DIV 7: Q&A with David Austin
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 has long been known for its rich heritage appeal and cultural significance and it is this asset which needs to be more fully utilised.
I am passionate about preserving Ipswich's built environment, and would promote sympathetic and sustainable mixed-use development to make the most of Ipswich's heritage appeal.
When elected, I would promote Ipswich as a Heritage destination and would actively collaborate with the Ipswich Chamber of Commerce, local small businesses and community groups to choose heritage sites for their activities/ businesses. By being innovative in repurposing existing heritage buildings, we would add to the unique, vibrant and bohemian appeal of Ipswich.
2. How would you bring people back into the CBD?
The people of Ipswich have been discouraged from using the CBD due to poor decisions in the past and more importantly, their wants and needs have not been heard by the council.
If elected, I would bring people back to the CBD by promoting sustainable mixed land use and businesses ranging from coffee shops, restaurants and a range of affordable retail outlets and professional offices.
I believe that people need a place to meet as a community and having well planned public open spaces that are functional and inviting to pedestrians is crucial. I want to provide people with a reason to go to the CBD is vital, activities such as entertainment, art displays, public forums and markets will give Ipswich's CBD a lift and develop a sense of pride and embracing our heritage.
3. Please name three major issues for the division and how you plan to address them.
As a resident of Division 7, I have noticed that traffic is a huge issue in Ipswich. Speeding along suburban streets and rat running through quiet suburban areas where children and families live and play has become a major issue. It is dangerous and what I will do is install traffic lights on the corner of Grange and Robertson Roads, install more smiley face/vehicle activated traffic speed signs as well as more traffic calming measures throughout Division 7.
I am passionate about pedestrian accessibility and use of recreational spaces in Division 7. We have great recreational spaces and infrastructure, which has been allowed to deteriorate over time and also people can't get to them without having to walk on the road. I plan to address this issue by installing new and upgrading existing footpaths and parks and public spaces in Division 7.
Finally, I am committed to addressing community engagement, in particular youth sports and arts programs. I plan to respond by developing more accessible sport and arts activities for young people and working with existing community groups to find opportunities to reach out to more members of Division 7. I would support mentoring of older and younger members of the community in the realms of sports and the arts.