Fight for Division 3
JIM Dodrill was not going to run for council at the upcoming election, but says community concern over uncontrolled land clearing at Collingwood Park and other key issues forced his hand.
Mr Dodrill, who will contest Division 3 against sitting councillor Victor Attwood and fellow candidate Danny Donohue, said the most recent of several cases of wholesale land clearing took place in February on Gibbs Ave, Collingwood Park, bordering Six Mile Creek.
"Many local residents were disturbed to see a large area of bushland completely cleared without leaving a single tree standing," he said.
"What has happened in recent years is that council has allowed broad scale uncontrolled land clearing without any consideration for green space and the conservation value of that bushland.
"We've since found out that there are a number of critically endangered species in the area that they have cleared."
Mr Dodrill said another other important issue was road safety.
"Redbank Plains residents say they feel neglected because they have been asking for traffic lights at the Cedar Rd, Highbury Dr and Shannon St intersections with Redbank Plains Rd for many years," he said.
Mr Dodrill, who lives in Division 3, said he was "the only candidate who is actually calling for the nearby toxic waste dump (run by Transpacific Waste Management) to be closed and relocated".
Cr Attwood hit back at Mr Dodrill and said council had in place some of the best environmental controls in south-east Queensland.
"Collingwood Park has been zoned residential for over 30 years and it has always bemused me when people move in and jump and down when the trees get cleared for houses to be built," he said. "Council has won national and international awards for our sustainability and liveability aspects of living in Ipswich."
Cr Attwood said council had secured funding for a four-lane Redbank Plains Rd from Keidges Rd through to School Rd.
"There will be traffic lights installed on the intersections as required," he said.
"I have secured funding for a roundabout or traffic lights at Barry Dr, which services a bigger area than Shannon St.
"I have also secured funding for (lights at) Cedar Rd, and council's long term plans for the area are to have traffic lights at Highbury Drive as well."
Cr Attwood, who is against expansion of the dump, said Mr Dodrill's push for the dump to be closed down and relocated was "highly unreasonable".
"It has been operating there in a safe manner for 14 years, and if the dump was closed down the compensation bill for the council would be astronomical."
Mr Donohue agreed with Mr Dodrill on the traffic light issue and said he had campaigned on the same point.
On the land clearing issue, Mr Donohue said he had a degree in environmental management and had spent time as a vegetation management officer with the Department of Natural Resources and Water.
"Land clearing is something I take very seriously, and I am after a sustainable city that has a healthy balance between development and the needs of the community and the environment."
Mr Donohue said he was not opposed to closing the dump.
"My position is that we need to consult with the community and see if that is something they would be prepared to do, given that the costs to the city could be significant," he said.