News

We need arts, not developers

Michael Melling wants a different future for Ipswich.
Michael Melling wants a different future for Ipswich. Claudia Baxter

COUNCIL candidate Michael Melling wants to shift Ipswich's focus from development and turn towards the arts and multiculturalism.

Mr Melling is contesting Division 5 in the election despite living in Division 7 and running a business there with his wife.

But after growing up in East Ipswich, part of which is in Division 5, he says the issues he advocates go beyond divisional boundaries.

"Ipswich has an amazing multicultural community and a thriving arts community. A lot of people are scared about what is going to happen to the arts community under Campbell Newman," Mr Melling said.

"Ipswich's future must focus on the arts and multiculturalism.

"As far as development goes, a lot of people are concerned about development for development's sake."

Having a shop in Division 7, he said he "didn't want to have any perceived conflict of interest" by running against Cr Andrew Antoniolli.

"So Division 5 was the logical choice. I grew up in the area and know the area," he said. "I've had people from across the city saying, 'Why don't you run for my division; I'd vote for you'."

Once he decided to run for council, he set out to gauge the mood of the division that sits on either side of the Warrego Hwy.

"Once I hit the ground in December, I walked every street in every suburb to ascertain what people felt, what their needs were, what their hopes were," he said.

"A lot of people who live on the Karalee side are very angry and frustrated and upset with their representation. I think Ipswich like the rest of the state is ready to embrace change."

Current Division 5 councillor Heather Morrow said there was nothing wrong with promoting the arts, but councillors needed a wider perspective.

"I respect Michael's views; I have absolutely no animosity towards Michael at all. It's a democracy and I welcome him as a candidate. I just think that experience shows that Ipswich is not just one aspect. You have to have a broad view and cater for everybody," she said.

Cr Morrow also argued it was important to live in the division a councillor represented and she stood by her record of representing her community.

"I'm a long-term resident of the area, I've reared a family here and I believe I have the knowledge of what the area needs to progress," she said.

"I believe my strengths are that I am dependable, I'm committed to the area and I have given a true honest representation over the past 12 years and I'm asking the community to again support me.

"I've worked very closely and been very supportive of community groups and have a wonderful working relationship with the community. I'm not one of the Dave Pahlkes of the world. I'm not flamboyant. I don't seek publicity. I work for my community."

Topics:  arts, michael melling, multiculturalism




Is this the start of our Rural Renaissance?

Exports to the US have dropped 40%, China 30% and Japan 10%. China and Saudi Arabia have once more open their doors to Brazilian beef while Indonesia is now looking to Indian buffalo meat to boost its supplies

Rising prices the talk of the town as rain raises farmers’ spirits

Jo-Ann Miller speech leaves ALP faithful stunned

STILL STRONG: Member for Bundamba Jo-Ann Miller MP at her Goodna office.

MP sticks to her guns at closed Labor conference

Latest deals and offers

What's on the small screen this week

Bella Frizza in a scene from the TV series Married At First Sight.

THE Block's $65,000 bathroom is revealed and strangers marry.

MOVIE REVIEW: Life on the Road

Ricky Gervais, Ben Bailey Smith and Foregone Conclusion (Steve Clarke, Andy Burrows, Stuart Baxter Wilkinson, Michael Clarke) in a scene from David Brent: Life on the Road.

Ricky Gervais has brought David Brent back to life on the big screen

Jessica Alba wants tequila shots served at her funeral

Businesswoman and actor Jessica Alba

There won't be mourning at this funeral

Tom Hiddleston's Instagram account hacked

Actor Tom Hiddleston

Thor star the latest celebrity targetted by hackers

Charlize Theron's son dresses up as Frozen character

Actor Charlize Theron

Star's son spotted dressed a beloved Frozen character

REVEALED: Pat Rafter's $18m Coast house on the market

Check out the photos of the Coast's most expensive property for sale

The "correction we had to have" in Gladstone's rentals

UPWARD MARCH: The rental vacancy rate in Gladstone has improved for the first time in more than a year, providing a confidence boost in the market.

Vacancy rates improve with signs that things are getting betterF

ISLAND FOR SALE: Cheap Fraser Coast island drops price again

Suna Island in the Great Sandy Strait will be auctioned by Ray White Hervey Bay on Saturday morning.

This is the cheapest island you will find for sale in Australia

How a family home can fit on a 250sq m block

This is what you can build on 250m2.

Here's the floor plan of a home built on 250sq m

$100m plan for Curtis Island 'world class' luxury resort

$100 million resort: Top views at Turtle Street at Curtis Island.

"At the moment we think it meets all the town planning approvals.”

Noosa mayor on "red alert" over planning court decision

Mayor Tony Wellington hands down his first budget.

Mayor upset at lack of say about look and feel of Noosa