RAAF Amberley F-111s.
RAAF Amberley F-111s. Defence Images

Plan to install fighter jets and help revitalise CBD

FIGHTER jets and military arsenal significant to Ipswich's defence history should be littered across the new central business district to lure visitors, a retired resident believes.

While some comparisons have already been made between the city's CBD and a war zone, resident Greg Cook wants to invade it with old weaponry.

Mr Cook first submitted an idea for a military-inspired CBD to Ipswich City Council in 2014.

With the design changing significantly since the CBD redevelopment was first mooted, Mr Cook wants the council to again consider how the city's military past could be incorporated into its future.

Greg Cook with his idea and plan for a RAAF commemoration to be implemented into the CBD redevelopment.
Greg Cook with his idea and plan for a RAAF commemoration to be implemented into the CBD redevelopment. Rob Williams

"It's something a bit different," he said.

"I thought having something that has been used out of Amberley, in the city centre, would be an attraction."

His proposal includes towering plinths with one of the air force's most recognisable weapons.

"The first one I built was a trumpet shape about 20m across and 30m high," he said.

"On top of it, I had the shell of an Amberley aeroplane that wasn't being used anymore, an F-111."

He proposed constructing three towers with aeroplanes on top.

Mr Cook said such military relics would help lure people into the CBD by replicating RAAF Base Amberley's heritage museum.

"I thought we could do something to attract people to come into the city by train or by car," he said.

"You can't get to Amberley by train and you can't get there by bus."

Greg Cook with his idea and plan for a RAAF commemoration to be implemented into the CBD redevelopment.
Greg Cook with his idea and plan for a RAAF commemoration to be implemented into the CBD redevelopment. Rob Williams

Mr Cook's own grandson flies air force planes at Newcastle's RAAF Base Williamtown.

The retired man took the idea from Ballina's big prawn and the Sunshine Coast's big pineapple.

"I did the design a couple of years back for the bottom of the mall," he said.

Mr Cook said because the Ipswich mall and CBD were "in the news frequently", some left-field thinking was required to revitalise the area.

 

RAAF Amberley F-111s.
RAAF Amberley F-111s. Rob Williams

In November 2011, the Royal Australian Air Force buried 23 of its retired F-111 strike jets in landfill at Swanbank.

Mr Cook said Rheinmetall's Boxer CRV tank or other military paraphernalia could be included in the future development.

He has even designed the structures to mitigate against roosting birds on the weapons in his military-inspired CBD.

"I tried to design it so the birds couldn't sit on it and there are fewer droppings," he said.



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