Councillors: Ipswich wants what it is paying for
IT IS a question that has been hot on people’s lips across Ipswich since midway through last year.
Just how much time do our councillors spend doing actual council stuff?
Back in the day it was pretty common, especially in country areas, to see local representatives balance what you might call “a day job” with their civic duties.
I would almost go as far to say that it was encouraged – that people trusted mayors and councillors who also had a local business, or who were invested in the local region through work.
But times they change. Councillors get paid a lot of money now, by most people’s standards.
Even today, $120 grand a year is good money – certainly nothing to be sneezed at – and I can understand why voters expect more from councillors as a result.
That is why we dug a bit deeper into claims that some councillors have been missing in action while wearing their other hats.
We asked the question of those councillors regarding how they are balancing civic responsibilities with their own private business concerns.
Their response was emphatic, but I guess when it comes to how this council is performing, the proof will be in the pudding.
Ipswich is in a precarious time in history and people are eagerly awaiting progress in key areas, especially in the centre of town.
This crisis presents an enormous opportunity for this council, who will be judged – above all else – on how well the city is travelling in another three years’ time.
The golf course suburb on our southeastern fringe is known for setting the bar for property prices, and this week we reported on another Brookwater house fetching a six-figure sum.
The five-bedroom mansion at 14 Turnberry Way sold for $1.58 million, becoming the most expensive home to ever sell in the area, according to realestate.com.au.
It beat the prior record holder by $260,000.
The idea of homes in Ipswich selling for more than a million bucks might have seemed foreign to us as recently as 15 years ago, but this city’s growing population, big development and of course, the recent demand for property, has seen prices skyrocket.
Would I want to be a person in my mid-20s earning the average wage and in the market for a house today?
Looking at what is happening lately, I would have to say no, and my heart goes out to anyone in that predicament right now.
I guess the one good thing about Ipswich is that there are still affordable properties out there, especially in some of our older suburbs.
It is an ageing white elephant just dying to have some new life breathed into it.
When the ill-fated Masters Hardware franchise went bust five years ago, it opened up a huge opportunity at both the Bundamba and Springfield sites.
As we know, TAE Aerospace snapped up the Bundamba site, pouring tens of millions of dollars into converting it into a massive jet and tank engine maintenance facility servicing RAAF and overseas aircraft and tanks.
Rumours and speculation have swirled about what exactly “could” go at the Springfield site.
This week, we reported the three-hectare site, owned by property group Home Consortium, is set to undergo a redesign, but we are yet to learn the specifics.
HomeCo is backed by some of the biggest brands in Australia including McDonald’s, Woolworths, Coles, Aldi, IGA, Anaconda, Chemist Warehouse, Rebel, Harvey Norman, Liquorland, Dan Murphy’s, Spotlight, BCF, Petbarn, Officeworks, KFC and more.
The company has remained tight-lipped so far and declined to answer questions on exactly what is coming next.
Flying foxes continue to present a huge problem for Ipswich, and unfortunately it is one of our most popular visitor destinations that is taking the hit this time.
At various points in my career I have seen neighbourhoods at Yamanto and Woodend completely hijacked by flying foxes.
As much as I respect the fact that bats are an important part of the ecosystem and are therefore protected, a big part of me wouldn’t mind seeing the needs of people looked after first and foremost in these situations.
Over the years I’ve seen countless politicians of all levels of government simply shrug their shoulders and say that when it comes to bats, there is very little that can be done, except wait for them to move on to the next roost.
That will come as cold comfort to those who are directly affected, including the operators of the Queens Park Cafe, who have already lost business.
I guess the only fortunate thing about this latest “record breaking” colony is that it doesn’t seem to be directly bothering any local residents.
Redbank Plains is one of the worst hit suburbs for illegal dumping, but what makes this latest incident more worrying is the sheer scale of it.
The QT has covered the issue extensively over the years. There have been countless incidents of usually domestic waste and used furniture and mattresses being dumped in the vicinity of Griffiths Rd, and in the bushland near the old coal mines at Collingwood Park and Riverview.
In some cases these illegal dumpers are so ignorant as to include their mail among the dumped items, making them extremely easy to track down.
It is bad enough with Ipswich being known for having a high concentration of dumps, but to have people leaving rubbish lying around wherever they please is a bit too much.
This week’s incident appears to have been the work of a much larger operator, judging by the size and content of the load that has been left behind.
Here is hoping the culprits are tracked down.