Five key community outcomes from the December Ipswich City Council meeting

Mud, mud, glorious mud

Mud World will return to Ipswich in 2019, with the date likely to be February rather than April.

The two-day children’s festival, hosted by Queensland Outdoor Recreation Federation (Nature Play Queensland) has free-range mud play activities.

It was a big success when it came to the city earlier this year.

More than 7,000 people are expected to attend over the two days, with many coming from Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and Toowoomba. This will be the third year it has run.

Ipswich City Council has agreed to provide $7,000 financial support for the popular Mud World event. The dates will be confirmed shortly.

Council to review City Heart Cabs program

Ipswich City Council will review the City Heart Cabs program, which has been providing a subsidised taxi service for some residents since 2011.

The program allows eligible members of the community to travel by taxi from their home to a local shopping centre for only $2 per person each way. About 50-70 people use the program.

Only certain suburbs have been involved and Riverlink Shopping Centre and Ipswich City Square are the only destination points in the program that are funded by council, costing about $15,000 per year.

A report from the Communities Committee recommended that if council wants to continue its financial support of subsidised travel, a significant review be conducted in the next financial year to explore the program’s purpose, benchmark against other Local Government Areas, consider equity of access, and to increase efficiency.

A report is due back in the new financial year and the program will continue in the meantime.

Flood-related data to be available                                        

Important data from Ipswich City Council flood study reports would be readily available to the community with the development of a new portal.

Council will investigate augmenting its website with the dedicated open data portal, which aligns to Smart City open data goals.

This portal would advance council’s responsibilities in making flood-related data more open to the community, which was a key recommendation from the Queensland Floods Commission of Inquiry.

Leg up for young ballet dancer

A young Ipswich ballet dancer has received a council grant after being offered a place in the Brisbane City Youth Ballet.

Lulu Reis, aged 9, has been dancing for 12 months and has performed in productions at The Powerhouse Theatre, Brisbane, Ipswich Civic Centre and local Eisteddfods.

Her mother Rebecca Reis said the placement is for 16 days of intensive ballet training, culminating in a stage appearance at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music. The Brisbane City Youth Ballet 2019 Season training will be held in January 2019.

Council approved the provision of a Young Performing Artist Bursary to Lulu Reis, care of Mrs Reis, in the amount of $500 towards costs associated with participating in the Brisbane City Youth Ballet training in January 2019.

Additional financial assistance for community organisations

Community organisations seeking additional assistance for events have been thrown a lifeline by Ipswich City Council.

The Community Grants and In Kind Assistance Program framework and policy was completely overhauled in June 2018. This resulted in the introduction of a new set of community grants, a new policy and a comprehensive applicant guidelines document for the program.

As part of the new guidelines, community organisations were ineligible to apply for more than one type of funding for the same event or initiative.

The intent of this exclusion was to ensure transparency of full funding for individual community projects.

Since the implementation of the new program, however, it has been identified that there may be unintended consequences of this clause that impact on community health and safety.

Council’s In Kind Assistance Program provides adequate numbers of bins and toilets at eligible community events to service the numbers of people forecast to attend the event.

Under the new grants framework, community organisations could not apply for In Kind support if they received any other funding from council for that event. It has now become evident that this could result in decisions being made to ‘cut costs’ in the form of bin and toilet hire, thereby placing the community at risk.

Council has now waived the clause from 30 October in order to mitigate community health and safety risks, and will amend the guidelines to resolve this issue.

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