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Ipswich West is like Manhattan

A view of the Riverlink Shopping Centre in “vibrant” Ipswich West. Photo digitally enhanced
A view of the Riverlink Shopping Centre in “vibrant” Ipswich West. Photo digitally enhanced

THINK North Ipswich, Brassall and Fernvale are sleepy suburbs and towns? Ipswich West MP Sean Choat doesn't.

The newly elected LNP representative compared his electorate to the New York borough of Manhattan Island in his inaugural speech to State Parliament.

"I like to think that in some ways Ipswich West is like Manhattan Island - it is bustling, vibrant and surrounded by water," Mr Choat said in parliament.

Mr Choat told The Queensland Times he believed the region deserved the same respect and attention as New York.

"It's just as important as somewhere like that (Manhattan)," he said.

"We're a burgeoning area with a lot of growth and we are the ones who feel the growing pains of the state."

While the comment received a number of laughs from his parliamentary colleagues, Mr Choat said Ipswich was an increasingly diverse region with a huge potential.

"There are few electorates that can boast such business diversity," he said.

"The proximity of the major centres of Brisbane and Ipswich provide great opportunities.

"However, the lack of quality roads infrastructure is a constant challenge for residents and I look forward to working as part of a government that will deliver the roads and bridges we need so badly."

Mr Choat also said the Ipswich CBD would soon be transformed from "the tired old Ipswich CBD into a vibrant commercial hub, providing thousands of local jobs and a large regional centre for business, retail, leisure and culture".

This is despite his electorate not encompassing any areas south of the Bremer in Ipswich.

Mr Choat said crime was an increasing concern for his region and he would fight for further policing.

"The situation is getting out of control," he said in parliament.

"I also say to those who think they can run amok on our streets destroying property and creating fear-look out! Our new government is coming for you.

"There is not one 24-hour police station in the entire Ipswich West electorate and that has to change."

Mr Choat told the QT yesterday Lowood was a prime location for a large station to police the west of the area while more staff were needed in stations in Rosewood and Marburg.

"Lowood would be the obvious location," he said.

"It's about police being in the area more often.

"I'm certainly going to talk to (police) minister Dempsey about this."

The father of three managed to maintain his composure throughout his maiden speech until he paid an emotional tribute to his wife.

Mr Choat's voice began to waver as he described how blessed he was to have wife, Nicola, in his life.

Topics:  inaugural speech, manhattan, new york, parliament, sean choat


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