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Candidate's vision for the future

Ipswich mayoral candidate Peter Luxton has a six-point plan to revitalise the city’s centre.
Ipswich mayoral candidate Peter Luxton has a six-point plan to revitalise the city’s centre. Sarah Harvey

IPSWICH mayoral challenger Peter Luxton has revealed an ambitious six-point plan to launch his campaign for the city's top job.

His plan includes redeveloping the inner city by refurbishing the railway station and building a festival hall and subsidising public transport costs.

But incumbent Mayor Paul Pisasale has called into question how Mr Luxton's projects would be paid for.

"Anybody can make promises, but they've got to be costed," Cr Pisasale said.

"How can you say you're going to redevelop the CBD without saying where the money's coming from.

"We've had to set up Ipswich City Properties and bring in Leightons. The project is worth $2 billion. I don't know he's going to do it.

"Last election I offered to show Peter the processes of council and I'll make the same offer to do that after the next election.

"It's not just about making rash promises to get elected. The things that I promise in my campaign will be fully costed.

"What we need is properly defined policies for Ipswich's future."

Mr Luxton said he would fund the projects in his six-point plan mainly through savings in the council's PR budget.

"This is all about rethinking spending priorities. So I'm looking at cutting a lot of council spending in areas that I think are unwarranted and putting it through to frontline services," he said.

"I think a lot of the promotions budget can be pared back. I'd have to get in and look at the books, but I think there's a lot to be saved there.

"I'm also worried about the Ripley development. I think it needs to be put on hold because I don't think Ipswich can afford that at the moment; an extra 125,000 people. I think we should be looking after the ones that are here at the moment rather than committing to that sort of development."

Mayor Pisasale said the council marketing budget was $180,000 a year with $130,000 spent on community updates.

Peter Luxton received 11% of the vote for mayor in the 2008 election with Paul Pisasale getting 81% and Phillip Luafutu 8%. Asked about his chances this time, he said he was aware of the challenge, but added: "I play to win".

"I'm nominating because I think I can given better value to the residents of Ipswich," he said.

"I'm committed to helping small businesses. I think small businesses in Ipswich need a bit of a hand.

"I know I'm up against it, but I think people need a change and I've got a message to get out there.

"I'm all about rebuilding the community. I don't think people are getting value for money from the council," Mr Luxton said.

The key, he said, started with the centre of Ipswich.

"I have a plan to revitalise Ipswich. I want to offer a different direction. We need to have a choice and I think I can offer that," he said. "It's a doughnut town; everyone's on the outside.

"It all starts with rebuilding the railway station. Ipswich used to have one of the great railway stations."

Luxton's plan

  • 1. Improve public facilities for sport and recreation.
  • 2. Inner-city redevelopment, including the refurbishment of the railway station and a festival hall.
  • 3. Subsidise public transport costs for commuters into Brisbane.
  • 4. Develop more local jobs and give more support to small business in Ipswich.
  • 5. Better control of development and stop development on flood plains.
  • 6. Greater focus on environmental protection to protect flora and fauna.

Topics:  election, ipswich, mayor, paul pisasale, peter luxton


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