Defunct Ipswich Transit Centre going for sale at last
THE white elephant that is the Ipswich Transit Centre will be put up for sale and Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale says it is time to turn the site into something the city can be proud of.
A spokesman for the Minister for Transport and Main Roads Scott Emerson confirmed yesterday that the department was "looking to put the property out to market and sell".
Cr Pisasale and Cr Andrew Antoniolli both told the QT the site had become an eyesore and because of its strategic position in the CBD needed to be utilised in a productive way.
The Bell St site, owned by the Department of Transport and Main Roads, has been barricaded off to the public.
Last year temporary facilities remained available at the Ipswich Transit Centre for drivers to use because bus parking was sometimes unavailable during busy times at Riverlink.
But the site has not been used by bus drivers or operators since December 2013.
Cr Pisasale welcomed the news that the site would be sold and said it was not before time.
"It has just been sitting there and it is not in line with everything else happening in the city," he said.
"So I am really pleased the government is going to put it up for sale so we can get that piece of land going.
"If there are no takers, maybe they can look at donating it to the city.
"Every bit of land and every bit of infrastructure in the CBD has got to be activated.
"Now we need people to put their thinking caps on. I'd like to sit down with the State Government and talk to planners to find out what we believe would be good concepts for the site, so whoever buys it can understand what council is thinking.
"It could be the site for a hotel or a nice restaurant on the river."
Cr Antoniolli said he hoped Ipswich City Council would be given first option.
"It is a wonderful opportunity to get something on the site and my preference is for us to have a performing arts centre there," he said.
"I would have thought the State Government would have approached the council first regarding the site, but that hasn't happened yet to my knowledge.
"But I am very pleased they are intending to move it on and I hope they give council the first opportunity, which is the normal procedure."
Cr Antoniolli said the site had been "fenced off like a compound and has pretty much been a white elephant right from the start".
"At the moment it sits there like a relic to poor design and a reminder of the 2011 floods," he said.
"The site is not contributing anything to the city and it has just become an eyesore. But it is prime real estate in a very important street right next to the train station.
"There is now a golden opportunity for there to be something that will add further value to our CBD."