JBS Dinmore has reduced workers’ hours and announced a two-week shutdown.
JBS Dinmore has reduced workers’ hours and announced a two-week shutdown.

Here is your Friday Top Five, with editor Andrew Korner

WHILE Victorians continue to battle the dreaded spread of coronavirus, Queensland appears to have avoided the outbreak we feared could have taken hold following the return of those three infamous interstate travellers a couple of weeks ago.

News was good on that front, but not so good on the employment side, with news one of the city's biggest employers was cutting back more staff hours and closing due to ongoing pressures brought on by COVID-19.

These are certainly the toughest circumstances our economy has seen for a very long time.

Here is this week's Friday Top Five.

 

1. JBS staff hours reduced, plant to shut down

In devastating news for Ipswich workers, the JBS Dinmore meatworks will shut down for two weeks from August 24.

The workforce of 1700 has already endured up to 40 per cent reductions in their income due to shifts being reduced.

Meat workers have mostly been working three-day weeks over the last several weeks and have been told by management it will stay that way until Christmas.

The news has prompted calls from Blair MP Shayne Neumann to 'tweak' Jobkeeper so that JBS becomes eligible for the support payments. It is hard no to agree.

 

2. Young man's life lost in horrific crash

Police are investigating what went wrong in the moments leading up to a crash that claimed the life of Ipswich 23-year-old Abhay Sambhar on Thursday morning.

 

Abhay Sambhar, 23, was killed in a horror crash on the Warrego Hwy.
Abhay Sambhar, 23, was killed in a horror crash on the Warrego Hwy.

 

Mr Sambhar was driving east along the Warrego Highway at North Tivoli when he came off the road and crashed into the concrete pylon of the Mt Crosby Rd overpass.

It is another heartbreaking reminder of the need to take care on the roads.

 

3. Early interest in new-look city centre

Our seemingly never-ending wait to see what the new mall will look like is slowly coming to an end.

 

View of new civic plaza as part of Ipswich CBD redevelopment from under construction council administration building.
View of new civic plaza as part of Ipswich CBD redevelopment from under construction council administration building.

 

We recently saw some encouraging progress on the mall reconstruction, with Ipswich City Council calling for members of the public to help name key locations.

Also, we learned that the council is receiving some early inquiries from businesses interested in moving in.

 

4. Long-term transport vision

WE all know Ipswich is growing at an alarming rate, but how much thought has been put into infrastructure?

 

The Ipswich Central to Springfield Central public transport corridor.
The Ipswich Central to Springfield Central public transport corridor.

 

Well, right now, Ipswich City Council is in the midst of putting its case to higher levels of government that unless major changes are planned now, roads into Ipswich from our developing suburbs from Ripley to Springfield will be choked and costing us billions of dollars by the year 2036.

 

5. Tribute to an Ipswich legend

Jeff McLean's legacy as a rugby union gun and a top Ipswich publican will live on, thanks to the Ipswich Turf Club.

The late Jeff, who was also a long-serving Turf Club official, was honoured with a viewing room at the refurbished club named after him.

 

The McLean family - Carmel, Bridget and David with his wife Amber and daughter Triss in the new viewing terrace honouring Jeff. Picture: Claire Power
The McLean family - Carmel, Bridget and David with his wife Amber and daughter Triss in the new viewing terrace honouring Jeff. Picture: Claire Power

 

Jeff was also a former Wallaby who represented Australia 13 times in rugby from 1971-74, but many Ipswich people would recognise him as the face behind the bar of the Coronation Hotel, which his family owned for many years.