LETTERS: Positive outlook needed for CBD
AN INTERESTING tale of two city traders in the QT (27/10). One being a long-time Ipswich CBD stalwart, Bob, who commenced his business in 1979, and the other being a candidate for the next council elections, Jim, a trader since the early 2000s.
That they are both traders seems to be the only similarity in this matter as they appear to be poles apart in their views and outlook.
I have very strong recollections of both traders being involved in the community consultation conducted as part of the Ipswich City Centre Master Plan and Strategy.
I also recall that both were impressed with the completed product, were aware that the strategy would take a number of years to complete and had a strong focus on community space and activation.
I know that both were worried about the state of the CBD at the time (2008), particularly the management of the then Singaporean owned Ipswich City Square. Both were supportive and positive about the council's acquisition of the centre and the positive plans put forward for its future. They were aware that the council's vision for the centre would take approximately 15 years to be fully realised.
However, as the article and the letter highlight, we now see a change of heart from one of the traders. Bob continues to have faith and a positive outlook, whilst Jim is negative.
Bob has been aware of the challenges that have faced the council in revitalising and redeveloping the City Centre and maintains stoic confidence, however Jim nominates the struggle as a reason to be negative. Bob sees the positive in the large amount of investment occurring in the city centre, but Jim can't see it. Bob continues to talk positively to customers, friends and other traders, whereas Jim uses social media to attack the council and speak negatively to those who will listen. Bob regularly works with other traders and the council to achieve results, whereas our candidate seems unwilling.
I know that this period of transition is not an easy one for some, but the council is dedicated to working with existing and future traders, investors and property owners to ensure that the community inspired City Centre Strategy is fulfilled and a success. This is not a time to be weak at the knees.
So I say to our candidate Jim, is it really the situation in the CBD that has caused you to lose faith, or is it the pending election?
CR ANDREW ANTONIOLLI
OPINION: Letters to the Editor
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