Marking six months in office this week, Ipswich City Council has reiterated its commitment to make a difference for the Ipswich community.
This milestone follows the delivery of the Transparency and Integrity Hub; a budget with over $2 million in support for businesses and community organisations; and genuine engagement with the State Government on waste industry impacts during the first half-year of council’s term.
Mayor Teresa Harding said that this is an opportunity to take stock and that council’s focus remains squarely on delivering for the people of Ipswich now and into the future.
“We set out in March to bring a new era of transparency, integrity and good governance to the city of Ipswich, and we have taken a number of important steps towards that goal,” she said.
“That is what the people of Ipswich wanted, for the city to be recognised and known for all the right reasons.
“We have no intention of slowing the pace of delivery over the next few months into 2021 and what we all hope will be a rewarding year for all.”
Mayor Harding highlighted some of the key achievements a COVID-impacted six months in office, including:
- Delivering a $600 million budget that guides Ipswich through uncertain times
- Launching the Transparency and Integrity Hub, an Australian first for open government
- Moving forward on commercial waste industry impacts, by establishing two working groups for stakeholder input and gaining a commitment from the State Government to a joint waste management taskforce
- Launching significant advocacy campaigns for our region, including in our work with the Ipswich Leaders Alliance
- Commencing a community visioning process to involve residents in planning for the city’s future
- Developing infrastructure that will be commensurate with our population as it rapidly expands from today’s 230,000 to more than 530,000 by 2040
- Establishing the Creators of Ipswich Summit to provide input to council’s additional support for the city’s arts, cultural, creative and performance community members.
The council milestone also coincides with significant work going on across Ipswich.
“We are six months closer to the completion of the $250 million Ipswich Central redevelopment,” Mayor Harding said.
“One of the things you notice about the Ipswich skyline is the construction crane finishing off the nine-level Ipswich City Council administration building.
“It is a feature of the CBD redevelopment which will see a new Ipswich Central library, with the official opening in early December, civic plaza, retail and restaurant space, a completely rehabilitated Ipswich icon in the Commonwealth Hotel, water play area for children and outdoor entertainment platforms.
“There will be much to celebrate after our first year in office. You will see the beating heart of Ipswich alive and well. People are very positive about the CBD and really want this to happen and succeed.”
Mayor Harding thanked fellow councillors and council staff for all their hard work in this six-month period, which had been impacted from day one by the global coronavirus pandemic.
“We have all worked together to get our community through some challenging times and I am hopeful with some of the measures council has taken, we will get through this together and come out strong,” she said.