Mayor-elect Teresa Harding has promised a fresh start for Ipswich and a unified council working 100 per cent for the city’s 230,000 residents.
While counting continues in the local government election, her main rival and former city councillor Dave Martin conceded defeat on Sunday and congratulated Ms Harding.
“Thank you Ipswich, I am deeply humbled and honoured to be elected as your 51st mayor. You deserve better and I will deliver that for you. I will strive to rebuild our community trust, pride and our great city that I love so much,” Ms Harding said in a Facebook message posted Sunday.
“I will deliver a transparent and accountable Ipswich City Council.”
Ms Harding said becoming mayor was a significant responsibility and she looked forward to the challenge.
She said the “fresh start” for Ipswich came amid the Covid-19 crisis, which was causing stress and anxiety for the community through sickness and job losses.
She said it would be her primary focus of the coming days, weeks and months: “we will get through it together”.
“I will work with all stakeholders to do everything I can to support each and every one of you. I will seek to bring forward projects where I can create the much needed jobs. I will focus council spending on small businesses here in Ipswich. And I will ensure we have the resources to get through this challenging time.”
She said it was now the time for council to deliver the “very best services and value for rates” for the people.
“I will lead an effective and accountable council that listens to the people.”
Mr Martin, who was dismissed with previous councillors in August 2018, said he was extremely disappointed to lose the seven-person mayoral battle which essentially came down to two candidates, him and Ms Harding.
“Congratulations to Teresa Harding who looks set to become the 51st Mayor of our City. I’d like to take opportunity to thank family, friends and supporters for your faith in me, that’s been truly humbling,” he said.
“I trust the new ICC will do a great job for our city, and I’d like to congratulate the incoming team, and trust they will gel and make our city a place we all proud to call home.”
The make-up of the new eight-person, four-division council was far from clear three days later.
Two former councillors also dismissed with Mr Martin, Paul Tully and Sheila Ireland, were in the top two in their respective divisions as counting of pre-poll and postal votes continued this week.
According to the Electoral Commission of Queensland website, the front-runners were (at 9.30am 31 March):
Will JANKOVIC, 1193 7.61%
Simon INGRAM, 1891 12.06%
Sheila IRELAND, 2826 18.03%
Jacob MADSEN, 2910 18.57%
Jim THOMPSON, 1530 9.76%
Conny TURNI, 1045 6.67%
Kendal NEWMAN, 1572 10.03%
Pye AUGUSTINE, 2707 17.27%
Total Formal Votes 15674 91.06%
Total Informal Votes 1538 8.94%
Total Votes 17212
Brad HUNT, 1257 4.38%
Paul TULLY, 6044 21.07%
Steven PURCELL, 2852 9.94%
Luise MANNING, 2969 10.35%
Nicole JONIC, 4384 15.28%
Paul MODRA, 1483 5.17%
Sirle ADAMSON, 1355 4.72%
Anthony BULL, 2335 8.14%
Sarah KNOPKE, 2836 9.89%
James PINNELL, 1774 6.19%
Andrew DUNN, 1393 4.86%
Total Formal Votes 28682 94.08%
Total Informal Votes 1806 5.92%
Total Votes 30488
Alyson LEWIS, 3841 10.05%
Andrew FECHNER, 4620 12.08%
Jim DODRILL, 3970 10.38%
David BOX, 3632 9.50%
Marnie DOYLE, 8434 22.06%
Toni GIBBS, 3838 10.04%
Darren CLOSE, 1474 3.85%
Kevin LE GRICE, 652 1.71%
Jacinta BULL, 2868 7.50%
Bill HECK, 2026 5.30%
Rochelle CALOON, 1543 4.04%
Drew PICKWICK, 1339 3.50%
Total Formal Votes 38237 93.22%
Total Informal Votes 2779 6.78%
Total Votes 41016
Gary DUFFY, 3895 16.86%
Susan DUNNE, 4003 17.32%
Kate KUNZELMANN, 4526 19.59%
Brian SCOTT, 3735 16.16%
Shane BLAKE, 2808 12.15%
Russell MILLIGAN, 4141 17.92%
Total Formal Votes 23108 92.07%
Total Informal Votes 1989 7.93%
Total Votes 25097