Mayor-elect promises fresh start for Ipswich and unified council

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):


Division 1:


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


Division 2:


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   


Division 3:


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


Division 4:


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   


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>>>Community can have confidence in return to councillors and mayor in March


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