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New innovative Ipswich digital hub gets thumbs up



THE INNOVATIVE Ipswich digital hub and the city’s broad digital policy have received praise on the national stage from NBN Co chief Bill Morrow.
UP AND UP: Cr Andrew Antoniolli, Mayor Paul Pisasale and Cr Paul Tully are pictured at the old fire station in Limestone St which will be the site of a state-of-the-art digital

Mr Morrow, speaking to the prestigious National Press Club luncheon in Canberra, said Ipswich was well positioned to embrace technological advancement and was one of the “great examples of whole communities adopting a new mindset after connection to the NBN network”.

“Ipswich in Queensland is a historic town, with a proud tradition in mining dating back to the 1800s,” Mr Morrow said in his speech.

“The community, about an hour from Brisbane, has embraced their connection to the NBN network.

“The town has a broad digital policy and a number of successful high tech companies competing in global markets.

“The local council is now in the process of converting the old fire station into a start-up incubator to see more local ideas turn into world leaders.

“The town’s digital inclusion policy and creativity led to it being named among the top seven Intelligent Communities of 2015 across the globe.”

Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale welcomed the praise and said the council was not resting on its laurels.

The QT previously reported the council’s plans to construct a digital hub in the old fire station building in Limestone St.

The building is owned by Ipswich City Development Enterprises (ICDE) and its fit-out and the subsequent installation of digital start-up businesses will be at no cost to the Ipswich ratepayer.

The digital incubator was initially going to be known as ‘1860’ – the same year Ipswich became a municipality – but Cr Pisasale said it would now be known as ‘Fire Station 101’.

Fire Station 101 will replicate what Chicago’s entrepreneurial hub for 250 digital start-ups has done in a facility known as ‘1871’.

“The digital hub will recognise the entrepreneurs in our city and support small business with understanding the NBN and making their businesses stronger,” Cr Pisasale said.

“It is about helping business grow and mentoring people so that we are keeping ahead of where technology is going and keeping ahead of where the jobs are going.

“The digital hub and the digital economy are all about the future for our kids. This is all about the next economy, and the digital economy is about us.

“Ipswich is going to get there before anyone else and it is great to get national recognition like this in Canberra at the National Press Club.”

Cr Pisasale said the revised name of ‘Fire Station 101’ made sense.

“We changed the name because everyone keeps calling it ‘the fire station’ and its address is 101 Limestone St,” he said.

“And when you are doing a basic course in anything, what is it called? 101.

“So it has already been determined that the digital hub will be known as ‘Fire Station 101’ and when it is ready it will be recognised all around the world.”

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21 buildings Ipswich owners can’t touch without permission




TWENTY-ONE Ipswich homes and buildings have been designated as character places by Ipswich City Council.

The list includes historic homes, pubs such as the Kerwick Hotel and Strand Hotel along with churches, schools and even the Goodna Police residence.

Ipswich planning boss Cr Andrew Antoniolli has outlined to the QT what the new listings will mean for the owners of the buildings now character listed.

“It now means that they are subject to the provisions of the planning scheme as a character place,” he said.

“If they wish to make any alterations they need to come to us and we offer them the assistance of a heritage advisor to help them with those alterations.

“That service is free and it will assist them to ensure the character fabric of the property is maintained so that we don’t see a hodgepodge response.”


Cr Antoniolli said the council was “there to help, not hinder” owners to work their way through what could be done.

“And there are a lot of things that can be done,” he said.

“Ipswich has championed the adaptive re-use of many heritage, historic and character buildings.

“A lot of historic buildings in Ipswich have been converted into commercial space, particularly in the inner-CBD area.

“Adaptive re-use is a positive. Some people might see having a heritage home as not being beneficial, but it might be as an adaptively reusable commercial property.”

For those who just have a home not suited to such a re-use there is still the opportunity to do extensions.

“Those extensions will need to reflect the character of the building,” Cr Antoniolli said.

“There is a similarity between the term character and heritage but we have gone with the term character because it has a broader application.

“The heritage consultative committee brought up the proposal of looking at post-war homes and buildings.

“We decided to focus on the 1945 to 1955 period and during that time we also looked at a number of properties which we thought were post-war but we discovered were pre-war.

“Hence the reason we have 12 buildings pre-1946 and nine post-war homes included in the character places of our planning scheme, schedule two.”



Cr Antoniolli said as time passed, more regard would be given to post-war buildings.

“The post-war period did not see a proliferation of homes and a lot of those built were modest,” he said.

“However, there were some homes that were quite significant in their street appeal and the style and design of some homes at the time was quite innovative.”

Gazing through the list of 21 buildings now character listed, Cr Antoniolli noted the McQueen House at Flinders View which he said was “a very innovative design by an international architect”.

“Duce House and pergola on Brisbane Rd has significant street appeal and is a beautiful home from that post-war era,” he said.

