Welcome to Australia’s logistics industry capital

Ipswich City Council has its economic sights set on the Southern Hemisphere.

Jun 13, 2023, updated Jun 13, 2023
Redbank Motorway Estate aims to become the largest of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere. (Image: Supplied)

Redbank Motorway Estate aims to become the largest of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere. (Image: Supplied)

Ipswich is poised to become the Logistics Capital of Australia after attracting key players, from Australia Post’s largest facility in the Southern Hemisphere to its multi-million-dollar Redbank Motorway Estate.

And an additional $1.4 billion and 3500 additional full-time jobs are slated to explode in the region by 2041 under future plans to build Ebenezer Regional Industrial Area and an intermodal terminal to capitalise on Inland Rail.

Ipswich City Council is capitalising on the logistics industry as a key driving force of its local economy, underpinning the four key pillars of its Economic Development Strategy which include: People, Places, Prosperity and Partnerships.

The 2023–2027 strategy, which outlines the city’s plans for the next four years, has recognised its expertise in logistics is a key part of its competitive economic identity.

Ipswich City Council has identified the sector to attract investment and differentiate the region from the rest of South-east Queensland.

Australia Post’s largest facility in the Southern Hemisphere

Already renowned as a major warehousing logistics hub for transporting goods nationally and internationally, Ipswich snatches pole position at the centre of the state’s south-east, with well-established rail infrastructure and connections to major highways, the Port of Brisbane, and Brisbane Airport.

In 2020/21 alone, the transport and logistics industry generated 3,552 full-time jobs and more than $287 million in exports.

At the same time, Australia Post’s largest facility in the Southern Hemisphere at Redbank Motorway Estate has attracted a $240 million investment and 500 jobs.

Redbank Motorway Estate has emerged as the city’s latest success story and South-east Queensland’s leading industrial estate, creating around 2000 local jobs and long-term roles for the rapidly growing Ipswich population.

Key tenants at the estate include Coles, Australia Post, TNT, DB Schenker, Zenexus, Northline and Babcor.

Coles Australia Automated Distribution Centre

Coles Australia’s Automated Distribution Centre represents a $500 million technology investment and is the largest of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere. This automated facility is designed to distribute goods to more than 200 Coles local stores across Queensland and create around 500 new jobs in the city.

Ipswich City Council is committed to attracting investment and promoting the community’s benefits to support economic growth and has been heavily involved with landowners to support its goals.

The transport, postal and warehousing sector represents 6.5 per cent of the local workforce with an increase of 955 workers between 16/17FY and 21/22FY.

During the same period, the value-add to the economy has increased by almost 128 percent up from $486.7 million to $614.4 million.

The Goodman Group, the developers of Redbank Motorway Estate, has identified a consumer reach within 45 minutes’ drive of 1.8 million people with $96.9 billion total purchasing power and $575.4 million online shopping spend.

Group General Manager Queensland Daniel Brekan said construction started in 2013 with the first facility completed in 2014. The project is expected to be completed within 10 years and be worth $1 billion alone, aside from its high-value tenants.

Sitting on a total of 140ha, of which 125ha is developable, Brekan said they selected the site because it was deemed as an estate significant economic precinct.

“It is a regionally significant economic zone and it’s close to infrastructure and population and they are major drawcards,” he said.

“So far we’ve attracted a dozen new businesses and these large customers we’ve got long-term relationships with. We work with our customers to give them to the most highly sustainable facility around their business practices and carbon footprint.”

As part of the project, Goodman has developed 6.9km of new roads, rehabilitated 20ha of land and planted more than 50,000 native trees – all of which have been gifted to Council.

“Ipswich City Council is one of the most proactive councils that we deal with in Australia,” Brekan said.

“They are really resilient and good communicators. We develop all over the world but Redbank is one of our major investment focuses.”

Babcor is one of the growing number of tenants at Redbank Motorway Estate. (Image: Supplied)

And there appears to be no stopping Ipswich with Council setting its sights firmly on future investment and growth through the Ebenezer Regional Industrial Area.

One of Council’s Regionally Significant Projects, the new industrial area would enable Ipswich to successfully capitalise on Inland Rail to extract the greatest possible benefit for the region.

A Council-prepared social and economic impact and benefits study for the project has been provided to state and national counterparts and is being used to inform a business case for the joint state and federal south-east Queensland Inland Rail intermodal terminal.

The business case would be used to inform investment decisions by both levels of government on the project.

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