30 May 2023
The concept design for the reconstruction of flood-damaged Colleges Crossing Recreation Reserve in Chuwar has been met with strong community support and will now progress to final design.
Ipswich Mayor Teresa Harding said recent community engagement on the proposed concept design had been well received by residents, garnering 80.43 per cent of responses in favour of a more natural Colleges Crossing.
“More than 600 residents completed our online survey on the future of this beloved recreation reserve on the banks of the Brisbane River, and a further 200 interactions were recorded at council’s six community pop-up sessions,” Mayor Harding said.
“The overwhelming response was that Ipswich residents agreed with council’s proposal to return Colleges Crossing to a simpler design with fewer permanent structures that could be damaged by any future floods.
“Council’s more sustainable, flood-friendly design suggests food trucks instead of a permanent café, more open grassy spaces for recreation and picnicking with family and friends, and fewer permanent structures.
“This strong community support will allow council to proceed with final design work.”
Environment and Sustainability Committee Chair and Division 4 Councillor Deputy Mayor Russell Milligan said the full community consultation report would be publicly available on the Shape Your Ipswich website.
“It was incredibly pleasing to see such a strong response from the community on the future of this popular reserve,” Cr Milligan said.
“Council can now proceed with confidence on Colleges Crossing’s redesign, while residents can continue to enjoy a small section of the grassy space that is currently open for recreation.
“During our survey, council sought specific feedback from residents who identified as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander, to help us understand cultural practices and identity with the site.
“These results identified themes around how council can best facilitate the continuation of cultural practices and maintain cultural connections with preserving the natural state, and options for Indigenous music or art.”
Division 4 Councillor Kate Kunzelmann said a “like-for-like” replacement of services and amenities at Colleges Crossing was not sustainable.
“Residents told us that Colleges Crossing was a great place for catching up with friends and family for picnics, birthdays and other celebrations, going fishing, and exercising,” Cr Kunzelmann said.
“A proposal to introduce food trucks was particularly popular as was a proposal to create a more natural river entry point.”
The final design for the new-look Colleges Crossing will now be progressed and will be released to the public in the future ahead of construction.
Residents can follow the project’s progress at Shape Your Ipswich.