Ipswich businessman Jack Carew spent three years working on live export ships between the Middle East, Russia and China.
Ipswich businessman Jack Carew spent three years working on live export ships between the Middle East, Russia and China. Jack Carew

A LOOK BACK: The most chaotic three months in history

IT WAS arguably the biggest three months in the region's political and business history; the start of the sacking of Ipswich City Council.

Alleged car bomb

TWO people were charged after a portable bomb "capable of causing serious injury" locked down parts of Redbank Plaza shopping centre on April 3.

Police swarmed to the western end of the shopping centre after a Safe City camera operator identified a lone car and two people acting suspiciously early in the morning.

In the passenger footwell of the Nissan Pulsar was a cardboard box with a "fairly large glass jar" containing an explosive liquid substance and other components.

A 100m exclusion zone was established while bomb squad officers worked to identify and dismantle the device.

The case is ongoing.

Building destroyed in next phase of mall

THE old Ipswich Woolworths was a distant memory after heavy machinery was called in to rip the building apart on April 11.

The latest phase of the Ipswich CBD redevelopment included builders removing the former 30-minute carpark, Woolworths supermarket and adjoining tenancies.

Work started this week on demolishing the roof, facade, remaining walls and frames of the building.

The wrecking ball and dozers moved into the derelict site mid-last year, demolishing what used to be the heart of the city, ready for a fresh new look.

Paul's last hurrah

EACH year, Paul Casos works to put on a huge party so the people of Ipswich can celebrate.

But it's time for the community to celebrate the man who has been championing our city through events for more than two decades.

Thousands of Ipswichians joined Mr Casos to kick off one of our favourite events of the year, the 2018 Ipswich Festival.

Mr Casos resigned as head of Ipswich Events Corporation after more than 20 years.

Million dollar onion

A WOMAN who launched a massive lawsuit against Woolworths after allegedly slipping on a shallot has been accused of harassing insurers for the supermarket giant.

Ipswich mother Olga Day is seeking $1.3million for injuries sustained when she slipped on a shallot in 2014.

Previously, Mrs Day said she did not see the shallot in time because she was distracted when an in-store demonstrator promoted a constipation aid.

What a waste: All recycling in landfill

ALL recycling collected in Ipswich will be sent to landfill from now on.

That was the announcement from mayor Andrew Antoniolli on April 18.

It came as Ipswich City Council tries to grapple with China's ban on imported recycling products.

Recycling contractors have told the council the charge to dispose of recycling items would skyrocket, if recycling continued in its current state.

The increased cost would be in the order of $2 million each year.

While Ipswich council has made the decision to landfill all recycling - for an indefinite period of time - it is looking for solutions.

Smashed glass contributed to a high contamination rate.


Sadliers Crossing resident Peter Hall talks about the decision to scrap recycling in Ipswich.
Sadliers Crossing resident Peter Hall talks about the decision to scrap recycling in Ipswich. Rob Williams

City's second chance

IT WAS a shock decision, met with disbelief by some who struggled to understand how the council had been left with no option but to landfill all recyclables.

But less than two days later, the decision that landed Ipswich City Council in the national spotlight has been reversed.

The contents of yellow-top bins will no longer be sent to landfill.

While the council has established a short-term solution to a major problem with waste-to-energy still on the table as a long-term solution, it needs residents' help.

If the contamination rate in the city's recycling waste is not reduced, those items are still destined for landfill.

New man at helm of recovering council

IT WAS the start of an infamous week for Ipswich City Council.

On May 1, a senior Ipswich City Council officer was endorsed to lead the organisation through a "new era" of professionalism.

Sean Madigan, a former Queensland Police detective and a long-term public servant, was unanimously endorsed by councillors to become the new chief executive officer.

Appointed at a time of uncertainty about the council, Mr Madigan has pledged to rebuild trust with a community rattled by a Crime and Corruption Commission investigation.

In his first address to ratepayers as incoming CEO, Mr Madigan promised to focus on public service and said he would usher in a "new era" of professional leadership.


Ipswich City Council's new chief executive officer Sean Madigan.
Ipswich City Council's new chief executive officer Sean Madigan. Hayden Johnson


I will fight this: Mayor charged

THE dismissal of the Ipswich City Council was being considered after mayor Andrew Antoniolli was charged with seven counts of fraud on May 2.

The mayor didn't answer questions after leaving the watch-house but released a statement via the council moments after; promising to fight the charges.

It will be alleged he used council funds "for his own use to purchase auction items from charitable organisations".

He denies wrongdoing.

