CHALLENGER: Kev Thomas, pictured with his dog Bruce, says there is too much small-lot development in Division 8.
CHALLENGER: Kev Thomas, pictured with his dog Bruce, says there is too much small-lot development in Division 8. Rob Williams

Now it's Kev’s time to shine

WHEN Ipswich telecommunications manager Kev Thomas was on the hunt for an acreage block around Deebing Heights, he was surprised at how limited the market was.

The only land for sale was designated for small lot development.

It spurred him on to run as a council candidate for the Division.

"The Division is losing that country feel.

"That is a big part of the appeal through Deebing Heights and Ripley, bigger blocks, close to town.

"The city is losing that appeal," Mr Thomas said.

"You've got to have a variety of housing styles for people to live and we've got plenty of land around Ipswich. People who want to live on acreage should be able to find acreage here.

"I get the feeling that all the council is interested in is trying to push down the lines of the really small blocks all tightly knitted in together with one park for everyone to play in. It rings alarm bells with me.

"I think there needs to be more acreage lots available to people purely for balance.

"Small blocks might be cheaper, easier to service, you can get Coles and Woolworths nice and close to them and make communities a lot tighter but I still look at the environment for children to grow up in and I don't see how that can be good for them."

Most would know Mr Thomas for his family's legal challenge he mounted against the council for a destruction order on their dog Bruce after it bit a meter reader who passed two gates to access the backyard.

He won after the council persisted with a legal defence that cost his family $35,000 in legal bills.

Mr Thomas said there was not enough councillors questioning decisions and no-one challenging the state government on contentious issues such as the amount of small lot development dictated by state planning footprints.

"Council should be challenging the policy.

"Ipswich City Council with the advice of the people that live there should have the authority to decide the type of development."

He said he was surprised that no councillor challenged the demolition of the One Mile Hotel, which was a landmark entry point to the city for the area.

"That is their job. They are there to represent the people and there were a lot of people not happy about that building disappearing and they should have done something to stop the demolition, at least had a try.

"Somebody had to take a stand and they didn't. The next thing, if it's not on that heritage list it can just get lined up and it will go."

Division 8 councillor Charlie Pisasale agreed that the One Mile Hotel should have been heritage listed and said he had asked questions as soon as he heard rumours of demolition plans.

"I found out that it wasn't listed and I wanted to know how the hell that slipped through the cracks. It wasn't that long ago that a lolly shop was listed," Cr Pisasale said.

"The One Mile Hotel was iconic in its own sense.

"There was a lot of history in that place."

Cr Pisasale also agreed the council should have greater control over development through the Ripley area.

"There has been a lot of discussion amongst councillors on small lot development and all of the problems that come with it.

"But the other side of the equation is you have big lots and are people prepared to pay for it. It is supply and demand."

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