At last! Flood-hit Colleges Crossing is open
IPSWICH'S favourite pleasure ground - Colleges Crossing - is back better than ever and ready to see families whoop it up.
The recreation area was inundated and obliterated during the 2011 floods but lots of money and hard work have created an even better park.
Liam Smith, 7, of Oxley, was the first to try out the play equipment yesterday, just before Colleges Crossing opened to the public.
Liam came with his dad Ian and Ian's mates who brought their dogs for a play on their day off from work.
"We just thought we'd come down and bring the dogs for a swim," Mr Smith said, as Liam played.
It's the first time I've been here but we were just saying we're going to come here all the time now. It's a nice spot.
Mayor Paul Pisasale said Ipswich City Council had received tremendous financial support from the Queensland Reconstruction Authority since it was established soon after the January 2011 flood to administer allocations of federal and state funding to local councils.
"The much anticipated $11m restoration of Colleges Crossing has been made possible with funding of $9m under Natural Disaster Recovery and Relief Arrangements, a joint federal (75%) and state (25%) government initiative," Cr Pisasale said. "The remainder has been funded by council.
"Practical completion this week allowed the majority of the park to open, and access will be through the original entrance.
"Safety fencing has been removed, but some sections of the park may remain closed to allow the finishing touches to be completed.
"The kiosk will not open until early next year."
Official opening celebrations are being planned for late February or early March when the community will be invited to take part and thank the many organisations for clearing the mountain of debris left by the flood.