Council reflects on significant achievements of first year in office

The City of Ipswich today celebrates one year since the new council was sworn into office and brought the return of elected councillors to the people of Ipswich.

Mayor Teresa Harding and councillors took the “oath of office” at the height of the coronavirus pandemic on 14 April 2020.  Mayor Harding was sworn in as Ipswich’s 51st and first female Mayor in the city’s 160-year history.

She said the anniversary was an opportunity to reflect on steps forward for Ipswich over the past 12 months and to highlight council’s commitment to delivering for the community.

“Ipswich is the fastest-growing city in Queensland, a hub for advanced manufacturing, and a tourist destination for families,” Mayor Harding said.

“A flourishing city needs leadership that is committed to transparency, integrity, and making a positive difference for the community.”

Mayor Harding highlighted outcomes for Ipswich during council’s first year in office:

  • Delivering the Transparency and Integrity Hub, a first for local governments across Australia
  • Adopting the Waste and Circular Economy Transformation Directive for leadership on commercial waste industry impacts
  • Delivering a $600 million budget, including $2 million in COVID relief support for local businesses, community and sporting organisations
  • Holding the inaugural Creators of Ipswich Summit to empower the city’s creative sector
  • Delivering Stage 2 of the $246 million Nicholas Street Precinct Redevelopment
  • Developing 20-year community vision iFuture and corporate plan (2021-26)
  • Collaborating with the city’s chambers of commerce and signing on as Queensland’s first Small Business Friendly Council
  • Delivering an advocacy program for additional infrastructure and services for the Ipswich community in the lead up to the State Election
  • Establishing a community grant program to support ANZAC Day commemorations
  • Enhancing council’s mowing response, to address high grass growth in public spaces
  • Ipswich proposed as a host city in the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games proposal for South East Queensland 

“In particular, council has distributed more than $1.2 million to local community organisations, sporting groups, artists and small businesses over the past 12 months,” she said.

“More than $800,000 of that has been provided to local community organisations and sporting groups. This has been used for everything from youth engagement programs to improving disability access or starting a community garden.

“2020 was a challenging year for our community between the COVID pandemic and the October 31 hailstorms, which resulted in a damage bill of approximately $1 billion.

“It has been a real focus of council to support local businesses during our recovery, with about $223,000 in funding in the past year directly supporting more than 100 local small businesses.”

Looking ahead, Mayor Harding said council would continue to focus on investment, infrastructure and improved customer service, ahead of the city’s unprecedented population growth.

“Ipswich is set to welcome an additional 330,000 community members to 2041, as our population grows to 558,000 over the next 20 years.

“Council introduced its first three-year capital program this year to ensure the delivery of infrastructure needed for the future, and our new city planning scheme will also be a vital component.

“The business community and many residents and ratepayers across Ipswich took a financial hit during 2020, and council was not exempt from the pandemic’s impacts.

“Now, we are preparing a stream-lined budget for the 2021-22 financial year which will put our city in a strong position for the future,” said Mayor Harding.

Read More

 >>>Major commitments all achieved and on track after council’s first 100 days in office

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  1. Re-establish divisional offices and “persuade” the State Government to scrap the existing divisional “:boundaries” and return them to something like sensible and this council will have really achieved something. Gee, that make even make councillors accessible to the electorate.
    As a critic, I must congratulate council of it Flavours of Ipswich initiative Very good and very worthwhile. It prompted even me to get off my backside and go for lunch. I hope the businesses do well form it.

  2. Looks good overall but talk about a convoluted statement on ‘Waste”. Are the toxic indefensible dumps included? Transparency includes speaking in plain unequivocal English. You can drive a truck through their statement. The Swiss cheese get out clause. Almost all of these propositions are being undermined by the stench coming from these toxic dumps. Don’t mention Olympics a quick drive around Ipswich would see inspection teams jump right back in their car never to be seen again. There are many people who are ashamed of these toxic dumps not including the council. They have 2 dump applications ready to receive the rubber stamp, right now. Who knew that? Transparency? Show me the people in Ipswich supporting Dumps. Lets try transparency in relation to the dumps. Thought so.
    Another minor issue, heaps of requests to the mayor for a meeting on dumps and indefensible positions on scraping bush to the subsoil. Too busy. Had 3 meetings with the former administrator. I’m busy too. So their role of honor excluding dumps and wholesale clearing not making the top 11 scores a 4 and comment must do better.

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    leven achievements but nothing on two of the most important issues, toxic DUMPS and CLEARING. Transparency is the self appointed badge of honour. How can this be” Transparency”? It intrinsically involves speaking in plain English. The possible reference to DUMPS may lay in the second point ,or not. A convoluted statement with so many get out “Swiss Cheese” clauses. Forget the Olympics . One assessment visit one whiff. Straight back in the car. 2 currant development applications ready to be passed by the council. One could be forgiven in thinking that the council and the State Government are in favour of the DUMPS. Guilty by omission? Ipswich life expectancy and lung cancer rates are the worst in the state. DUMPS? State and council sanctioned clearing bush back to the subsoil. Help yourself Developers. Farewell habitat. Phenomenal population increase. No plan just keep clearing. Flora and fauna on the edge in Ipswich. Present development by passes the community. New town plan , 3 years . Too late, bush gone. Developers free reign. I haven’t got my $120,000 worth. 10 emails to the Mayor. Too busy. Got 3 meetings with the administrator. she says she’s busy. So am I, but I get no remuneration. Have I/we been consulted? Bare earth, houses and that foul danger to health the DUMPS. Clearing . Through to the keeper. Comment must do much better.

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