Attwood welcomes Petersen challenge
IRISH eyes are still smiling in the Redbank headquarters of Division 3 councillor Victor Attwood.
Cr Attwood, who hails from the Emerald Isle, now has five candidates lining up against him at the local government elections.
News broke yesterday that Patricia Petersen will run in Division 3 unless Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale retires before nominations close.
Cr Attwood is ready for Ms Petersen to bring it on.
"I warmly welcome Dr Petersen's candidacy in Division 3," he said.
"As everyone knows, politics is a contest of ideas and ideals and I look forward to discussing her ideas and ideals as I contest the election against her."
Ms Petersen, who lives in the division at Riverview, said residents had asked her to run to improve services and facilities in our area.
"The residents of Riverview, Redbank, Redbank Plains and Collingwood Park have been overlooked. They are confident I can make a positive difference in their lives and in the area," she said.
Cr Attwood said the suburbs mentioned by Ms Petersen had not been forgotten.
"In the part of Riverview I look after nearly every street has a footpath and all the parks are well maintained and have great facilities," he said.
"It is one of the few suburbs in Ipswich that is nearly totally kerbed and channeled. Nowhere has been overlooked.
"We spent $30 million in Redbank Plains and Collingwood Park putting in the Collingwood Dr extension and Redbank Plains Rd upgrade, as well as millions into the rec reserve and generally around the place."
Ms Petersen outlined a laundry list of projects she would campaign for.
She wants security guards to keep residents safe at night and in parks, traffic calming to keep children safe from speeding traffic, thousands of native trees and flowers planted and a 10 kilometre sculpture walk.
She is after a public 50m indoor heated pool, basketball/netball courts and free sporting, educational and arts programs. Throw in a free family advice and counselling service, door to door community buses to assist the elderly and disabled and free mowing vouchers for pensioners.
Cr Attwood noted Ms Petersen's wish list, but wondered how she would pay for it.
"I have read with interest Dr Petersen's election manifesto," he said.
"I would just ask her to outline to the community over the coming weeks what services she is going to cut and what programs she is going to axe to fund some of her manifesto.
"In the current budget there is no fat to add new programs or to complete some of the projects she is advocating."
Jim Dodrill, Danny Donohue, Steven Wood and Hayley Finocchio will join Ms Petersen in the race.
Cr Attwood said he would relish the competition.
"I don't think it reflects on the job I've done. It shows we live in a healthy democracy and a healthy city," he said.