Key Ipswich stories you might have missed
THERE was one thing that stood out for me in our story this week with former Ipswich state MP Rachel Nolan and her view on the past, present and future of her city.
As she reflected on her own time as an MP, her relationship with former mayor Paul Pisasale and the dramatic changes that have occurred in the past four or five years, Ms Nolan commented that she believed Ipswich was at a critical point in shaping its future.
I’m sure this comment resonated with a lot of readers as there has been a feeling of ground zero – both literally and metaphorically – since our entire council was dismissed and our city centre was gutted and rebuilt.
While much work has been carried out in the mall and within the council chambers, it is obvious to many that the real work is still going on, or maybe even yet to begin.
Debate still carries on about how best to galvanise the city, especially with thousands of new residents moving in.
How do we ensure Ipswich maintains its unique identity, and that character it has been famous for over decades, to make sure that when people move into these big growth suburbs, they see themselves as residents of Ipswich and not just some outlying western suburb of Brisbane?
That is the big question at the moment, and one that is key to reviving the city centre I’m sure.
On that note, we also reported on the latest on council’s efforts to attract major retailers into town.
In a time when major shopping centres are popping up in the outer suburbs, it is easy to see our CBD fighting a losing battle to attract Ipswich people once more.
Ipswich Central Redevelopment Committee chair Marnie Doyle said council was in talks but could not reveal which brands might be coming yet due to confidentiality agreements.
That came at a recent council meeting in which acting general manager for infrastructure and environment Sean Madigan said there were 15 heads of agreement with “significant tenants” across the Nicholas St precinct.
“Now comes the time where council looks at those deals, looks at the commerciality of them and looks at what funds council will need to actually put into those precincts and the retail assets in order to get the best tenants in there,” he said.
It is encouraging news and will be a story we will continue to follow as it develops.
Over the next decade I think this is going to become an increasingly pressing question.
For the time being, most of us are not in a rush to jump into an electric car, and the reasons for that are pretty obvious to me.
For one, they are still too expensive. Let’s take for example a humble little Hyundai Kona, which you can get in either old-fashioned combustion engine or electric.
The petrol version will set you back somewhere in the vicinity of $26,000 – pretty reasonable for a new car these days.
The electric version will cost you about $62,000.
Take into account the fact that there still are not an awful lot of charging stations around our neck of the woods, and you can see why it is still very easy to hold off.
Of course, some people have been eager to take the plunge, and this week we spoke to Mickey Hasted about how life has been with her Tesla Model 3, an electric model which also costs somewhere around that mid-$60,000 mark.
Among the positives Ms Hasted mentioned was a significant reduction in servicing costs. That is easy to imagine, but not knowing the intricacies of how these machines operate, I wonder what happens when things like steering, brakes and suspension start to need a bit of TLC?
I also wonder at the increased electricity bill if you are always charging your vehicle at home. Does it cancel out any savings on fuel?
These are all questions that us rusted on petrol and diesel heads can at least sit back and wait to be answered while we deliberate.
The Ipswich Force women’s team received a huge boost this week with the signing of former Olympian Abby Bishop.
The 32-year-old is not only a former medal-winning Olympian with the Opals, but also a WNBA champion and the WNBA’s most valuable player in 2015.
Bishop is expected to suit up for Ipswich mid-season in the inaugural NBL 1 North competition.
Her arrival is the second big signing for Ipswich basketball in recent weeks, with the men’s team scoring National Basketball League and Australian Boomers achiever Matt Hodgson for the inaugural NBL1 North season starting this month.
Another of the important fundraising events that we have become used to seeing in Ipswich every year is back after a hiatus in 2020.
The Park2Park is a major contributor to the Ipswich Hospital Foundation coffers, and brings a sea of colour and excitement to Limestone Park every time it is staged.
Luckily it has been given the all clear to proceed in 2021 and organisers hope funds will contribute to its aim of making Ipswich Hospital a tertiary teaching facility.
There are events to suit the serious runner, right down to those who just want to have a bit of fun with family or friends and raise some money.
For details on how to get involved, visit the Park2Park website.