DIV 7: Q&A with Rochelle Caloon
THE QT asked the nine candidates in the division 7 by-election to answer these questions.
1. How would you make the most out of the city's Heritage appeal?
As Queensland's oldest provincial city, our historical value should be celebrated. I commit to championing the tourism appeal of our Heritage hot spots. Our Top of Town precinct and CBD contain many buildings that, if restored, would make a significant change to the visual appeal of our city centre.
I'm constantly surprised that the community outside of Ipswich are not aware that our city is older than Brisbane. I believe Queensland was built off the back of Ipswich and I believe one of the vacant buildings could be transformed into a heritage museum.
2. How would you bring people back to the CBD?
Our CBD has so much potential! One of my ideas is to encourage owners of heritage buildings to invest in their restoration and conservation.
A fresh facelift of our historical buildings would encourage both small business and visitors to return. Nobody wants to have their business in a run down and tired-looking establishment.
One of the quirks of Ipswich's CBD is the old buildings and I believe that the restoration of these buildings would add to the quirk of our city, and families would want to step back in time and admire what once was.
3. Please name three major issues in Division 7 and how you will address them.
The irresponsible management of the CBD is borderline negligent, with zero forecasting of the impacts upon the CBD of the opening of Riverlink. This back and forth of the CBD re-development is unacceptable. What kind of community consultation was undertaken and endorsed when considering the layout of the available space?
With the way the CBD looks now, the commercial appeal of the city centre acts as a repellant. Restoration of what we have now should be the primary focus, and would be a significantly lower cost burden compared to the current plans. Division 7 lacks safe and engaging youth-friendly spaces.
Young people should not have to travel away from Ipswich to find entertainment. So many people whinge about the young people in our city, but no one wants to take ownership of the issue that the young people really have nothing for themselves.
Our streets are a near embarrassment, when you compare Ipswich to other cities of a similar size and demographic across Australia. Even after Pisasale's promised "Streets Ahead" program back in 2006, many suburbs of Division 7 are still without basic curb and channelling, eleven years later.