SHOWDOWN: Patricia Petersen is likely to end up contesting Division 7 against Andrew Antoniolli at the March local government elections.
SHOWDOWN: Patricia Petersen is likely to end up contesting Division 7 against Andrew Antoniolli at the March local government elections.

Petersen to take on Antoniolli in Division 7, not mayor

PATRICIA Petersen looks set to sidestep a mayoral showdown with Paul Pisasale to take on Cr Andrew Antoniolli in Division 7.

Ms Petersen told the QT she was still technically a mayoral candidate at this stage, but added that if Cr Pisasale ran for mayor she would withdraw before the February 16 cut-off date for nominations and run in a division.

"There is no point in me putting my name on the ticket if Paul has his name on the ticket. Paul knows that and I know that," she said.

Cr Pisasale told the QT yesterday he is certain to seek re-election as mayor.

Speculation had been increasing in Ipswich political circles that Ms Petersen would pull out of the mayoral race to challenge Cr Antoniolli.

"So far I have heard that I am running against Paul Tully, that I am running against Sheila Ireland and that I am after Heather Morrow's seat," Ms Petersen said.

"But if I was to drop down to a division there are only a couple I would be interested in and it is no surprise to anybody that the top of the list is Andrew Antoniolli's division that takes in the CBD area.

"That is because I am very passionate about protecting our heritage buildings and very keen to see the CBD revitalised in an appropriate way.

"I don't think the plans in place are going to resolve all of the issues that the CBD currently faces. I fear that what is on the table at the moment will see us left with historical buildings knocked down, big concrete and glass eyesore type buildings erected in their place and nobody occupying them.

" I do feel very strongly that it is time for Cr Antoniolli to go."

Cr Antoniolli said he was expecting "the former mayoral candidate for Noosa" to contest Division 7 all along but challenged her claims about the CBD and said heritage buildings were under no threat.

"What she is saying is completely incorrect," Cr Antoniolli said.

"She should take the time to read the heritage provisions of our planning scheme, and particularly the over 7000 properties that are protected.

"A large percentage are in Division 7 and a large percentage are within the CBD.

"These types of outrageous claims from Patricia are typical of previous campaigns she has run."

Cr Antoniolli said he was proud of the council's plans for the CBD, and of what had already had been achieved.

"They are all about ensuring its long term future and sustainability," he said.

"It is really difficult to turn around a CBD such as ours when it had been neglected by the previous owner of Ipswich City Square.

"But I believe the Top of Town particularly is a prime example of what has been turned around."

Cr Antoniolli listed 88 Limestone St, Studio 188 and the Circa 160 development as classic representations of what the council's priorities were, and that would not change.

"My commitment to the CBD and division is no less than what it was 16 years ago," he said.

"But when I was first elected the Top of Town was half empty and had the wrong business mix.

"What we are now seeing is an enormous change.

"We have a plan and a vision...and that is coming together nicely."