Greens unveil plan to create 2200 new jobs in Ipswich
THE GREENS are hoping to win their first ever seat in Ipswich in next month’s state election, with a plan to create jobs and ease financial pressures on struggling local families.
The party now has a candidate in each of the four Ipswich seats ahead of October 31.
While meeting with them at the Eugene Street Reserve in Bellbird Park on Wednesday, Senator Larissa Waters said the Greens’ platform for the election involved building 6500 social houses and 14 community health clinics across the city.
The party says it could create more than 700 local jobs by investing in renewables, 1300 construction jobs and 170 jobs for doctors and nurses at the fully bulk billed clinics.
“There are so many families that are on the social housing waiting list in Ipswich and many that are just one mortgage payment away from not having a home either,” she said.
“We really want to invest in community bulk billing medical centres.
“A lot of people particularly during the pandemic … there’s a financial barrier to getting medical help that they need nice and early because they can’t pay the gap.
“We think there should be complete bulk billing in the 14 community health centres that we would build.
“(They’d) be a bit of a one-stop shop for run of the mill medical needs.”
The Greens want to “fully fund” state schools with an extra $7 billion over four years for smaller class sizes, more teachers and to reduce extra financial pressure on parents.
They also plan to fund a free season of organised sport over the next four years for U18s by covering all registration costs, while giving parents a $150 rebate for equipment.
Issues with waste will be a focus as always and the incinerator proposed for Swanbank will be a hot topic for candidates in the coming weeks.
“We’ve got more than half of Queensland’s waste that comes here,” Ms Waters said.
“We’ve got waste that’s coming over the border from New South Wales because it’s cheaper for them to dump it on us than deal with it themselves because they’ve got stronger waste laws than we do.
“This is an area where the State Government wants to see new homes built and yet they’re not telling people what are the risks and how close they’re going to be to big, stinky waste facilities.”
Ms Waters said the Greens vote has been growing in Ipswich and believed that was down to people feeling like they were no longer being heard.
“We’re polling about 10 per cent in this region,” she said.
“We’re not for sale to the waste companies or the mining companies or the property developers. We don’t take corporate donations.
“If you want your interests to be ahead of corporate donors and ahead of the waste companies and ahead of the property developers, then you can trust the Greens because we’re not for sale.
“We’re here to represent the people.”
Pat Walsh, who ran for mayor of Ipswich in March, will contest the seat of Ipswich against incumbent Labor MP Jennifer Howard
The accountant ran for the same seat in 2015, taking 7.5 per cent of the vote, and for the federal seat of Blair in 2016.
“I got a lot out of (the mayoral campaign),” he said.
“That was a pivotal election. It was really important for so many reasons.
“The Greens’ platform in this election I think is groundbreaking and I think really important for Ipswich.
“Some of the initiatives we’re putting front and centre … they’re all key issues for Ipswich.”
Mr Walsh arrived in Ipswich 20 years ago and said many of the issues being talked about then still hadn’t been resolved.
“We’re still talking,” he said.
North Booval resident and full-time carer Raven Wolf will run for the seat of Ipswich West and has been living in the city for two years after leaving Brisbane.
“(The biggest issues) are schools and education,” he said.
“We’re trying to get free education that is actually free instead of the amount parents are having to put into it even for state schools.”
Read more stories by Lachlan McIvor here.