BALANCE: Retaining green space like Nerima Gardens is a key factor in the Advance Ipswich Plan. Photo: Contributed
BALANCE: Retaining green space like Nerima Gardens is a key factor in the Advance Ipswich Plan. Photo: Contributed

Victor hails 'community spirit' as economy grows

TO BE a great city Ipswich must balance economic growth with livability.

That was clear from the council's feedback in the Advance Ipswich document, put together after extensive community engagement to secure a shared vision for the future.

Residents rate highly the need to retain a sense of community and belonging and want council to retain green spaces for recreation and leisure.

Balancing environment, economic and social sustainability is also a priority.

Cr Victor Attwood, the Deputy Mayor, said that sense of community and belonging was an aspect of Ipswich he was determined to see preserved and enhanced in the years to come.

He said the balance between economic growth and respect for the environment was also vital.

"The key for me is preserving Ipswich's quite unique and endearing community spirit. That is really evident when Ipswich is in strife, like we were in the floods," he said.

"A lot of people have recognised that we have a good balance between environmental protection and growth.

"When you talk to people that is why they come here and that is why they want to stay here."

Council owns or controls 8440ha of open space while 28% of land in the Ipswich council area is protected green space.

Figures released by Advance Ipswich provide a snapshot of the appealing aspects of Ipswich to which Cr Attwood referred.

The Ipswich Heritage Program has ensured 7000 properties are conserved, retaining the link in the modern city to the past.

The median family income for Ipswich is $72, 696, higher than the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and Fraser Coast.

Housing costs are significantly lower in Ipswich than other centres, reflected on the $1733 median monthly mortgage, once again significantly lower than the Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast.

An increase in the labour force of 44% between 2001 and 2011 sees Ipswich compare favourably with the state average increase of 64% in the same period of time. The availability of jobs within the city is reflected by the fact that 67% of the workforce also lives in Ipswich.

A diverse city, Ipswich has 115 cultural backgrounds represented in the city with 84 languages spoken across the community.