CITY HEART: River Heart Parklands is one of the key projects in the CBD precinct that will be a legacy for future generations.
CITY HEART: River Heart Parklands is one of the key projects in the CBD precinct that will be a legacy for future generations.

City vision a joint effort between leaders and community

THE FUTURE of Ipswich depends on vision and leadership.

That vision needs to see civic leaders and the community on the same page, which is why the launch of Ipswich City Council's 'Advance Ipswich' plan will be a vital plank in achieving long term success.

Advance Ipswich provides a shared vision for the future of the city by identifying key themes and areas for action.

It was put together after a comprehensive community engagement process which highlighted five key themes - including strengthening our local economy and building prosperity by way of jobs, managing growth and delivering key infrastructure, caring for our community and environment and listening, leading and financial management.

Council set up the Ipswich Futures Board in November 2014, to oversee the development and implementation of Advance Ipswich.

The board decided the focus of the plan was to provide a strategic framework and guide for the future development of Ipswich.

The plan will be used by council to inform its corporate and operational plans, annual budgets and other key documents such as the planning scheme

Mayor Paul Pisasale said Advance Ipswich was all about getting out in the community and finding out what kind of city everybody wants.

ALL SMILES: Launching Advance Ipswich are (from left) Paul Tully, Paul Pisasale and Victor Attwood.
ALL SMILES: Launching Advance Ipswich are (from left) Paul Tully, Paul Pisasale and Victor Attwood.

"That is exactly what we have done here, in what is probably the best community consultation process in the city's history," he said.

Ipswich's average age is 32, compared to the state average of 37.

A young city, it is also better qualified than ever before with the number of residents with a bachelor degree or higher increasing 125% between 2001 and 2011.

Access to technology and the digital economy ranked high on the priorities of respondents in the Advance Ipswich engagement, and that is the area where jobs growth is set to come from.

Cr Pisasale said the technology hub Fire Station 101 was a key plank in delivering that access and driving growth.

"Technology is vital to take the city forward and that is what we are doing with Fire Station 101," he said.

"We have to be a city that acts locally but thinks globally.

"Fire Station 101 will bring a whole range of new industries and job generators, but also skill up our community to be better prepared for the jobs of the future.

"We are getting young people here because they have a role to play.

"My daughter has come home from New York and I see more young people coming back and investing here because we are providing the modern jobs.

"To further that, revitalising the CBD is still at the top of our list, and there will be some major announcements in the coming weeks."

Attracting private sector business and industry is top of the list of what the community wants.

Ipswich is well positioned to do that with 42% of the business and industry land in south-east Queensland located in the city.

"We have taken coal mining sites and turned them into industrial land sites," Cr Pisasale said.

"We have got the likes of DB Schenker and Bombardier but that is just the start.

"That is the first wave, but we are now ready for the second wave."