Chained protest stops street works
AN IPSWICH CBD resident chained himself to a piece of machinery in a desperate protest against late-night roadworks on Bell St.
Fed up with the sound of jack-hammering after weeks of sleepless nights, Graham Jones, 47, said his patience ran out on Tuesday night, when workers began cutting into the concrete just outside his room at Murphy's Pub.
He took a chain and padlock off the front gate of the premises and went over to a massive rock crunching machine, chaining his arm to it.
Mr Jones, who works as a cleaner and gardener, said he had been unable to function without sleeping tablets for several weeks due to the noise.
"I have lived here for 10 months and it is usually dead quiet at night," he said.
"Since this work started... the residents here have been doing their best to put up with it, but Tuesday night was the last straw.
"You can only take so many sleeping tablets."
Workers contacted police as soon as Mr Jones and a few other Murphy's Pub residents approached the work area on Tuesday night, about 9.15pm.
Police arrived quickly and asked Mr Jones to unchain himself from the machine - which he did.
According to police, the confrontation was resolved within half an hour. Mr Jones and another resident, Michael Robinson, were given move-on directions but were not charged.
The work currently taking place on Bell St is part of a $2.2 million upgrade to the run down section of the CBD.
Ipswich City Council has been notified of the incident and is now involved in discussions with the contractor to reschedule the work.
Cr Andrew Antoniolli said the majority of work was being carried out after hours to minimise disruption to local businesses and public transport.
He confirmed that a representative of the contractor met with Murphy's publican Bob Barrett last Friday to discuss the current phase of the upgrade.
The QT understands the work may now be rescheduled for weekend daylight hours.