After the sale of council buildings to Queensland Health for an expansion to the city’s health precinct, Ipswich City Council has been actively engaging with community groups of the Hayden Humanities Building who responded to council’s offer to assist them with identifying alternate spaces and plan a successful relocation and transition.
Mayor Teresa Harding and Health Minister Yvette D’ath recently announced the sale of four council buildings, including the humanities building in South Street, which will become part of West Moreton Health’s Ipswich Central Health Precinct.
On 19 December 2019, then Interim Administrator Greg Chemello made a commitment to all user groups of the Hayden Humanities Building that Council would assist them with identifying alternate low-cost meeting spaces.
Mayor Harding said council has reviewed a number of potential locations in and around the CBD that may be suitable.
“Council has worked with a range of external organisations who have expressed an interest in providing spaces for the impacted community groups,” Mayor Harding said.
“The organisations identified are aware of the nature of these groups and their not-for-profit status – registered or otherwise; and council has also encouraged community groups to explore alternate options.
“The impacted community groups provide a range of services and social benefits to our community and council is committed to supporting them to find alternate, fit-for-purpose spaces.”
To ensure community groups can transition to suitable low-cost alternative accommodation, the exit date has been extended to 30 April 2021.
“Council has informed all current community groups, who have indicated a requirement for re-location assistance, of the extension to the exit date,” Mayor Harding said.
Each community group was asked to provide details addressing their space requirements, preferred location, average number of attendees, storage needs and the like. This was then used to assist council in identifying suitable alternative locations in and around the Ipswich CBD.
Mayor Harding said council is committed to finding alternative locations that are fit-for-purpose and every effort will be made to meet the community groups requested needs, however in some circumstances, this may not be guaranteed.
It is anticipated that no community group will be required to pay commercial or market rent, however in some cases there may be a hire charge to cover costs such as admin, cleaning, utilities etc. The majority of community groups currently pay to make use of or occupy council assets.
Community groups using the humanities building since 2017 have included:
- City Ipswich Toastmasters Club
- Sandra Armstrong ‘Crafting in the Country’
- Deaf Services
- Disability Community Awareness QDN
- Heart of the City Toastmasters
- Ipswich & West Moreton Beekeepers Association
- Ipswich 60s and Better
- Ipswich Stamp Club
- Ipswich Toastmasters Club
- Light House Chapel/Mustard Seed Chapel
- Limestone Toastmasters Group
- Morning Talkers Toastmasters Club
- U3A Line Dancing
- U3A Yoga
- Volunteering Services Australia