31 July 2023

Mr NEUMANN (Blair) (16:44): Last week I organised a lunch in Ipswich with the Minister for Regional Development, Local Government and Territories, Kristy McBain, to meet with the mayor and councillors of the Somerset Regional Council and Ipswich City Council to talk about the urban precincts and thriving suburbs funding which this government is about to provide. The CEO of the Somerset region, Andrew Johnson, made it very clear that Somerset Regional Council would be apply for funding for a project up in Toogoolawah, and I commend that particular project they'll be undertaking.

Ipswich is also looking at work on the d'Arcy Doyle Place and the Ipswich Civic Centre, which originally was built when Gough Whitlam was the Prime Minister of Australia and Bill Hayden the member for Oxley, across Ipswich. He represented the area that I have the honour of representing now. Ipswich City Council is looking at an upgrade of the civic centre, and I will support that as I did previously with funding in relation to that area, but we need a whole-of-precinct look at Nicholas Street. I've been critical of the Ipswich City Council and the amount of money spent on a picture theatre there, but I support the council to make sure that the centre of Ipswich is everything it needs to be for the people of Ipswich. With a population of 240,000 and about 550,000 in the next few decades, the heart of the city needs to be upgraded, and I support the council in the upgrade of the civic centre.