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Further easing of restrictions welcome relief for Ipswich residents

Ipswich City Council has responded to the earlier easing of COVID-19 restrictions and increased the number of people having access to various facilities.

Stage 2 was scheduled to come into effect on 12 June. But the Queensland Government brought that forward to 1 June.

The Ipswich Civic Centre will take bookings for meeting spaces, now up to 20 people.

There will be no performances at this stage, apart from the current planned streamed performances.

Libraries at Ipswich Central, Springfield Central and Redbank Plaza reopened to 10 customers a fortnight ago, but that has been increased to 20 following Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk’s announcement on Sunday.

Available services include selecting items, borrowing items, collecting reserved items and returning items.

Ten people are allowed at Redbank Plains library and two at the Rosewood temporary library.

Similarly with public swimming pools at Bundamba, Leichhardt and Goodna, with the numbers now doubled from 10 to 20 swimmers with social distancing and associated measures remaining in place.

Council plans to open the camp ground at Hardings Paddock as soon as possible.

It is working on a COVIDSafe plan for the community facilities. It may be that the campsite opens only for self-sufficient camping for an initial period.

Community Centres have already resumed some normal services, including some play groups, health clinics, parenting advice, support groups, counselling and job support. Numbers have been increased from 10 to 20 people.

Fire Station 101, council’s innovation hub, is now open to up to 20 members and guests at any given time. New members can now join, and there is now member access outside of normal working hours.

The Ipswich Art Gallery will reopen on 12 June. This was planned for based on the government’s original restriction advice.

To comply with the government guidelines which limit attendance to 20 visitors at a time, visitors are required to pre-book one of the four 90-minute sessions each day.

The updated step-down approach to COVID-19 now allows unlimited travel and overnight stays for all of Queensland (including for school holidays).

It also allows dining in or seated drinks in restaurants, cafes, pubs, registered or licensed clubs, RSL Clubs, hotels and casinos (no gaming) – up to 20 patrons per room or per defined area (indoors or outdoors) for a venue when following a COVIDSafe industry plan.

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Pound to reopen

Animals are set to experience brighter, shinier holding pens when the Ipswich City pound reopens next Monday, 8 June.

Council and RSPCA staff have been renovating and cleaning the facility during its two months of closure due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Division 1 Councillor Jacob Madsen said it was unfortunate that the city had to close its pound for such a long period of time.

“But the silver lining is that we’ve been able to use the time and the space to raise the standard of the facility another notch,” Cr Madsen said.

“As an animal lover with two dogs myself, I want to see animal welfare treated with a high priority. I want us to be doing all we can to provide quality and humane conditions for all animals which come into our care until they can be either reunited with their families or adopted to new homes.”

The pound closed at the beginning of April and all impounded animals have been sent to the Wacol Animal Care Campus for temporary holding.

“It has been a trying time for both officers and residents, as a council’s pound is the backbone of effective animal management services in any city,” Cr Madsen said.

“During the past couple of months we’ve only been able to manage animals which posed an immediate safety risk or significant nuisance to the community.”

When the centre reopens, pre-Covid19 levels of service will resume, with the facility able to accept impounded animals and over the counter enquiries immediately.

“The ongoing understanding and support from residents who continued to leave donations, including blankets and food, for animals during the closure has been outstanding,” Cr Madsen said.

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