DIV 7: Q&A with Mike McInnes
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 boasts a wealth of heritage buildings and precincts. Council already have in place stringent guidelines in regards to heritage conservation but I believe these should be examined at regular intervals to ensure they comply with and exceed community expectations and maximise our potential.
Additionally, I have previously released a proposal regarding recognising the traditional owners of the land and local identities who have shaped our city. I propose as part of the Ipswich Central redevelopment and potential performing arts precinct that a projection project be included, with possible audio app, that highlights our local heroes - people like D'Arcy Doyle, Neville Bonner AO, Hilda des Arts, Allan Langer and Vi Jordan, amongst many others. Heritage is not just about buildings, it's about the people who have shaped who we are today as a city.
2. How would you bring people back into the CBD?
With works currently underway on the long awaited CBD redevelopment, and new Mayor Antoniolli's commitment to more transparency, I believe that we as a community will be provided with better communication from the council owned companies in regards the Ipswich Central redevelopment.
Ipswich Central should be a vibrant community hub, with entertainment precincts to entice residents back into the heart of our community. Green space, retail, food and beverage, community art space and, as I said previously, a celebration of who we are as a community.
I commit, if elected as Division 7 Councillor, to be an agent of communication between council and the community. My experience across a number of industry sectors also provides me with the skills to negotiate and assist existing small businesses and attract new retail and investment opportunities, in conjunction with my fellow Councillors.
3. Please name three major issues for the division and how you plan to address them.
1) Community access and engagement: Better planning of roads, footpaths and safer pedestrian crossings, particularly for residents using mobility scooters and parents with prams. Safe and secure bus shelters. Toilets in our local parks to make them more family friendly. Flower and or community gardens in our local parks and suburbs to enrich a closer sense of community. Focus on the older suburbs of Division 7 which have been neglected for too long."
2) Support existing community organisations and build for the future: Work with all levels of government to bring an evacuation / support hub to Ipswich which can provide meeting and office space for our numerous volunteer organisations, possibly based at Ipswich Show Grounds. Additionally, create a forum to bring together volunteer organisations to assist them in working together in regard to streamlining their potential and providing assistance in obtaining grants."
3) To be the people's voice in Council: Listen to and respond to residents, community groups and business people. Work on grass roots issues that build community trust, assist in enhancing the lives of residents and business owners and the community as a whole."