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Prime Minister Julia Gillard and her community cabinet rocked out at Ipswich last week. Residents’ concerns included the implementation of the Gonski education funding report, removal of a local toxic waste dump, status of a national disaster fund and the immediate reduction of fossel fuels. The day’s earlier announcements – a new cancer clinic, and a sandbagging machine for Ipswich SES – underscored the community focus, but questions remained on off-shore processing of asylum-seekers and the inclusion of alternative medicine. Read more at newsbytes

Slip past the happy hubbub and delicious smells at Jamie Oliver’s Ministry of Food to the Ipswich Community Art Gallery. “Knot-just-Macrame” exhibits include exquisite hats, basketry and weaving, felting and more with workshops on offer for the next two weeks.

Next door in the Art Gallery, Sparky promotes the “Wild Thing” exhibition for kids and points towards “This Land Our Land” Exhibition featuring three talented indigenous artists – Dale Weston, Annie Clarke, Sally Harrison. Sally Harrison (WA) has been painting since age 10. The fields of flowers are reminiscent of Monet and are an accessible bridge from traditional dot paintings. Annie Clarke’s first inspiration came from an underwater swim in the ocean at age 8. Her paintings are strongly spiritual with several dedicated to family members. Dale began painting in 2003 after a bike accident. His canvasses are exquisite and his didgeridoos were calling me…

The library is celebrating the National Year of Reading with “Jeans for Genies” inspired by “The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants”. Applause to the local talent for their jeans. Rocking out of the library, my eye was caught by handmade instruments with one banjo featuring recycled hub caps.

Rock on Ipswich!