Ipswich City Council will establish five new strategic community reference groups in a clear effort to facilitate community input into decision making by local government.
Interim Administrator Greg Chemello endorsed a recommendation at council’s Communities Committee that a new framework for community reference groups be established to align to the new standing committees of council as follows: economic development (to include discussion relating to the CBD), communities, growth and infrastructure, environment, and governance.
This structure will then be supplemented by a second ‘tier’ of engagement with community and business groups on an operational or project basis.
In implementing this new framework, council has reviewed its existing engagement mechanisms and made a tough decision to dissolve some of the long standing reference groups.
“While some of our longer standing reference groups evidence real community strength at a local level, over the years, they’ve become less effective, perhaps not providing the community with as much input into strategic issues of council as they should,” Mr Chemello said.
“It is important that we recalibrate our community engagement with council through this period of administration. This is a great opportunity for us to re-engage with community at a strategic level.”
The new community reference groups will seek to achieve membership that is broadly representative of the community, and these will be chaired by the Interim Administrator until a new council is elected.
Early in the new year, council will be seeking expressions of interest from the community to establish membership in the five committees.
Groups to be dissolved include the City Country Reference Group, Leichhardt One Mile Community Consultative Committee, Rosewood Walloon Consultative Committee, and the Seniors Consultative Committee.