Ipswich ratepayers to fork out $2.4M for land purchase
MILLIONS of ratepayer dollars will be used to buy a parcel of land earmarked for a new performing arts precinct.
Ipswich City Council will move forward with plans to acquire the Queensland Rail site on the corner of Ellenborough St for $2.4 million, it was decided at this week's council meeting.
The site is one of three around the city the council is in the process of acquiring, according to the latest meeting agenda.
For the QR site, the council will stump up the cash for the land acquisition in the hopes it will be able to reimburse the city's coffers using "cash bonds" handed over by development giant Leda Holdings during the Riverlink Shopping Centre development, Mayor Andrew Antoniolli said.
Those bonds, originally totalling about $3 million, are at the centre of a heated ongoing court case where the value of the QR land is in dispute.
Plans for the council to take over the QR site have been in motion for years.
Shows at the Ipswich Civic Centre regularly draw a large, sellout crowd.
Mayor Andrew Antoniolli said the business case to build the performing arts centre hadn't been finalised but confirmed the council would ask the federal and state governments for financial assistance.
"We will be using council money in the first instance," Cr Antoniolli said.
"Then when the bond is released, we will use that to reimburse the council."
He said the ultimate vision was to build a world-class CBD with the new performing arts centre designed to tie into and flow on from the new civic space as part of the mall redevelopment.
The concept design for the centre includes a 1000-seat auditorium, a 400-seat studio theatre and two function areas.