Mayor Andrew Antoniolli is back to answer your questions in the final round of Ask Andrew for 2017.

Jessie: Could there be a way to include a board or group whereby adults under the age of 30 could contribute ideas and vote on issues in relation to Ipswich? Being the future of this city, surely having input from these members of the public would be beneficial.

You are absolutely right. Council values the views, opinions and experiences of the city’s young people and their input is definitely beneficial.

Your comment is timely actually, as Ipswich City Council is relaunching its Ipswich Youth Advisory Council (IYAC) program in 2018.

Targeted at youth aged between 12 and 25 years of age, IYAC aims to give a more prominent voice to our young people, allowing them to raise and identify issues with council and to be involved in decision-making and initiatives that affect them.

Council will be seeking expressions of interest for IYAC in the new year. Young people will be encouraged to apply, so please keep an eye out for this advertisement.

It will have a two-tiered approach – IYAC Ambassadors and IYAC. IYAC Ambassadors will target youth aged between 12 and 15. IYAC will target youth aged between 16 and 25.

Should you wish to discuss IYAC further, please connect with council’s Community Engagement Branch at communitydevelopmentrequests@ipswich.qld.gov.au

John King: Many years ago there was a proposal to straighten Marsden Parade to align with Gordon Street in the CBD. Is this still a line of thought?

Council is currently undertaking the detailed design for the realignment of the southern section of Marsden Parade to create a four-way traffic signal controlled intersection with Brisbane Street and Gordon Street.

The realignment will facilitate an alternate north-south connection to East Street within the Ipswich city centre, providing improved network permeability and resilience.

Pending funding approval, construction of the Marsden Parade realignment is expected to commence next financial year.

Jason Lee: I currently walk with a cane, so uneven surfaces are difficult. Why is it, that with all the new footpaths and upgrades in Dinmore and surrounding suburbs, that the houses and units opposite the fruit shop on Brisbane Road don’t have a footpath?

Council’s iGO Active Transport Action Plan has identified the need to improve footpath connections within 800m of all urban railway stations.

In order to prioritise the delivery of the citywide strategic footpath projects, council considers a range of criteria to determine the potential number of uses for each footpath.

While residents along this section of Brisbane Road would certainly benefit from a footpath, there are a number of other strategic footpath connections across the city that are considered to have a higher pedestrian demand.

Currently, it is unlikely that this pathway will be constructed in the short term.

Glen Caloon: My concern is the graffiti on the corner of Blackstone Road and South Station Road, Silkstone. I notified council and was told to call the police. But QPS said they don’t clean it off and neither does council. So whose responsibility is it? I would have thought it was a council issue.

Council does not clean graffiti off private homes, businesses or commercial premises. It is the land or business owners’ responsibility to remove graffiti on their property.

We have been in contact with both the property owner and the real estate agent to report the graffiti and request that they arrange for it to be removed.

Council does offer residents a free graffiti kit which can be picked up from divisional offices, Customer Service Centre or Visitor Information Centre.

Council also has a graffiti removal trailer which is available free of charge to residents and community groups to clean up graffiti in their area.

Les Turner: I live near the new IGA supermarket complex at Augustine Heights. The centre has the grass mowed on a regular basis, but no one mows the nature strip along the back of the shopping centre. Isn’t council supposed to mow this area?

The nature strips in this area are programmed to be mowed on a nine-weekly cycle in accordance with council’s adopted service levels.

The area was last mowed on 12 October and is due to be undertaken again in the week ending 15 December.

Mikhayla Moseley: When I moved here I read that a $100,000 dog park was going to be built in Yamanto. Why is the current one under construction so small? I was envisaging something the size of David W Coultas Park for the amount of money allocated.

The dog off leash facility at Sarah Drive Park is a ‘local’ level facility catering for local residents.

Due to site constraints of existing infrastructure and drainage easements the dog off leash for this local facility is about 1,500 square metres in total area.

The costs for this facility is inclusive of design, planning and on-ground construction works.

District level dog off leash facilities are currently provided at Tom Lenihan Park, Rosewood and Redbank Plains Recreation Reserve, with plans for facilities at Limestone Park and Ripley.

Andrew Purins: What is happening around Ipswich to encourage employment opportunities with businesses and/or the unemployed or under-employed? Over the last 20 years I’ve seen a continual decline in available employment as many large companies have either closed or been forced to reduce their size.

Council is working with Regional Development Australia Ipswich and West Moreton and has developed a website to link local businesses with local job seekers.

We continue to work with local industries to identify skill requirements and liaise with training organisations to ensure current training programs for students are aligned.

There is also close liaison with State and Federal Government agencies to host jobs and training expos like the one being held at North Ipswich Reserve on 12 December between 12pm and 5pm.

Council is also developing an investment attraction strategy to identify potential industries looking to relocate or move to the region and works with these industries on identifying their skilling requirements and links with local job agencies and people.

We are also experiencing growth in transport and logistics, tourism, education, health and construction. Manufacturing still has a strong presence within Ipswich.

Matt: Compared to other councils Ipswich spends a lot less of residents’ rates on infrastructure. For example, I understand Brisbane spends about 36 per cent of rates on infrastructure, whereas as Ipswich spends about 18 per cent. I suspect that developers provide a lot of funds for construction in Ipswich.

It’s difficult to compare one council against another due to the unique nature of local government areas.

Brisbane, which is Australia’s largest local government region, has a population of about 2 million people, while Ipswich recently topped 200,000.

There are many competing demands that council must consider and attempt to balance when preparing future investment programs given the varying populations bases, growth rates, development activities and infrastructure types and definitions.

As such, the proportion of funds allocated to the various areas of the capital portfolio are considered annually by council to best meet the citywide priorities.

Please be advised that within the current adopted budget for 2017/2018 there is an amount of $72.5 million for Donated Assets to be recognised across all asset classes.

Sebastien G: I’d like to know what council can do to keep Hunter Street at Brassall between the schools and McDonald’s free of litter and relatively clean?

Litter pick-up occurs in Hunter Street, Brassall prior to each programmed three-weekly mowing cycle.

Council installed an extra street bin and increased the street bins services as the bins were being filled up quickly.

Additionally, when waste drivers are collecting the bins they also pick up the rubbish in the area.

We’ve also communicated with local schools to remind students to place rubbish in the bins provided.

Council is currently working with the Ipswich Youth Justice Service Centre to potentially include sections of Hunter Street in their Youth Community Service Work Schedule to assist council in removing litter from the area.

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