NEW RESORT: An example of what one of the luxury villa at the Dusit Thani Brookwater Golf and Spa Resort will look like.
NEW RESORT: An example of what one of the luxury villa at the Dusit Thani Brookwater Golf and Spa Resort will look like. Contributed

QT Year in Review: World class resort for Brookwater

THE future of state government-owned assets and cleaning jobs at Ipswich schools gained attention in October as the city also celebrated more development in the private sector.  

Tourism boost

ECONOMY once again took the centre stage in October.

Thai hospitality giant Dusit International signed off to build the $550 million Brookwater Golf and Spa Resort in Springfield.

Dusit International chief executive Chanin Donavanik was in Brookwater on October 9 to announce the massive deal and tipped a major increase in the number of tourists travelling to the region from south-east Asia.

"We had the choice to go to Sydney or Melbourne and we fell that this market now has the best potential," he said.

"This is about a seven hour flight from Singapore and I think you are going to see a lot more Asian (tourists) coming."

"The hotel resort being situated between Brisbane and the Gold Coast provides, I believe, huge potential for this market."

Once built, the resort will be Australia's first integrated golf, spa, retail, leisure, dining and recreation resort.

It is due to be completed by the end of 2016.

In late October it was housing that received a boost thanks to the approval for an extension to the housing estate surrounding Ipswich Country Club.

The estate had faltered under previous owners before Marquee Projects bought out remaining land.

The company will add an additional 199 homes in four stages.  

Dangerous dogs

THE argument about dangerous dogs came into the public eye again in October when Ipswich City Council impounded a bull mastiff named Bruce after he bit a meter reader.

The dog was due to be put down on October 16 but owners Kev and Chris Thomas launched a social media page and an appeal to the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal in a bid to have the decision reversed.

They argued the meter reader ignored eight signs warning of a dangerous dog on the property and went through two sets of gates to access the meter, where he was bitten by the dog.

Bruce was declared a dangerous dog by the council in 2010 after biting a council animal management officer.

Mr Thomas said the Bruce was one of the softest dogs you would come across, but was protective.

The case went before QCAT earlier in December, where it was adjourned.

The council also took the family through the criminal court system, charging them under the Animal Management Act.  

Asset sales and privatisation

MORE than 2500 people called for a referendum on the sale and leasing of state-owned assets in a petition tabled in Queensland Parliament on early October.

Bundamba MP Jo-Ann Miller sponsored the petition, which called for a vote before the end of the year.

But Treasurer Tim Nicholls response was that the 2015 election would serve as a vote on the issue.

The future of state-owned asset drew public attention throughout the month.

Ipswich West MP Sean Choat drew criticism from the Electrical Trades Union several times for his stance on the issue.

In the second week of October, Mr Choat went back on an earlier promise to cross the floor over asset sales and instead endorsed his party's lease policy.

"I said I would not under any circumstances support a sale," he said.

"Leasing was something I was open to. People tell me they're happy with a lease."

The Ipswich West MP also drew criticism following his comments regarding Labor candidate Jim Madden.

Mr Choat accused Mr Madden of hypocrisy for leasing out his law offices from Somerset Regional Council while opposing the State Government's proposed 50 to 99-year leases of state-owned power and transmission networks.

Mr Madden told the QT that Mr Choat had his facts wrong on the office lease and said it was a completely different issue from a 99-year lease.

The ETU also predicted Ipswich apprentices would lose out under any asset leases.

Energex announced on October 13 it planned to reduce apprentice numbers from 280 per year to only 96 per year.

ETU supply industry organiser Stuart Traill said young workers would lose the chance to step up through the system and replace aging workers.

The state government again came under fire in late October as hundreds of school cleaners feared their jobs would be outsourced.

Education Minister John-Paul Langbroek told the QT on October 23 that the government had no future plans to outsource school cleaners.

However, four new schools being built in Ipswich will have private cleaners.  

Racism rears its ugly head

A VIDEO filmed by an Ipswich teenager showing his friend's racist rant against a Queensland Rail security guard on October 2 went worldwide on social media and received condemnation from across the country.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott named the pair and the attack on the guard un-Australian.

It occurred on the Ipswich train line at Indooroopilly station.

The Ipswich teen, aged 18, was charged with creating a nuisance on a railway.

His friend, a Brisbane teen, was charged with more serious offences including assault and threatening violence.  

Death of a giant

FORMER Prime Minister Gough Whitlam died on October 21 and Ipswich politicians paid tribute to the major effect he had on the city.

Federal MP for Blair Shayne Neumann told the QT that Mr Whitlam's policies secured funding for the Ipswich Civic Centre and opened the way for Ipswich to be sewered.

"He saw the importance of regional cities like Ipswich," he said.

"In 1974, Ipswich was devastated by floods and the Whitlam government was crucial locally in helping us rebuild."

Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale credited Mr Whitlam for inspiring him to try his hand at a life in politics.



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