DIV 7: Q&A with Darren Baldwin
THE QT asked the nine candidates in the division 7 by-election to answer these questions.
1. How would you make the most of the city's heritage appeal?
Ipswich's future lies in its past. The success of the Top of Town, Cooneana, the Great Houses of Ipswich open day and the Railway Workshops demonstrate we have a winning formula.
I propose a city-wide heritage plan, with expert architectural and design services so property owners are supported to protect, restore and reflect our heritage; commercial buildings, grand old homes and workers cottages and everything in between. Heritage precincts in older suburbs, developed over time with streetscaping and lighting.
A greater investment in our local historical, mining and railway museums. In addition, a world-class educational and tourism facility at the Ipswich Showgrounds, as part of the new convention and evacuation centre - honouring the men and women who built this city.
2. How would you bring people back into the CBD?
The Council's mall concept plans are exciting. They create a destination; a place we are proud to bring our visitors.
The CBD needs to be about people. We must avoid simply filling the city with more office buildings or creating another cookie-cutter shopping centre. The key is putting people first:
- A unique business mix of food, entertainment, local retailers and an all-year event calendar.
- Consideration for people with disability, older people and families. Creating walkways that are safe, shady and easy to move around the city precincts.
- Ample public amenities, well located and large enough for families, wheelchairs and mobility aids.
- Lots of public seating and shade.
- Good public transport and parking options.
3. Please name three major issues for the division and how you plan to address them.
1) Open and accountable to the people. Ipswich has copped a bad rap lately and I want to end the negativity and restore confidence in the Council.
I will not take donations from developers or corporations that create a conflict of interest. I call on all Councillors to join me.
2) A convention and evacuation centre. It's time to stop passing the buck; the Council can and should develop a world-class convention centre, that is a fully-equipped evacuation centre, at the Ipswich Showgrounds.
This will stimulate the economy, restore these tired old facilities and create another destination with the city. Also, it means we have an emergency evacuation centre, centrally located. It just makes sense.
3) Back to basics. Division 7 features some of the best examples of this city's unique heritage and architecture. That also means older streets that need repair, restoration and ongoing maintenance.
We have streets, kerbs and drainage that need repair. It's time to bring pride to our residential streets, with heritage precincts, streetscaping and safe walking and cycling routes.