Campbell steals show
CAMPBELL Newman visited Ipswich for the first time as Premier yesterday and declared his long-time love for the city.
Introduced by Mayor Paul Pisasale as "my friend and the Premier of Queensland", Mr Newman was in the city to open the Ipswich Show.
He returned the favour, referring to the Mayor as "a friend and colleague".
"It's fantastic to be here this afternoon. The first thing I want to say is I'm sorry Lisa, my wife, isn't here," Mr Newman told the crowd, who greeted him with excited applause.
"Lisa and I love Ipswich. We love Ipswich for several reasons. We love the parks and gardens, we love the great sense of history and particularly we love the terrific architecture. It's always a pleasure to come here."
Before he spoke, Mr Newman sat with the Mayor in the back seat of open-top vintage car, leading a parade of politicians.
Wearing an Ipswich tie, he chatted with people, invited them to take photos, shook hands and smiled.
"It's a great day for Ipswich and it's a great day for Queensland," the Mayor said.
"Asked if he had time for a chat after the opening ceremony, Mr Newman said, 'It depends on how long Paul talks for. You know what he's like once he gets started'.
"He's been trying to get me here for years. I always said, 'What's the Lord Mayor of Brisbane doing at the Ipswich Show?' but I'm here today and it's a great pleasure."
Ahead of cars carrying Federal MP Shayne Neumann, state MPs Sean Choat and Ian Berry, and Ipswich councillor Cheryl Bromage, they did a lap of the greyhound track then pulled up in front of the grandstand.
Someone wolf-whistled when Mr Newman walked on to the stage. It was a man.
The PA system played Simply the Best as the dignitaries shook hands and prepared for Cr Pisasale to talk.
"When he was the Lord Mayor of Brisbane he brought the councillors together. He said, 'Individually we're nothing but as a group we can do something for south-east Queensland'," the Mayor said. "And now that he's Premier he's trying to get that vision for Queensland.
"And Campbell, we look forward to working with you to make sure Ipswich is part of the solution in south-east Queensland."
After praising the Ipswich Show, Mr Newman spoke about how his government planned to work with councils such as Ipswich.
"Times are a-changing right now and we will be running this state a different way," he said.
"As your mayor just said, we believe in partnerships. We believe that by giving people in local communities the authority, the responsibility and the resources, they can do a better job at managing their communities.
"So that means we are going to empower mayors to do things the previous government would never do. That means you are in the driver's seat; you will have a better say about what happens in Ipswich. It means the Ripley Valley can go forward and we can really get the CBD going again.
"I know you have a great council, and they will work hard for you. So we're going to back them right up and make sure Ipswich can go forward."