Business

'We want life back in the mall'

GET IT RIGHT: Ipswich City Mall Newsagents owner Pauline Williamson wants to see the redevelopment of Ipswich City Square succeed.
GET IT RIGHT: Ipswich City Mall Newsagents owner Pauline Williamson wants to see the redevelopment of Ipswich City Square succeed. Rob Williams

PAULINE Williamson admits she will be dancing with joy when she sees work start on the $150 million Ipswich City Square redevelopment.

Ms Williamson has owned Ipswich City Mall Newsagents for two years and is one of many Ipswich Mall business owners getting ready for D-day, when works start in the second half of this year.

But as she waits for that day she admits to a mixture of optimism and trepidation.

"I'll be so happy when I see that shovel go in the ground," Ms Williamson said.

"I will be dancing in the window.

"The sooner the better as far as I am concerned.

"The community wants it fixed up. They want to see it back to life. They say all the time 'it used to be a hive of activity and now look at it'.

"Now they have got it in their heads that the whole place is being demolished, but I try and get through to them that it will be done in sections."

Ms Williamson likes several aspects of the council's plan.

She said moving the library to the CBD was "a major plus" and would increase foot traffic.

"It will be better for older people too because it is a bit of a trek up the hill (to the current location)," she said.

While she welcomed the plan to have cafes and restaurants in the precinct, which she said would "breathe life" into the mall, she said the right mix of businesses was vital.

"Losing Woolworths was a major blow because it was so handy for people," she said.

Workers at knock-off time and people who use public transport would get what they needed and circulate in her business and buy magazines or a Lotto ticket.

"So I still think we need some department stores or maybe a supermarket," she said.

"Not everyone wants to go to Riverlink."

When the work starts, all Ms Williamson wants is for it to be done strategically so it does not impact businesses unduly.

"Hopefully they don't block us in too much.

"They tell me that what we will lose in footpath traffic we will pick up with tradesmen, but I don't know about that.

"If they can complete one end first and progressively work their way through that will really help."

One shining point that came through talking to Ms Williamson was that she wanted the redevelopment to work.

She knows there will be some short-term pain.

The QT spent time in the newsagency yesterday morning and Ms Williamson's customers were all salt of the earth Ipswich people.

She has experienced tragedy on a personal level and hardships with her business, but she has no intention of moving.

"It is either do or die. I'm damned if I do and damned if I don't," she said.

"My husband bought this business and had multiple strokes three days into it, so I had to learn in a big hurry how to run it.

"So it has been a bit of a trial from day one."

"But most of my customers are absolutely wonderful - good community minded people.

"I had a tragedy last year when I lost my son and all these people who were strangers to me two years ago were coming in giving me hugs and kisses and all sorts of things.

"It has restored my faith in human nature. At the end of the day I am saying that I don't want to leave here.

"I don't want to move. I love Ipswich and I love the CBD and the old aspects of it, with its charm and character.

"This place can be revived. They just need to put something into it and bring the CBD back to its former glory."

Topics:  ipswich ipswich city square ipswich mall redevelopment pauline williamson



New Men's Shed blessed by Governor General Cosgrove

Governor General of Australia Sir Peter Cosgrove officially opens the Hervey Bay Men's Shed at Nikenbah. Antony Van Huyssen, 9, was presented with a Commander of Australia Medallion by the Governor-General.

Governor General Sir Peter Cosgrove opened the Men's Shed.

Hey Fraser Coast! Get 15 kids books with the paper!

No Caption

THEY’RE some of the most loved children’s books in Australia…

Week in review: Five biggest stories of the week

President of Hervey Bay Historical Village & Museum John Anderson near the fence where a glove was left caught in the barbwire following a break-in on Wednesday night.

We also had a heartbreaking story for our volunteers.

Local Partners

Zumba for kids to start this month in Hervey Bay

Mother-of-three and dance instructor Peta Whitney knows the cost of raising a family and wants to help Hervey Bay families keep active on a budget.


Working class? Man, Gympie's got the show for you

Jimmy Barnes

Aussie rock icons coming to Gympie for 150th celebrations.

Tables turn as rescue crew takes on gruelling mountain

EPIC CHALLENGE: Hundreds of runners will tackle the 4.2km run from the heart of Pomona to the top of Mt Cooroora and back on Sunday.

They are usually the people coming to the rescue of adventurers

Artists to hit the stage for Childers Festival

LIVE LINE-UP: Mzaza will hit the stage at the Childers Festival next weekend, along with many other cultural performers.

Array of cultural performances on show next weekend

Maggie's whirlwind trip around Japan

Cooking icon serves up the best of Japanese cuisine and shows you how to make it at home in her new TV special.

Exploring our complex relationship with the Southern Cross

Warwick Thornton in a scene from his documentary film We Don't Need A Map.

Filmmaker Warwick Thornton explores national identity, nationalism.

Ben will be cooking with Oma

Masterchef 2017 contestant Ben Ungermann.

MASTERCHEF'S last man standing will draw on his Dutch heritage.

Prince Charles and Camilla heading for Qld

Prince Charles and Camilla

It promises to be a holiday fit for a King

Eddie McGuire to come back as Footy Show co-host

Eddie McGuire at the Million Dollar Lunch annual fundraiser for the Children's Cancer Foundation in Melbourne, Friday, Aug. 6, 2015. (AAP Image/Tracey Nearmy) NO ARCHIVING

Footy Show axes Craig Hutchison, Sam Newman survives

Channing Tatum’s cheeky $2400 sex toy prank

Channing Tatum in a scene from "Kingsman: The Golden Circle".

Channing Tatum went all out with his prank this time

Still downloading Game of Thrones? Expect a letter

You mean to tell me HBO want to protect one of the world’s most popular shows?

HBO title holds record as most illegally downloaded show

Owner tells of ghostly goings on at old Mackay pub

GHOST STORIES: Several people have died at the Mirani Hotel

Owner says pub is 'definitely haunted'

Developers 'pushing the envelope' with subdivisions

Darren Boettcher.

"When I said the block couldn't be subdivided, he just walked out"

'We don't want taken away': Death of big block lifestyle

BACKYARD BATTLE: Residents on Laloki St, Camira are desperately fighting to stop a subdivision and construction of a duplex going ahead in their street.

Wide open spaces could be thing of the past