Mayor Paul Pisasale tells Deputy Premier Jackie Trad what he wants and what he needs on the funding front.
Mayor Paul Pisasale tells Deputy Premier Jackie Trad what he wants and what he needs on the funding front.

OPINION: Why city's vision must be clear on projects

SOME lines from a Rolling Stones song speak to the balance Ipswich City Council would want to strike on funding after Deputy Premier Jackie Trad's visit yesterday.

You can't always get what you want. But getting what you need is better.

If the council can get the closest alignment to what it wants, what it needs and what it gets then Mayor Paul Pisasale will have got maximum value out of Ms Trad's visit.

It is an ongoing dialogue and the stakes are high.

There are funding streams available for councils to apply for when they are seeking financial support for key infrastructure and social and cultural projects from state and federal governments.

It is a competitive business, with less funds available than the request from councils around the state.

That is why it is vital Ipswich City Council's submissions are top notch, that they have a clear vision and that they keep dialogue open with Ms Trad and other movers and shakers.

Ms Trad's visit was vital in that respect. It gave the Deputy Premier and Infrastructure Minister the opportunity to hear from Cr Pisasale directly about what the city needs.

The QT has highlighted (on page five) how the Ipswich CBD is the first order of business for the council and that it is seeking $10 million from the State.

Cr Pisasale also highlighted other projects to Ms Trad that the council would be seeking funding for over lunch at Mehfil Indian restaurant.

These include the Woollen Mills arts and cultural precinct, Ipswich Motorsport Precinct/Park, Ipswich Performing Arts Centre and Norman St Bridge.

The revamp of the old Woollen Mills at North Ipswich into a cultural and arts precinct will cost an estimated $7 million, although the council is yet to do exact costings.

It is a large 8000 square metre site and the council's view is that site will need to be complemented by a commercial tenant to offset some of the costs of the arts and cultural precinct.

The council is confident there will be funding available in the arts and cultural area.

In this year's budget the council has set aside $750,000 for a business case study on the proposed Norman St bridge, identified by the South East Queensland Council of Mayors as a key infrastructure project for the region.

Propositions for funding will be put to the state and federal governments in course and it is hoped the Queensland Government will contribute to the initial planning and business case development phase.

The council has asked the State for funding to upgrade the redevelopment of the Queensland Raceway track at Willowbank. The council's CEO Jim Lindsay says that will cost an estimated $25 million in a three way funding split with the State and Feds.

The council is confident it has a strong business case for the upgrade and has commenced design work.

Ms Trad was also given briefing papers by Cr Pisasale yesterday on the proposed Ipswich Performing Arts Centre. The council has allocated funds for a study to look at the most suitable location in the Ipswich CBD and North Ipswich for what will be a $70 million to $100 million project requiring state and federal funding. Once the study is completed a full business case will be presented to the State Government.

Ms Trad said there was "a real vision here for the city of Ipswich" and she had been given a good understanding from Cr Pisasale, and local MPs, about what the key funding priorities and needs of the city were and she would now examine how they can be fitted into the next budget.

If that happens, Cr Pisasale won't necessarily get what he wants.

But he may get what he needs.