Robust policies, streamlined procedures, a strong fiscal position and a highly skilled workforce await a new mayor and councillors after they’re elected this weekend.
Interim administrator Steve Greenwood was speaking at the final council meeting before elected representation returns to Ipswich next month.
“We’re ready for handover,” Mr Greenwood said.
“Our teams have spent more than 18 months preparing a system which is now highly regarded in local government circles, and one which other councils are learning from.
“They have built policies and procedures which are first class and which will serve this city well into the future.”
Mr Greenwood said he had full confidence that the new council could govern in the knowledge they had a great leadership team behind them.
“It couldn’t be a worse time,” he said.
“Who could have picked that we’d be heading into recession, let alone under siege by a global pandemic.
“Regardless, this council has the right people to support the new council, it is in a superb financial position, and there is a passionate desire to help the community – particularly during these toughest of times.”
Ipswich City Council has a staff of about 1200 people.
“It is times like these that councils shine. They are the quiet achievers who step up to provide the ongoing civic support that the community needs,” he said.
“Our leaders should never lose sight of the critical role they play.”
He said all they need do was look at the line at Centrelink in the mornings: “This is real. And this council is ready to stand up at a time it is most needed.”
Dealing with the Covid-19 crisis now means people “could quite easily forget the achievements that council has made in the last 18 months”, he said.
“They (changes to council policy and procedure) have been very significant, they have consumed a lot of resources, a lot of time and a lot of effort by a lot of very good people.
“I think it is very important we don’t lose sight of that fact as we move into the next phase of this next, even more significant emergency.
“We are ready to return to elected leadership. It is going to be a very challenging time … as a council dealing with, working and building the capacity of our elected members so they can do their job at the same time dealing with one of the most significant challenges that the organisation will have dealt with for many, many years.”