Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

Council Snaps Up Former Castle

Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

Council Snaps Up Former Castle

Article excerpt

Byline: Hannah Busch

THE final days of 2014 came with relief from a protracted drought, potential new tourist attractions for Ipswich and more developments ahead of the 2015 state election.

A pleasant view

A FORMER castle built by 'coal king' Lewis Thomas in 1889 will be opened to the public after Ipswich City Council snapped up five parcels of land for the bargain price of $1.

The castle, dubbed Brynhyfryd - Welsh for pleasant view - is not the quite the bargain it looks however.

It was condemned thanks to mining and explosions that compromised the structure of the three-storey mansion.

There are still small sinkholes on site thanks to fires burning in shallow mine workings.

The council has appointed a masterplan committee to decide the future of the site and the adjoining land parcels.

Members of the public also welcomed the news on December 3 that a former Second World War training ground at Redbank would be opened to the public.

The Redbank Rifle Range stretches across 200 ha of bushland and the council was appointed a trustee of the site by the State Government.

And on December 19, the council-owned corporation Ipswich City Development Enterprise took control of the former Ipswich Fire Station on Limestone St.

The station was decommissioned and was sold to ICDE for $1.4 million.

"It was an opportunity that we couldn't give up because some of these locations in the heart of the city are strategic to the future growth of the Ipswich CBD," ICDE chairman paul Tully said.

Ambulance trial

IPSWICH paramedics became the first in the state to be equipped with new defibrillators under a $27 million program.

The machines are capable of relaying patient information from the ambulance to hospital staff before the patient arrives.

Paramedics hosted a training session on the new machines on December 3.

QAS deputy commissioner David Eeles said Ipswich was chosen as the trial site for the Corpulse3 units because of the diverse work between city and country stations.

"It's a really good testing ground," he said.

Election poll

POLL results released in early December gave some hint to what Ipswich is thinking ahead of the 2015 state election.

A ReachTEL poll published in the QT on December 3 showed Labor ahead of the ruling LNP party at 51-49 on a two-party preferred vote.

Bundamba MP Jo-Ann Miller, one of only nine Labor MPs in the state, said the party was still an underdog despite the poll results.

One of Queensland's leading political analysts predicted the seats of Ipswich West and Ipswich would return to Labor in 2015.

The LNP's Ipswich West MP Ian Berry said he was always going to be fighting uphill in the traditionally-Labor seat.

"We know quite clearly from the last election that it wasn't so much my winning but Labor losing because of the sale of QR National," he said. …

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