MOTOR RACING LOVER: Nicole Jonic and her entire family have enjoyed a passion for classic cars and motor racing for many years. She is pictured with the family 1971 Ford XY GT.
IPSWICH councillor Nicole Jonic has regularly brought her ability as a highly qualified accountant to the council table since she was elected in 2019.
She understands figures forwards and backwards and has been using her accounting insights to ask probing questions of council.
But it hasn’t just been about finances the first-time councillor is questioning.
Importantly Cr Jonic has also been asking what is happening at Ipswich’s number one tourist centre, the
Willowbank Motor Racing Precinct.
The previous council had grand plans for the area and spent thousands trying to make things happen.
Like other ventures the sacked council came up with, it turned out to be another major waste of council’s resources and funds.
What former mayor Paul Pisasale and team did rightly realise was that the Willowbank Precinct presented the city with a wonderful opportunity to bring thousands more visitors into the area on a regular basis.
They also knew that these extra people would provide a multi-million DOLLAR windfall for local businesses and that the potential Could only be realised if the current tenants and council worked together to make it all happen.
As a self-confessed motor-racing tragic Cr Jonic backed their vision if not their concepts.
Once she joined council, she started asking questions about the precinct and soon found out it had been put on the back-burner.
That’s why she pushed through a motion in council earlier this year to urgently form an action advisory group involving motor racing operators at Willowbank and council.
“The precinct is the biggest opportunity we have to go forward, there is no surf or great natural attractions here to attract people,” she said.
“At this moment we are seeing big investments made at the Willowbank Drag Racing centre and by new owner, Tony Quinn, at Queensland Raceway.
“We need to get behind them and become a partner in driving the precinct forward. The area has been neglected, and urgent work is needed, and council can do this without having to expend $200m as was proposed in the original concepts.”
The new working group held their first meeting just a few weeks ago to set out their ground rules and to
start thinking about priority projects.
Cr Jonic said the meeting was positive and that the precinct representatives appreciated council showing their new positive interest in the area.