The top five stories from this week included an opening date for the new-look mall, massive hail damage, the city's business awards and concerns over a new development.
The top five stories from this week included an opening date for the new-look mall, massive hail damage, the city's business awards and concerns over a new development.

Here is your QT Friday Top Five stories for this week

IPSWICH residents were bombarded by severe hailstorms on election day, leaving about 600 homes uninhabitable after hail the size of cricket balls smashed up roof tiles like biscuit and caused ceilings to cave in.

The heartbreaking aftermath of last Saturday’s storms had to be seen to be believed.

On Sunday morning, Springfield Lakes looked like Beirut, with nearly every tiled roof punctured and every solar panel smashed to pieces – not to mention all the damaged cars.

I saw one ute with a canopy that had its rear glass door obliterated so badly that the frame was dangling down onto the road. It actually looked like an army had been through the area, spraying bullets left right and centre.

Let’s not forget that residents on Ipswich’s western fringe also suffered significant damage.

It is always difficult to see people affected by this type of weather, but what has been good to see is the community’s response.

Here is hoping Ipswich continues to show its true spirit in times of difficulty.

1. Extreme weather causes devastation

Lakeside Drive residents Peter and Kathy Morcus showed us the terrible aftermath of last Saturday’s storms.

Not only did the huge hail punch holes right through the roof, but that then allowed water into the cavity and caused the ceiling to cave in throughout the house.

Kathy and Peter Morcus sustained severe damage to their home in Springfield Lakes during Saturday's storm.
Kathy and Peter Morcus sustained severe damage to their home in Springfield Lakes during Saturday's storm.

As the Morcuses started cleaning up the following morning, they were still waiting to hear from their insurer.

We heard from other storm victims, including the Milne family down the road, who were put up in a hotel by slightly more vigilant insurers.

2. Celebration after a tough 2020

The Ipswich Business Excellence Awards will celebrate a first this year, with the event to be held across two venues to ensure social distancing protocols are followed.

The awards night will be staged at the Ipswich Turf Club’s new Events and Entertainment Centre at Bundamba and the Ipswich Civic Centre in town, with a live link between the two.

After the year we’ve had, the night certainly will provide a rare bit of joy for our business community, with nine awards to be announced.

3. Servo development cause for concern

We already know how busy the Mt Crosby Rd interchange is at peak hour, so it is little surprise to hear readers telling us how concerned they are about the proposed service station, take away food and car wash development at Chuwar.

A development application was submitted to Ipswich City Council in December to build a service station complex over two stages on Mount Crosby Rd in Chuwar.
A development application was submitted to Ipswich City Council in December to build a service station complex over two stages on Mount Crosby Rd in Chuwar.

This has been on the cards since late last year and several residents are rightly pointing out that it could contribute to further traffic woes.

This will be one we will continue to track the progress of.

4. Condemned bridge’s future up in the air

If you live around West Ipswich or Sadliers Crossing and were hopeful of good news on the Herbert St Bridge, we are afraid to say there is none.

The 120-year-old bridge linking the two suburbs was a handy alternative to Brisbane St and handled about 1700 cars a day, up until Queensland Rail decided to shut access to vehicles earlier this year, due to safety concerns.

The Herbert Street bridge will be closing permanently, causing concern to local residents who fear they will be stranded when the area floods. Photo: Rob Williams / The Queensland Times
The Herbert Street bridge will be closing permanently, causing concern to local residents who fear they will be stranded when the area floods. Photo: Rob Williams / The Queensland Times

Ipswich City Council admitted to being caught off guard, as were the thousands of people who use the bridge regularly.

Over the past nine months, the bridge has only been accessible to cyclists and pedestrians.

While Queensland Rail this week said it was looking at keeping the bridge open as an option during flooding, there was no suggestion of rebuilding it to a standard where it would be safe for regular vehicle use again.

5. Light at the end of tunnel for embattled CBD

Tulmur Place.
Tulmur Place.

After what seems like an age, we received confirmation this week of an opening date for a significant section of the new-look Ipswich Mall.

The civic plaza, which will be known as Tulmur Place, will open to the public on November 28, kicking off a month of celebrations, which will include the opening of the new library on December 8.

Water play area in Tulmur Place.
Water play area in Tulmur Place.

We enjoyed our first close up look at the latest developments this week and we must say, it is a vast improvement on what we had been looking at for the past 35 years.

Opening up the city to the river will be a breath of fresh air too.

The one hectare civic plaza is complete with a water play area, performance stage, large screen, pavilions and grassed areas and overlooks the Riverheart Parklands.

One thousand carparking spaces remain underneath the new development, in the old Ipswich City Square car park.