Social Services for Health and Education

Accessible, high-quality social services enable communities to thrive and high growth population areas across the City of Ipswich desperately need a social services plan for the future. All Ipswich residents deserve access to quality education and health-care and the opportunity to access local jobs associated with these sectors.

About the project

The Ipswich local government area is the fastest-growing region in Queensland. Our 2019 population growth rate was 4.1%, well above the state and national average (1.7% and 1.5% respectively). Today, more than 222,300 people call Ipswich home however, by 2041, the population of Ipswich is expected to grow by 336,000 (160%) to over 558,000.

Around 70% of our future community builders will settle along the major growth corridor between the Ipswich CBD, Ripley Valley and Springfield.

This significant growth is increasing the demand on our region’s health and education facilities. This creates a concerning risk of service gaps in Ipswich over the next two decades.

Education

By 2041 Ipswich will require 30-51 new State schools to support our growing population.

Our city’s median age, at the last census, was 32 – six years below the state average. Ipswich is a destination for aspirational young professionals and families who expect accessible and high-quality education for their children.

There is a defined risk of new school builds not keeping pace with our community’s growth. Ipswich is already lagging the state average by 8.9%.

Department of Education modelling indicates that a minimum of 30 and a maximum of 51 schools may be required to meet our community’s growth over the next 20 years.1

Health

By 2025 South-East Queensland will require an additional 1,500 public hospital beds beyond the currently planned capacity

By 2036 the current population of Ipswich is expected to more than double to 480,300.

The Ipswich Hospital is the only public hospital in our region and is at capacity. In 2017-18, Ipswich hospital had 60,933 admissions, accounting for over 90% of admissions in the West Moreton Hospital and Health Service facilities.

In mid-2019, a business case for upgrades to the current hospital was delivered to the State Government, it highlighted that:

  • Existing facilities and key clinical infrastructure at the hospital are not appropriate for contemporary health service models;
  • The capacity of current services is below the Queensland standard – West Moreton Health only caters for 66% of the people in its region, compared to the state average of 82%.

Furthermore, in the city’s east, it is estimated that 2,000 mothers travel from Springfield alone to Brisbane each year to give birth, and it is estimated that 1,700 would choose a local birthing centre if one were available.

In May 2020, the Mater Group’s Board exercised its option to buy land adjacent to the current Mater Springfield private hospital for a new public hospital. The public hospital proposal includes a 355-bed facility with full general hospital services, including operating theatres, a 24-hour emergency department, ICU and birth-suites.

 

1. Data from Schools Planning Reference Committee on required school builds for Ipswich LGA from 2021-2041, prepared June 2019.

Emerging requirements – Providing vital social services to support growth

A plan for social services in Ipswich will enable a competitive and productive region, supporting the community to access skilled jobs for the long-term.

There is a demonstrated and time imperative need for up to 51 new schools and two new hospitals in Ipswich, with current social services operating at or beyond capacity.

Access to first-class education and health services across the region will promote quality lifestyles, ensuring that our community can reach its potential.

Ipswich is positioning South East Queensland for success, as a destination for young and aspirational families.

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