Ipswich seen as jewel in the crown of Queensland
IN JULY 1997, The Queensland Times published a page of articles regarding positive past, present and future achievements.
These included the Global Info Link, an information technology-led economic development strategy for the Ipswich region. Ipswich City Council was the first local authority in Australia to provide internet access.
UQ Ipswich positioned its campus in Ipswich, which was to be housed in a redevelopment of the former Challinor Centre at Sandy Gallop.
IPSWICH REGION AIRPORT
The planned Ipswich region Development Corporation (IRDC) is working with the RAAF and local authorities to establish a civil airport on a designated area on the eastern side of the RAAF Base at Amberley.
The airport site is about 11ha on the southern side of the base with easy access to the CBD and major transport links.
Initially it is proposed to operate two return passenger flights daily to Sydney with one flight on Saturday and Sunday, hopefully starting this year, 1997.
AUSTRALIAN RAIL TECHNOLOGY CENTRE
Birthplace of our railways, which were first established in 1864 as part of the construction of the first railway line, The Mihi Line stands as the only working railway of the 19th century. Development of a Queensland Rail Heritage Centre could be the first in Australia and an international tourist attraction.
GLOBAL ARTS LINK
The Old Town Hall was built in 1861 (many alterations over the years) as a mechanics' school of arts and was one of Australia's oldest buildings. GAL will become an important cultural tourism destination with its uniqueness and proximity to Brisbane.
GLOBAL COMMERCE AND TRAINING CENTRE
(GCAT) Bremer TAFE's heritage-listed Ipswich City Campus is to be its location and has undergone $400,000 worth of refurbishment to accommodate all the centre's new equipment.
A total of 138ha of motorsport facilities, including Willowbank Raceway, Ipswich Raceway, Ipswich Kart Club, Kedron Motorcycle Club and Ipswich and West Moreton Auto Club. Isolated from urban encroachment, yet less than 15 minutes to Ipswich CBD.
CBD REVITALISTION PROJECT
The council, mayor and major CBD stakeholders have formed a working party to plan, implement and drive a program to revitalise the CBD.
Queensland Government has allocated $75million to the redevelopment of the Ipswich Hospital and Health plaza. Work has begun on the new 480-bay undercover carpark and should be finished in October 1997.
MEMORIES OF THE OLD TOWN HALL
In the 1970s, Ipswichians were asked to submit memories they had when attending functions at the-then Town Hall and some of them were printed in the QT.
1. From the well-known and well-loved music teacher came the memory I remember very distinctly and this was going to the Old Town Hall to conduct the Ipswich Choral Society's production The Merry Widow.
This was about half an hour before the performance time and I met the leading lady, Patricia O'Malley, at the back of the hall.
She was in tears and said: "Mr Sullivan, I can't sing".
I persuaded her to stop crying and try speaking her lines.
This seemed to be successful, so I found another cast member Betty Jarvis who had been a regular attendee and knew the whole play.
Patty's voice sounded different, so it must have been pretty well done - much to my relief."
2. Hilda May Dawson of East Ipswich also told of her memory.
"One thing I can remember quite clearly is one night the Town Hall lights went out and a voice said, 'please find your way to your seat and be very quiet'.
"We had just heard from Amberley Air Base that there was a plane flying over the town that could not be identified.
"We could have been bombed.
"We all sat there for so long in the dark hall, then the siren sounded the all-clear and the lights came back on.
"The incident sort of spoiled the night. Everyone wanted to go home where they thought they would be safe. It was one night that spoiled the dances at the Old Town Hall."