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Thursday, 23 September 2010

Ripley - believe it or not

There are several rural-residential localities south of the Cunningham Highway in Ipswich (Southeast Queensland). Located in the area known as Ripley Valley, some are envisaged to become large suburbs by the 2030s. In May this year, Queensland Premier Anna Bligh announced Ripley Valley as one of three new master-planned communities. Ripley Valley, and Yarrabilba and Flagstone in Logan are intended to be home to a projected 250,000 residents. Spanning over 100 sq km, Ripley Valley has been earmarked for development and to be home to over 120,000 people with an estimated 50,000 homes to be built. The Valley will support a potential 200,000 new jobs in the surrounding existing areas. The development is seen as a driver for jobs in Ipswich city.
The sun is up
Time’s at hand
There’s a stir across the land
And so begins another day
On life’s highway


The origin of the name Ripley is uncertain, believe it or not.


From a hill overlooking the valley, one can see for miles around. The gum trees 'reached as high as the eagles in the sky, it will only take one day to bring em down - when the bulldozers' rumbles, turn the ground...' (apologies to the writer of Darby's castle).


Ripley is generally flat with vast open spaces of grasslands pockmarked with rolling hills and patches of eucalypt forests.


It is criss-crossed by powerlines, gaslines and coalmines. The roads networks have started densifying and branching out into the hierarchies required for the projected large master-planned estates.


The Valley will have over 40 km of dedicated pedestrian and cycle paths, as well as recreational facilities in each neighbourhood precinct.


Ripley, at the crossroads.


The odd homestead still exists amidst the pockets of development sprouting out all around.

An Australian property development company has joined forces with a major Japanese building company to develop commercial and residential land in the Ripley Valley. Six themes have been outlined in the Ripley Valley Community Plan: A Designed, Prosperous, Accessible, Functional, Living and Natural Valley.

Ripley is adjacent to Swanbank, the largest master planned industrial estate in South East Queensland. Built around an existing power station, Swanbank will deliver more than economical energy. 1,400ha have been set-aside as conservation and buffer areas. Proximity to this burgeoning growth corridor provides an outstanding resource from which skilled workers can be drawn. Industries at Swanbank find themselves ideally situated at the main transport gateway to South East Queensland and Northern New South Wales. Access to the national, interstate and regional transport networks should prove invaluable to industries locating within the development. The development is also surrounded by some of Ipswich's greenest and most vegetated areas that link to Greenbank, Spring Mountain and White Rock Conservation Park.

Ripley is near White Rock and the former Blackstone coalfields. Swanbank, along with South Ripley, Ripley and Deebing Heights, comprise the Ripley Valley urban growth area. Ripley's western boundary is Deebing Creek, and beyond it there is Deebing Heights. It is thought that Deebing was an Aboriginal expression describing a mosquito or winged insect. Further west there are Purga, Willowbank and Mutdapilly, all rural areas.


A bus stop on a quiet country road will soon be swallowed up in a bustling arterial road.


Majestic gum trees will also be giving way to residential and industrial estates.
The price of progress indeed. I'll have to buy a tree to have lunch under.
I'll need Joni Mitchell's big yellow taxi for that too.

In the late afternoon breeze I turn to the west to catch sight of the setting sun.
Is that the scent of flowers I smell?
I reckon it is. From out Toowoomba way.
The Warrego is beckoning...
I should check it out.
But a bridge also beckons to the east....
Ahh dilemmas. I luuuv it...

Ripley.
Just another waymark on life’s highway.

There is hope with ev'ry turn
A bridge to build A bridge to burn
...
Like the roses bloom and fade
On life's highway

Life's Highway - Steve Wariner