Mayor Teresa Harding, Ipswich MPs Jen Howard and Lance McCallum, West Moreton Health CEO, Dr Kerrie Freeman and Board Chair Michael Willis outside the council buildings purchased by West Moreton Health (Photo: Ipswich First)
Ipswich City Council has sold four of its buildings and other land to West Moreton Health for $20.65 million in a move that Mayor Teresa Harding says is set to “future proof” the city.
She said a crucial step in the redevelopment of Ipswich Central – the sale of the South Street buildings and other properties – paved the way for a dedicated health precinct in Ipswich that would help keep pace with the region’s booming population.
“I would like to thank the State Government and West Moreton Health for working closely with council on the sale,” Mayor Harding said.
“The increased Queensland Health presence in the city centre will bring more jobs, growth and investment. It will bring people to the CBD and bring life back to the shops and business community.
“We are delighted to see this finally come to fruition and look forward to our own move from various buildings to one central location in the Nicholas Street Precinct.”
Mayor Harding said the opening of the new Ipswich Central Library and the sprawling civic space and public areas in late 2020, plus the rebuild of shops, cafes and restaurants would create “a beating heart in the CBD”.
“The final construction stages of the precinct are the culmination of much hard work by council and we are all excited to see the finished product and its impact on Ipswich, the community, businesses and residents,” she said.
“We are also hopeful it will attract more health professionals and industry sectors to the city.”
The properties will be handed over to West Moreton Health in September 2021.
The South Street buildings are the WG Hayden Humanities Centre, the Hayden Centre and the Ipswich Global Information Centre, which currently houses the Interim Children’s Library and the Administration Building. Other property is at 3 Foote Lane and 82 Limestone Street.
West Moreton Health will determine the future use of the buildings after the Palaszczuk Government provided $2million for the development of a business case to be finalised in 2021 for facilities and services to cater for a doubling of the West Moreton population to 587,000 by 2036.