THE facts and figures have confirmed what we have suspected for quite a while – that Ipswich is growing at a rate of knots (see today’s story on pages 1 and 2).

It must come as a great morale boost for proud Ipswich residents to hear from those who have decided to settle here from far afield.

Of course, Ipswich has long been the adopted home of members of the air force and their families, but it seems the majority of them didn’t mind being sent here.

It certainly goes some way to buck some of the long-held, negative stereotypes of the city, when you hear a family talking about how they chose Ipswich above the other attractive places to live in south-east Queensland.

Let’s face it: despite our occasional parochialism, there are many good places to live across this region.

After decades as a quiet achiever, Ipswich has just started putting its hand up as one of them. With the huge development at Ripley under way, the city is on the cusp of significant change. The way that change is managed over the coming five to 10 years could dramatically affect Ipswich’s liveability for years to come.

It is great that another 750 people per month are moving into the Ipswich region, but what we need to ensure is that we don’t lose sight of the characteristics that attracted them here in the first place.

Ipswich needs to stay big enough to matter and small enough to care.

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