POLL: Next mayor must attract business, finish CBD
ATTRACTING new business to Ipswich should be the number one priority for the new Ipswich mayor according to residents quizzed in an exclusive Galaxy poll for the QT.
And, perhaps not unsurprisingly, close behind as a priority is to put a freeze on rates.
The exclusive poll with over 500 residents asked : In your opinion, what should be the top priority for the new Mayor?
In response 24% said it was to attract new business to Ipswich, 23% said putting a freeze on rates for all rate payers and 20% said redevelopment of the Ipswich CBD. A further 10% said controlling high density development should be a priority and 5% said protecting the koala habitat. An additional 18% were uncommitted.
Amongst Acting Mayor Paul Tully's supporters 27% said attracting new business to Ipswich should be the priority of the next mayor.
Cr Tully said attracting new business would be a priority of his as the population of Ipswich went from 200,000 to over 500,000 in the next 24 years. He said the city needed to "capitalise on the economic opportunities this presents”.
"We can encourage investors in our city, and residential and commercial developments are both important,” Cr Tully said.
"We have concessions for high quality hotels in Ipswich and we could extend the headworks concessions beyond that, and that could be for major commercial and recreational developments which add significant value to our city
"More development in the city means more jobs. More jobs means greater prosperity and it becomes an ongoing cycle of progressive development.”
Among Cr Andrew Antoniolli's supporters in the mayoral race 23% agreed attracting new businesses to Ipswich should be the number one priority.
"That comes as no surprise. I have put together over 50 policies, some of which are in relation to job creation,” he said.
"That has been as a result of a lot of feedback that I have had from the community.
"We certainly need to be working with the State Government to develop the industrial estates like Swanbank, Ebenezer and the Redbank peninsula to their full potential so we have got more local jobs.
"Also we need to work with tertiary providers so we can get people job ready.
"We also need to reduce the amount of red tape to make it easier for people to do business locally as small business is one of the biggest employers in Ipswich.”
Both mayoral candidates' supporters said the redevelopment of the Ipswich CBD should be a mayoral priority, with 22% saying so for Cr Tully and 26% for Cr Antoniolli.
"The redevelopment of the CBD will bring a lot of jobs,” Cr Antoniolli said.
Cr Tully said the $150 million redevelopment was under way and now a reality, not just a promise.
"It will be important to bring people back into the CBD and within two years the Ipswich mall area is going to be redeveloped with a library, a council building and major entertainment and dining facilities.
"It is going to be the jewel in the crown of Ipswich.”