Ipswich doctor plans to put trust in heritage green push

By Yvonne Gardiner

THE new State president of heritage-protection body, National Trust intends to paint the distinguished organisation a shade of green.

Ipswich doctor John Jackson has just been elected and aims to highlight conservation of the natural environment as well as the built environment.

"My slogan is 'heritage is green'," Dr Jackson said.

"For example, if you have a heritage building and you demolish it and rebuild, you're creating greenhouse gases.

"It's much better to conserve or adaptively re-use heritage buildings.

"We've some tremendous examples in Ipswich, such as the Town Hall and the Challinor Centre.

"We're not only interested in the built environment, we're interested in the natural environment.

"And I want people to think of the National Trust in the same breath as they think of the Australian Conservation Foundation."

Significant changes are on the way with Dr Jackson's leadership as he stamps his "modern best practice" mantra on the trust.

His highest priority will be financial security.

"That has been an ongoing issue for a number of years," he said.

"For example they sold Claremont (on Milford Street) some years ago which was to help them with their financial issues and they've sold a few properties off.

"But that 'selling the silver' doesn't financially help an organisation."

Bellevue House at Coominya was another trust property to go under the hammer.

At present, the closest trust property to Ipswich is Wolston House at Wacol.

Dr Jackson said a big role existed for the trust and its reinvigorated branches in advising local governments about their heritage.

He assures developers have nothing to fear from heritage.

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