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Ipswich: The year that was 2019

A council without councillors, progress on Nicholas St ... see how the city progressed in a month by month recollection of events.

January

Supermarkets entered the fast lane to start the year, with Costco anticipating its opening, and Coles revealed it would be setting up a distribution centre in Ipswich territory.

Healthwise, the year started as it ended – with a measles alert.

There were plenty of road projects included in a Southeast Queensland “People Mass Movement Study”, including multiple upgrades to the Centenary Motorway.

But the biggest project on anyone’s lips seemed to be how the Nicholas St redevelopment would unfold. Those with a sweet tooth were excited by the return of Dominiques Cafe to the mall. A bigger announcement was that a new library had been approved for the CBD.

February

The city escaped the worst of Tropical Cyclone Oma as she prowled along the coast.

There was some news in the dining world. As some mourned the upcoming loss of Sizzler, others welcomed a new cafe to Limestone St.

About 50 abandoned vehicles went under the hammer, as they occasionally do. There was a new treehouse-themed playground. And Small Creek, known to many as little more than a concrete drain, was given a lauded makeover.

March

Ipswich City Council released detail of a report into the total costs of Ipswich City Properties, the company set up to redevelop the CBD mall. It wasn’t pretty – a $78 million net loss.

That said, there was new vision of what Nicholas St would now look like under a revised, council-managed plan.

Costco still hadn’t opened its supermarket, but sought permission to open its service station.

Laundry angels helped out CMC Rocks guests, a restaurant helped out singles, and we learned what a valuation rise meant for Ipswich.

April

The much-anticipated opening of Costco was confirmed, and with it special deals for Ipswich residents.

Plans for Yamanto Central Shopping Centre were put on the table, a childcare centre was approved for the old Masters site at Springfield Central, and a new playground at Orion was taking shape.

And while in shopping centre mode, plans were announced to build a new one at Raceview.

We also met a couple of publicans who had similar skin in the pub game at Harrisville.

May

Our wish for ten pin bowling came with a side of arcade games, expansion plans would give Springfield residents new dining options, and we met a guy who makes monster shakes and, as he coins them, “epic burgers”.

Devotees continued to flock to Costco – Ipswich’s newest tourist attraction.

And in the centre of town, the owners of the Old Flour Mill were presented with a sign, a very old sign.

June

Ipswich’s own, Ash Barty, claimed her first grand slam title. While most watched from the comfort of their homes in the wee hours of the morning, some ventured out to the Barty Party at the North Ipswich Reserve Corporate Centre. For the trivia buffs, she beat Marketa Vondrousova in the final at Roland Garos.

Ash became World Number 1 later in the month after a win in Birmingham. She remains the top-ranked women’s player.

We all dream about it. But an Ipswich mum got to experience what it’s like to win $40 million in the Lotto.

An Ipswich City Council strategy broke the city into 30 areas, and provided people with the first look at how each of those areas might be developed into the future.

The Ipswich City Council budget was handed down, rates rose by less than the previous year, and a record $140 million contract was awarded to Hutchinson Builders to construct a new council building, a new library building and a civic plaza at the end of Nicholas St – all part of what would become a $250 million facelift for the Nicholas St precinct.

July

A mega highway service centre was given the nod. It would cover 25 acres and have a service station, fast food outlets, hotel and truck depot.

Not to be left behind as new shopping centres pop up, St Ives Shopping Centre announced a multi-million-dollar refurbishment.

The design of a Springfield Central Park and Ride facility was revealed, there were big plans for a retirement living and aged care facility at Redbank Plains, and a rare bird was spotted in a most unlikely environment.

In the land of local politics, new electoral divisions for the March 2020 local government elections were released – confirming that we’d be electing a mayor and eight councillors across four newly-drawn divisions.

August

Sizzler’s days might have been numbered, but Charlton’s Fishing stepped up their game after council approved a new shop, service station and fast food outlet at Redbank.

Roadworks at Marsden Parade got underway with the aim of easing traffic congestion.

A special meeting of Ipswich City Council ensured the Brisbane Lions stadium at Springfield would go ahead.

We had a look at what inland rail means for Ipswich, how a new commercial tower would be built, and spoke to the fire chief who was on duty when Reid’s Department Store was gutted in an inferno 34 years ago.

September

The mum who won $40 million in June was topped by a grandmum who won $50 million in Powerball. Ipswich, it would seem, is a lucky place!

A new commercial hub promised more jobs for Ipswich, the new playground at Orion officially opened, and a new craze – Footgolf – came to Goodna.

Desert Willow Golf Resort in Palm Desert, Ca., on November 6, 2016. Photo by Rodrigo Pena. Image: WikiMedia

Ipswich City Council launched its kerbside collection program, and more abandoned cars went under the hammer.

October

A story attracted more attention than we expected – a new fruit shop opened, with a twist. About 20,000 people read about it.

New sports facilities at Springfield were set to bring a huge boost to Ipswich sporting clubs, a ground-breaking library pod opened at Karalee, and roadworks began on a $1.8 million upgrade to the intersection of Salisbury Road and Briggs Road.

Springfield Central sporting complex opens to the public, with some additional work to be completed

In animal news, Queensland’s largest llama farm opened to the public, and untrained air force dogs were seeking loving homes.

The super hornets were in town and attracting plenty of attention.

November

Conditions throughout the state were dry, hot and windy, prompting emergency service chiefs to declare a state of fire emergency. Ipswich escaped the worst of it.

Construction began on Yamanto Central, and the green light was given for an old station master’s residence at Bundamba to become a small shopping centre.

Those who illegally parked their cars near Springfield Central train station were given a final warning to either do the right thing, or be booked.

Fines will be handed out from 2 December at Springfield Central train station

And as the year began, there were new measles alerts.

December

Fires again topped the headlines, this time more than 300 households forced to evacuate their homes in the Bundamba and North Booval areas on December 7. The showgrounds was opened as a refuge. The exclusion zone was revoked shortly after dusk.

Christmas Wonderland, in its second year, doubled the number of lights which led to 27,000 people wandering through the gates to admire the spectacular.

Paving was completed at the Brisbane St end of Nicholas St, which meant fences were able to come down in the mall. This brought some relief to shopkeepers.

We had some very hot days, Taco Bell opened, there were more measles alerts, and people rushed around the city in search of Santa in another first for Ipswich.

Thank you to all readers of Ipswich First

One Comment

  1. I would be interested in any news on the rail link between Springfield/Redbank Plains/Ripley/Ipswich. This would be of great benefit to the area and needs to happen sooner rather than later in my mind. Your thoughts?

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