernvale, Lowood, Coominya, Esk, and Toogoolawah. Southern Cross Citilink is a bus that operates between Ipswich and Indooroopilly via Riverlink, Karalee, Chuwar, Karana Downs, Anstead, and Kenmore. Bus Queensland Lockyer Valley operates bus services on behalf of Queensland Rail to Gatton and Helidon. An Airport Express Bus operates from Ipswich to Brisbane Airport on a regular basis. Prior bookings are essential though. Greyhound Australia offers daily direct services to Toowoomba, Mount Isa, Charleville, Sydney and Melbourne from the Ipswich Transit Centre. Crisps coaches offer daily direct services to and from Warwick and Stanthorpe.
Bicycle transport is not well facilitated in Ipswich, although there are some marked on-road lanes there are few segregated bicycle facilities. A 65 km trail linking Ipswich to Boonah includes bicycle and walking paths is currently under construction. A new cycleway has been created at Brassall. The bikeway is 2.6 km long and connects the suburbs of Brassall and North Ipswich. Further bikeways are being constructed, such as the link to Redbank Plains High school and by the utilization of the former Brisbane Valley Rail line, which will connect Wulkuraka to Blackbutt.
Ipswich has a considerable number of secondary schools, including the following:
Ipswich has a number of primary schools, including the following:
The first Ipswich Annual Show was held on 2 April 1873 by the Queensland Pastoral and Agricultural Society. There had been shows staged by the Ipswich and West Moreton Horticultural and Agricultural Society as early as 1868. Originally held at the sale yards situated at Lobb St, Churchill, the show moved to its present home at the Ipswich Showgrounds in 1877.
This festival has been held annually at Goodna (Evan Marginson Sportsground) since 1968, over 10,000 people attend this three day event. The festival features a talent quest, school band competition, fun run, live entertainment as well as the regular attractions such as sideshow alley, food and stalls.
The Ipswich Festival is an annual multi-disciplinary festival that fosters and encourages an atmosphere, which brings families together to enjoy the many free attractions. The Ipswich Festival showcases a broad and bold program of entertainment and arts that continues to entertain, inspire and celebrate the essence of our City's culture, spirit and community to the highest calibre.
First staged in 1998, the Ipswich Festival has enjoyed a 13-year development strategy, and the planning, programming and production are professionally managed by an experienced team of individuals who are highly regarded as specialists in creating and managing festivals and community event.
The Ipswich Festival is regarded as the City's premier event and over the past 13 years, the variety, size and scope of the program has grown exponentially through increasing interest group participation, corporate partnerships and community enthusiasm through the presentation of a festival that `celebrates its city'.
The festival presents Ipswich's cultural heritage and highlights the city's emerging talents through a deliberate program of Live Bands, Concerts, Art exhibits, Fireworks, Theatre, Jazz, Multicultural Celebrations, interactive displays and a range of family-based events to encourage participation by all age groups whilst attracting day tourism to the region.
The Ipswich Festival runs for two weeks at the end of April beginning of May with the majority of events free.http://www.ipswichfestival.com.au