Buildings to be included in schedule 2 – Character places


  • Blair State School – Blocks B, C and D.
  • Brassall State School – Blocks A, B and C.
  • Dinmore Murri Baptist Church
  • Goodna Neighbourhood House
  • Goodna Police Residence
  • Hebron Gospel Hall
  • Kerwick Hotel
  • Raceview Congregational Church
  • Salvation Army Citadel
  • Former St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church
  • St Joseph’s Primary School Fence
  • Strand Hotel

MID-20TH Century

  • Doyle House
  • Duce House and Pergola
  • Ipswich Kindergarten
  • Jordan Village Pensioners’ cottages
  • Lutvey’s Shop
  • McQueen House
  • Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal Church
  • Rhondda Office and Carport
  • St John’s Lutheran Church


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Local News

Firm Focus: Ipswich lads will take up where RT Edwards left off




DANIEL Mantell and Tristan Devantier finished work with RT Edwards Electrical Contracting Division last Thursday.

It was the last day of trading for this well-known Ipswich trading name.

As of today it commences trading as TriDan Electrical Contractors, as the two proud local boys take ownership of the enterprise.

Daniel and Tristan both commenced their electrical apprenticeship with RT Edwards & Sons after completing Year 12.

“I started in 1995 and Daniel joined us in 2003,” Mr Devantier said.

“We were both given a great opportunity. I still remember when Tom (Tom Edwards, former managing director) gave me a call to tell me I was successful.”

The story of Daniel and Tristan is a 2016 version of how it all began for RT Edwards with Roy Edwards riding his bike to the then-new Amberley RAAF Base to carry out electrical work, before starting his own business in 1931.

They served their apprenticeships and have grown with the business into management roles.

“The timing for us was right to make the move, our own history and skill development, being born and bred in Ipswich, we are both associated with sporting and other community organisations, we are ready for the challenge,” Mr Devantier said.

Both men have a deep sense of the history of RT Edwards & Sons and paid tribute to Tom Edwards and to the current owners.

“I was the project manager and Tristan was the contracting manager,” Mr Mantell said.

“We had very good training and we are both so happy with the support we have had over this move. Everyone have been so good to us.”

TriDan has moved from the East St office to Shed 3 at 31 Briggs Road, which is owned by Tom Edwards.

The new office maintains the same phone number and all of the existing staff.

TriDan Electrical Contractors will continue to look after their loyal clients and offer the same services to the domestic and commercial clients covering all types of electrical work, air conditioning and also data and communication.

“We offer all leading brands of air conditioners and we cover sales, service and installation,” Mr Mantell said.

“We have just come off working at the 88 Limestone Street project, the former TAFE buildings, working at a nursing home, servicing local hospitals, we have a diverse client base and we have a team who bring a wealth of experience.”

The data and communication part of the business is a growth area.

“We have just installed a number of data projectors for a school,” Mr Devantier said.

“Students all have laptops now so technology is a big part of education. We do have a strong association with three local schools and carry out this work for a number of our commercial clients.

“Tom Edwards was a great mentor to both of us.

“His personal touch and care for his clients as well as being a very loyal man gave us a great opportunity starting out and we want to ensure that we honour the business approach and bring that into our own business.”

Both Daniel and Tristan are enthusiastic and have a clear vision for what they want to achieve.

They agree that this is a time to step up into their new role, to keep their feet on the ground and value their clients.

“It has been a well respected business and we bring all that was great about the former into TriDan Electrical Contractors. It is a new era and we are excited about the future,” Mr Mantell said.


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Local News

Ipswich population growth tops state



IPSWICH has the fastest growing population in south-east Queensland according to the latest Queensland Treasury population report.

The Population Growth Highlights and Trends report shows that in the 10 years to June 2013, the fastest average annual growth occurred in Ipswich (3.6%), followed by Moreton Bay (3.1%) and Gold Coast (2.7%).

In 2012-13, Somerset had the fastest population growth (3.2%), followed by Lockyer Valley (3.1%) and Ipswich (3%).

In terms of the size of the population increase, the largest growth in 2012-13 was at the Gold Coast, increasing by 11,180 people, followed by Ipswich increasing by 9100 and Logan-Beaudesert by 6870.

In the 10 years to June 2013, Gold Coast also had the largest population growth, increasing by an average of 12,960 people a year, followed by Ipswich at 8110 and the Sunshine Coast at 6950.

The report also confirms Ipswich has the lowest percentage of seniors and the highest percentage of youth.


In south-east Queensland, the proportion of the population aged 0 to 14 years ranged from a high of 23.6% in Ipswich to a low of 17.5% in Brisbane.

The proportion of the population aged 65 years and over through south-east Queensland ranged from a high of 20.8% in Noosa to a low of 10% in Ipswich.

Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale said the city’s demographics were going through an encouraging change.

“Our average age is 32 and the state average is 36,” Cr Pisasale said.

“That means our kids are coming home and are proud to say they live in Ipswich.

“They’re getting jobs here.”


  • Annual growth in past decade – 3.6%
  • 2012-13 – 9100 population increase (3%)
  • 23.6% aged under 15
  • 10% aged 65 and over
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