Council slashes fees to attract five-star hotels

IPSWICH could soon be home to a luxury five-star hotel if the Ipswich City Council's plans come to fruition.

The council yesterday announced a plan to attract five star hotels to build in the city by reducing development fees.

The proposal is set to encourage luxury accommodation, dining and convention space to Ipswich by providing a reduction in fees for the development, but only if the hotel is open within two years of approval being granted.

Planning and Development Committee chairman Cr Paul Tully said the council didn't have a preference for a location.

"We see a real need for this in the city," he said.

"We're not specifying where the hotel might be. It could be from the Springfield end of Ipswich to the CBD.

"Wherever it is, it will certainly service the needs of the city."

To qualify for the fee reduction the development must provide accommodation, dining and convention facilities.

"There is ample room for high quality hotel developments from Springfield right through to the Ipswich CBD," Cr Tully said.

"This decision is saying to the development community if you're looking for somewhere to realise your ambitions, here we are, we want to talk to you and we want to help you succeed."

He said the council was looking to build on recent businesses and government departments basing themselves out of Ipswich.

"With more major corporations choosing to base their operations in Ipswich and a growing local economy, it's the right time to actively pursue opportunities to develop the kind of hotels necessary to cater to travellers' needs," he said.

American giant GE recently announced plans to build its Queensland headquarters in Springfield as did the AFL's Brisbane Lions, while the state water authority Seqwater will be based out of the Icon Ipswich tower in the Ipswich CBD from next year.

Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale said the conditions on the reduced fees would ensure the facilities were built and applications weren't continually delayed.

"These conditions are a great move by planning," he said.

"We want to make sure these approvals are built and not delayed."

There are already a number of four and a half star hotels around Ipswich including the Metro International Hotel Ipswich and Quest Ipswich.

However, there are no five-star hotels across the district.

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