Ipswich City Council has appointed a new committee to oversee the final stages of the $250 million Nicholas St-CBD redevelopment.
The Ipswich Central Redevelopment Committee will be chaired by Deputy Mayor Marnie Doyle and also include Mayor Teresa Harding and Councillors Nicole Jonic, Kate Kunzelmann and Russell Milligan.
The General Purposes Committee, in its first meeting held last week, considered two options: a standing committee made up of councillors or an advisory panel consisting of councillors and council employees, with CEO David Farmer delegated to make final decisions.
The project was previously governed by a Project Steering Committee consisting of Mr Farmer, interim administrator Steve Greenwood (and Greg Chemello before him) and the General Manager of Corporate Services.
The committee went with option one, which was endorsed by council today.
In a report to council, Mr Farmer said it was recommended that council establish a standing committee to provide effective and transparent governance over the Ipswich Central Redevelopment Project.
“This will ensure that council and the community have visibility over the project as it progresses to ensure that the project achieves its stated objective of creating a thriving and activated Ipswich Central,” the report said.
It is proposed that the standing committee commence at the conclusion of the General Purposes Committee and that the committee meetings be live-streamed for the community.
“It is important that council establish effective and transparent governance of the Ipswich Central Redevelopment Project and it is recommended that council establish a standing committee tasked with the governance of this significant project to achieve this,” the report said.
Included in the committee’s terms of reference is to provide the governance structure and strategic direction for the planning and delivery of the $250 million redevelopment.
And the committee must “manage the project within the approved budget constraints and ensure the strategic objectives of council are delivered” and “ensure appropriate reporting and reviews are in place to provide confidence and transparency in the project’s delivery and future operational success and identify and manage strategic program risks”.
Mayor Harding said at the council meeting today the community wanted to see the progress of the CBD development and have access to documents related to it. She said the standing committee would ensure matters were open and transparent and enable the community to participate in consultation.
The committee’s new chair, Cr Doyle said community consultation was important and key to the success of the development. She said it would also bring enormous employment opportunities throughout Ipswich.
The new library has almost been completed, the civic space is well advanced and the council administration building is on track and on budget for a July 2021 opening.