Mayor’s column | Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce monthly newsletter
It’s a wonderful time of year and I’m excited that council is once again helping to deliver a fantastic Christmas in Ipswich program in the great Springfield area. A major highlight will be the Springfield ‘Night of Light’ Carols on Saturday 9 December at Robelle Domain Parklands in Springfield Central. With fun for adults and children alike, this event is sure to brighten up your Christmas. The festivities continue at Orion Springfield Central, with Sensitive Santa photos on 10, 12 and 13 December, the Christmas Twilight Markets on Friday, 22 December and a performance of the Nutcracker on Saturday, 23 December. There’s also plenty more happening in surrounding areas and across the city, with all the details at ChristmasInIpswich.com.au
Action to attract more hotels for Ipswich
Council has some exciting new initiatives to attract more hotel and short-term accommodation developments in Ipswich. Under our Hotel and Short Term Accommodation Action Plan, we will be introducing a dedicated concierge service, free pre-lodgement meetings, expedited development assessment timeframes for hotel proposals and reduced infrastructure charges. These policies will make sure we can take full advantage of the Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games and the current growth of tourists coming to our city. Ipswich currently has five branded and one full-service hotel, so we’ll be hoping to boost that. Ipswich’s economy is growing rapidly, recently ticking over $12 billion for the first time and council must find ways to attract and support more industry.
Libraries more popular than ever
The Springfield Central Library first opened in 2018 and its popularity has increased steadily since then. In fact, Ipswich’s libraries are as popular as ever, with our dedicated employees providing the great service we all love and experience every day. Ipswich’s libraries are also state-of-the-art and they are such a great community resource, so it’s no surprise to see visitation numbers more than doubling in the past year. This year’s Ipswich Libraries Survey Report for 2022-2023 has reflected the community’s strong support for the city’s six library branches and library pod in Karalee. Residents routinely tell me how much they love their libraries and we are all proud of our great libraries. Interestingly, the most common suggestion for improvement was for longer opening hours on evenings and weekends. Council will continue to improve our libraries with more options for residents to enjoy.
Legal action underway to Stop the Stink
After strong advocacy from council and the community regarding the current waste odour issues impacting suburbs around Swanbank, the State’s Department of Environment and Science (DES) has filed a restraint order application in the Planning and Environment Court seeking to halt odour-producing aspects of NuGrow’s operations. In particular, DES seeks interim orders to limit certain aspects of the operation, including receiving highly odorous waste, that have a high potential to generate odour and impact the community. We know this current odour has had a significant impact on Greater Springfield and surrounding suburbs. This is a good start to address the immediate impacts as council continues to advocate for a long-term solution through legislation to compel all operators to enclose their composting operations.