Annual Report points to positive future for Ipswich as city prepares for return of elected representation

Ipswich City Council has released its historic 2018-19 Annual Report five months before the return of elected representation.

CEO David Farmer, who was appointed in February this year, said he had worked closely with Interim Administrator Greg Chemello and staff across council to re-earn trust with the community, prepare council for a successful return to elected representation, manage growth and provide value for money for the community.

“We have made significant progress this year and will continue into 2020,” he said.

“Re-earning trust with our community is a long-term plan. My colleagues at council and I know it will take time to build the confidence of our community, but our actions have, and will continue to, demonstrate our commitment to the goal.

“As we prepare to welcome a new group of elected representatives next year, we are determined to build a robust and capable organisation to partner with them to make their term as successful as possible and our organisation a best-practice model to serve our community.”

Mr Farmer noted how Ipswich was growing by about 10,000 people annually with a current population of 220,000 and another 200,000 to 300,000 expected to move here over the next generation.

“The process to develop a new Planning Scheme got underway this year. When finished, it will be a key platform to help us manage development and identify the necessary infrastructure to support growth and create a more diversified economy,” he said.

“Our 2019-20 budget prepares council for the significant population growth by allocating money to projects essential to future liveability. The budget also addresses how we can provide the best possible value to the community. As an example, we launched a long-term financial plan to hold the city’s average property rates increases below the Consumer Price Index (CPI) each year for the next seven years.

“Council’s commitment to a high level of service remains strong. We continue to deliver great service to the people of Ipswich – be it keeping our roads in great shape, rubbish collected on time and the rates at a reasonable level.”

Mr Farmer said a major priority was developing the city centre and work already well underway would see a rejuvenated top of town and surrounding business precinct.

Highlights of 2018-19

Ipswich by numbers:

220,000 population (projected 520,000 by 2041)

Even 50/50 male female split

78 per cent born in Australia

24 per cent aged 15 or under

86 per cent connected to the internet

63 per cent in the work force

About 10,000 new residents every year

Residents from 163 different countries (152 languages spoken)

9372 businesses across the city

76,917 employed

Gross Regional Product of $9.4 billion

600 events held a year in council facilities

Almost 1 million library loans and 50,000 members

34,808 dog registrations

81,580 household waste collection services

12,440 vaccines delivered

1.8 million visitors to the city

7,500 heritage properties

20 major state and national awards for members of council’s 1400 staff

$100 million given by council in community assistance (grants, donations, bursaries)


Mr Chemello said the VISION2020 plan will ensure that Ipswich City Council will once again be a council that residents can be justly proud of.

“In 2018-19, it has all been about transforming the council through considerable policy, procedural and operational changes before the next local government elections in March 2020,” he said.

“At the forefront are some 18 business transformation projects dealing with the key issues of strategic planning, budgeting, procurement, human resource management, ICT and reporting.

“As this annual report demonstrates, considerable progress has been made on all fronts and with CEO David Farmer, the city is in safe hands as we move towards the return of elected representatives next year.”

Mr Chemello said council had worked hard to better align the organisation’s operations with Advance Ipswich, council’s long-term plan for Ipswich, which identifies where the city wants to go and how it will get there.

“We have also taken steps to work better with the community we serve, to improve how we engage and consult with you … it has been an incredibly busy year for Ipswich City Council, one filled not only with challenges but with opportunity, continued growth and much-needed positive change.”

The Annual Report provides an overview of the Ipswich City Council’s activities during the financial year and progress towards achieving the city vision through Advance Ipswich and the Corporate Plan 2017-2022. It includes the city’s financial performance as at 30 June 2019, governance and statutory information.

You can download a copy of this report here

Read More

>>>Vision 2020: October message from Greg Chemello

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