Win for cafe's owners in drawn out fight with council
OWNERS of a popular cafe will return focus to growing their business after securing a win in a drawn-out battle with Ipswich City Council.
Queens Park Cafe had previously been operating on a six-month trustee permit while negotiations for a "commercially acceptable rent" continued between owners and the council.
The Reynolds family, which has managed the cafe for about six years, feared their business would close and 32 staff would be out of work.
This week the family were granted the tender to continue operating the popular venue until February 2024.
The council is expected to net $400,000 over the life of the contract.
Cafe owner Kirsten Reynolds said the successful tender would enable the family to again focus on running the business.
"We're so excited to stay at Queens Park," she said.
"It's about job security and we're able to grow the business again.
"We want to provide jobs in Ipswich and it's great to know that we can stay."
Finer details about the contract will be negotiated between the owners and council acting chief executive officer Charlie Dill.
Ms Reynolds said details about maintenance costs on the council-owned building would be discussed.
"People should come and visit us and enjoy the staff and the food," Ms Reynolds said.
"It's definitely going to continue to be a great place."
Earlier this year the council re-advertised the tender after negotiations with the Reynolds' family collapsed.
A source involved in the negotiations said the asked for a base rent and 10 per cent of the net profit.
In August a spokesman for Ipswich City Council said value for ratepayers was at the forefront of the council's decision making.
The spokesman said the tender would be re-advertised "with a goal to maximise community benefits and improved financial returns".
The drawn-out contract dispute was mentioned by Bundamba MP Jo-Ann Miller earlier this year.
She told parliament in August an investigation into the tender process should be undertaken.