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BREAKING: Luxton to contest Ipswich mayoral election

PERSISTENT: Peter Luxton, pictured before his second crack at the Ipswich mayoralty in 2012, insists the 2017 race is wide open.
PERSISTENT: Peter Luxton, pictured before his second crack at the Ipswich mayoralty in 2012, insists the 2017 race is wide open. Rob Williams

PETER Luxton is back for his fourth tilt at the Ipswich mayoralty on August 19 in what he says will be a turning point election in the city's history.

Mr Luxton joined former Division 4 candidate and Ipswich business owner Paul Rix in the race to be mayor today.

Mr Rix and Mr Luxton will contest the August 19 by-election with Acting Mayor Paul Tully, Cr Andrew Antoniolli, 2016 mayoral candidate Gary Duffy, election regular Patricia Petersen and Greens-endorsed hopeful Brett Morrissey.

Mr Luxton first ran for mayor in 2008 as an endorsed Green before tilts at the 2012 and 2016 elections as an independent.

Former mayor Paul Pisasale prevailed on each of those occasions. With Mr Pisasale out of the picture Mr Luxton said the mayoralty was up for grabs.

"It is a watermark election, this one, because you no longer have to contend with that overwhelming figure of politics," he said.

"It is more of a level playing field, and from what I understand a majority of people (41% in a recent ReachTEL poll) don't want a councillor as mayor.

"This is a turning point for Ipswich."

 

HISTORY: This was how cartoonist Zanetti saw the battle between Paul Pisasale and Peter Luxton in previous years. Mr Luxton says the 2017 race is a different story without "that overwhelming figure of politics”.
HISTORY: This was how cartoonist Zanetti saw the battle between Paul Pisasale and Peter Luxton in previous years. Mr Luxton says the 2017 race is a different story without "that overwhelming figure of politics”. Contributed

Mr Luxton said he would be campaigning on a platform of providing more public facilities such as libraries and swimming pools.

He said he would unveil a business plan for the city during the campaign and other key policies he said would take the city forward.

Mr Luxton, who lives in Redbank Plains and works in retail logistics, has previously called for the former Jim Gardiner Pool in Eastern Heights to be rebuilt.

An Ipswich council committee meeting today confirmed there would likely be no new 50m public pool built in the city in the next decade due to need and population numbers.

Mr Luxton has other ideas about that.

"I have a great sense of injustice about the way rate payers' money has been spent because it is not being spent on the things I think Ipswich people deserve," he said.

"We have the world's greatest climate and where I live there have been four or five state schools built but there is no access to a public swimming pool.

"I find that outrageous.

"I am still smarting that the Jim Gardiner Pool was filled in.

"We used to take our kids there.

"When we first moved (to Redbank Plains) it was a part of Moreton Shire and they had a plan to put a public pool in the Redbank Plains Reserve.

"But then Wayne Goss amalgamated Ipswich and Moreton Shire councils and it never happened.

"We have a booming population without the facilities."

 

Peter Luxton will campaign on securing more public facilities such as pools and libraries if elected mayor.
Peter Luxton will campaign on securing more public facilities such as pools and libraries if elected mayor. Sarah Harvey

Ipswich City Council has new libraries planned for Springfield and Rosewood.

Libraries remain a passion of Mr Luxton's and he wants to see more of them.

"We have half the number of libraries per head of population as Logan," he said.

"They have a fantastic library service.

"I just want to see value for money."

New suburb developments are funded by developer contributions known as headworks, which also support community facilities.

But Mr Luxton said he wanted "a forensic audit of all the expenses of Ipswich City Council and where every cent has gone" and that he would ensure the older suburbs weren't neglected.

"I look around and I see inequality," he said.

"I talk to people and they see places like Springfield and Ripley getting all the goodies."

Mr Luxton said he would be a mayor who worked solely on the city's interests.

"You are paid full-time to be mayor to run the city and look after the ratepayers and that is exactly what I commit myself to doing," he said.

"I have specific visions and further down the track I will talk about my business plans for Ipswich.

"We will have a protracted recession starting next year and Ipswich needs someone with a handle on things to run the place."

Topics:  greens ipswich election 2017 ipswich mayor paul pisasale paul tully peter luxton