Premier's early Christmas present for Ipswich
A DECISION on the future of the Ipswich Police communications centre will be made before Christmas with Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk giving the clearest indication yet that it will stay put.
Sources have told the QT that an announcement by the Premier that the comms centre would remain in Ipswich was imminent, but that is yet to be officially confirmed.
Staff in Ipswich are wary of any false dawns until they hear it from the Premier herself.
The announcement by the Police Commissioner Ian Stewart that the comms centre was to be moved to Brisbane back in July met with outrage from staff, the Queensland Police Union, Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale and the state opposition.
The Premier stepped in and called for more consultation on the issue.
Ms Palaszczuk confirmed yesterday to 612 ABC Radio journalist Emma Griffiths that "I'm pleased to report that the consultation has almost finished, which is great news and we'll be able to make a decision on that very shortly".
"I've made it very clear, after meeting with the workers up there, it was very clear that the workers wanted to remain close to their home and not be transferred down to the city," she told the ABC.
"So we're in some final discussions, but I can see some light on the hill in relation to the Ipswich communications centre."
Ms Griffiths asked the Premier if that decision would be made before Christmas.
"Absolutely," Ms Palaszczuk said.
Cr Pisasale said the Premier had taken the lead on the issue of the police communications centre.
"It was fantastic that the Premier came to visit to see how the comms centre and Safe City work together and we have proved beyond doubt that the cameras are there to support the police," Cr Pisasale said.
"I am so confident that Annastacia Palaszczuk will make the right decision because she understands what is needed for Queensland and Ipswich.
"She understands the magnitude and success of what we have here.
"The police union sees it, I see it and the people of Ipswich see it . I just can't understand why the Commissioner doesn't see it."
Police Minister and Bundamba MP Jo-Ann Miller has been silent on the issue.
"But I expect our state member to fight for our city, fight for our comms centre and fight for our Safe City," Cr Pisasale said.
Opposition Leader Lawrence Springborg told the QT today that it was high time for a decision to be made to keep the centre in Ipswich.
He referred to the motion moved by the opposition months ago in parliament to keep the comms centre in Ipswich, due essentially to the reasons outlined by Cr Pisasale.