Here are the top stories from across Ipswich this week
AS WE breathe a collective sigh of relief now that we don’t have to wear masks anymore – or at least for the time being – it is time to look at this week’s Ipswich headlines.
IT HAS been another week of unfolding drama regarding our former mayors.
Andrew Antoniolli, a redeemed man after his fraud convictions were overturned late last year, faces further legal concerns following this week’s news that an appeal has been lodged.
Neither side is able to make further comment on this ongoing case for obvious reasons, so it appears we will have to hold fire until we hear more details of the appeal in court.
Another former mayor, Paul Pisasale, was also in the news again this week, this time after it was revealed current Mayor Teresa Harding had refused to wear the official robes because of their involvement in a sexual assault offence committed by Pisasale while he was still in office.
In a time when this city is struggling to get back on its feet, it seems we are set to be haunted by a few ghosts from the past for a time yet.
On a much brighter note, the former Coronation Hotel has relaunched as The Witch Hotel.
Ray Smith and Ron Oatley have put a fair bit of blood, sweat and tears into reviving this historic Ipswich watering hole, which has been owned by the McLean family for decades now.
I have to admit, I was shattered when the old Coro closed its doors a few years ago.
It was our old local when we still had the West Ipswich office and many a tall tale was spun down there at the front bar.
The fellas have done a fine job at creating a new look, so here is hoping the people of Ipswich return.
While there has been bad news around, you never have to look far to find positive stories in Ipswich, especially when you start talking to the people that help make this city tick.
This year’s Ipswich Citizen of the Year Glen Smith is one of those people.
Since a dramatic change of career 10 years ago, Glen has devoted his life to the arts in Ipswich.
His recognition among our other civic heroes at this year’s Australia Day Awards was well deserved if not long overdue.
Well done to all the winners this year, and thank you for making Ipswich a better place just by doing what you do.
In the midst of pandemic, Ipswich has another public health concern on its hands.
There are worries that members of the public may have come into contact with a bat that tested positive for the deadly Lyssavirus after being found extremely sick at Nerima Gardens in Ipswich’s Queen’s Park.
The bat was found just before midday on January 18. It later died.
The discovery comes about five weeks after an earlier case of a bat that was also infected with the potentially lethal disease.
For the sake of public health, it is important to remind people that if you find a sick or injured bat, contact the RSPCA on 1300 ANIMAL (1300 264 625) or a local bat care organisation – search for “bat care”.
If you have had a bite or a scratch from a bat call 13 HEALTH or your local Public Health Unit for urgent advice.
Despite some very promising news from the operators of the Churchill Abattoir last year, we remain uncertain on the prospects of getting that facility running again.
This week we caught up with managing director Barry Moule to check on the progress of his plans to reopen the facility and create hundreds of local jobs in the process.
Unfortunately, like all good things, it appears a revival at Churchill won’t come easy.
Mr Moule has hit some road blocks in his quest to obtain State Government backing.
Mr Moule could not comment on how discussions with the government were going but stressed the importance of the number of jobs that would be provided.
He says reopening the facility could ultimately support 600 jobs.