Artist impression of Ipswich CBD redevelopment.
Artist impression of Ipswich CBD redevelopment.

What’s really planned for CBD redevelopment

The Nicholas Street CBD redevelopment has been the subject of some robust discussion at the mayor and councillor candidate forums hosted by The Queensland Times, particularly council’s decision to secure a cinema as the precinct’s anchor tenant.

While discussion is welcomed, it needs to be based on facts, not only about what council is doing in Nicholas Street, but why.

What is clear is that a decade of poor decisions, false starts and inactivity from 2008 to 2018 saw the stalled CBD redevelopment effectively incur an accumulated $78 million loss to Ipswich ratepayers and almost kill-off the city’s heart.

The company established by council in 2008 to manage the redevelopment failed to do, with its operation and performance the subject of widespread criticism. Of particular concern, from a governance and transparency perspective, was the appointment of then sitting councillors and senior council officers to that company’s board.

In a nutshell, that’s the ‘why’ behind ‘what’ council is doing.

Under administration, council has established a clear, focused redevelopment strategy based on sound professional and technical advice.

All the major decisions regarding the redevelopment have been made, adopted and budgeted. The ongoing challenge is to deliver on the strategy and decisions.

Community members can finally expect a bustling city heart after construction is completed in about 18 months’ time.