In Brisbane, Local Government Minister Stirling Hinchliffe started the process to dismiss Ipswich City Council.

Ipswich Mayor Andrew Antoniolli leaves the Ipswich Watchhouse on Wednesday afternoon.
Ipswich Mayor Andrew Antoniolli leaves the Ipswich Watchhouse on Wednesday afternoon. Rob Williams


Councillors start their bid for survival

TWO of the most chaotic days in the city's history left a mayor standing down to fight criminal charges and 10 councillors facing the sack.

Local Government Minister Stirling Hinchliffe issued councillors with a notice to show cause as to why they should not be removed.

Andrew Antoniolli relinquished duties to his deputy, Wayne Wendt, as he fights accusations of fraud.

Cr Wendt started to lead the council and attempt to convince Mr Hinchliffe not to dismiss the council.


Highway hope as feds pledge cash

AFTER two decades of demanding improvements for Ipswich motorists, Ian "Spike" Dainer received his budget wish.

Spike's efforts helped drag the Federal Government to commit $170 million to upgrade the Cunningham Highway at Willowbank.

The project will include a realignment of the highway between Yamanto and Ebenezer Creek and an upgrade of the Ipswich-Rosewood Rd.

Construction hinges on a commitment from the Queensland Labor Government to match the funding to start the $340 million project.

It is a commitment the state is yet to make.


Commission charges footy legends boss

FORGED invoices have allegedly been provided to the Ipswich City Council by an organiser of the International Legends of League events.

Troy Byers, 47, has been charged with three counts of forgery by the Crime and Corruption Commission.

Mr Byers has been involved with the International Legends of League for several years.

Ipswich has been a popular destination for the concept, which has visited the region eight times.

Mr Byers denies wrongdoing.


Bagging up for a better environment

SHOPPERS were getting their reusable bags ready ahead of the plastic-bag ban.

Forty days before the ban rolled out across the state, at least one Ipswich business had already embraced the change.

Not one single-use plastic bag left the IGA store at Brassall in the past two weeks.

The ban is part of the Labor State Government's plan to reduce plastic pollution.


Doctors, nurses assault a daily battle

HEALTH workers in Ipswich are being assaulted, verbally abused and mentally stressed every day.

During the past 12 months, staff working across Ipswich's health facilities have been victims of actual physical violence hundreds of times.

While there has been a slight drop compared the year before, the threat of real violence is a daily reality for the 1200 staff working for the health service.

The violence is most prevalent at Ipswich Hospital but staff in all facilities have been victims of abuse.

New figures released exclusively to the QT show that between June 2017 and May there were 42 incidents in the Ipswich Hospital Emergency Department alone.


Man in pirate attack

PIRATES, distant exotic lands, a job in a controversial industry and civil war - Ipswich man Jack Carew's story has it all.

Before he even finished school Jack knew he wanted an adventure.

His brother worked on ships and at age 18, Jack got the call up for his first voyage.

That was the start of an epic three year journey that would ultimately stay with him for the rest of this life.

Jack visited Middle Eastern countries in the middle of civil war, had a dramatic brush with Somalian pirates and spent weeks on end aboard massive live export ships bound for the Middle East, Russia and China.

"On one of the trips back from the middle east, the ship had an RPG fired at it and an orange life raft got blown to smithereens," he said.

"It also had bullet holes up one side of the ship where a pirate unloaded a mag from an AK-47."


Cancer fighter's $40k toll debt

AN IPSWICH woman who racked-up $40,000 in toll debt while she battled cancer risks having her small business put into liquidation to pay down the huge fines.

In 2015, two tumours were found in Kylie Jones's ovaries; one was cancerous.

With her mind focused on beating cancer, Ms Jones' bills quickly piled up, with $18,521 in unpaid tolls growing.


Kylie Jones has a $40,000 toll debt.
CHAOS: Dismissal proceedings start after Andrew Antoniolli exits Ipswich watch house, charged with seven counts of fraud. The next three months would be tough for the city. Rob Williams


Councillors take dismissal to court

COUNCILLORS' fight against the State Government's dismissal notice was sent to the Supreme Court.

The Ipswich City Council lodged court documents at the end of June to overturn Minister Stirling Hinchliffe's showcause notice, which the council claims is "deficient".

The Supreme Court move is designed to test the minister's power in dismissing Ipswich's elected representatives.

In another chaotic day for the city, a scheduled media conference for councillors to explain their court intervention was swiftly moved as protesters gathered and chanted for the council to be sacked.

Police were called, flanking acting mayor Wayne Wendt as he walked from the press conference to the council offices.