Region’s elected representatives meet in Ipswich to discuss community needs

Ipswich City Council today brought together all elected representatives from the three levels of government representing Ipswich and the region to discuss the community’s needs in the years ahead.

The Local Elected Representatives Working Group met at council chambers, with advocacy for infrastructure investment, waste reform and development of a new Ipswich planning scheme on the agenda.

Mayor Teresa Harding said council is committed to its bipartisan approach to advocacy.

“Today’s meeting was an important step in our coordinated approach for the future of Ipswich,” Mayor Harding said.

“I thank all our of our city’s elected representatives for coming to the table and working towards positive outcomes for the community.”

The forum was the brainchild of Division 1 Councillor Jacob Madsen.

Cr Madsen put a motion forward at a council meeting in January for council to “invite current local elected representatives in the Ipswich LGA (local government area) to form a new working group with the working group to meet quarterly and consist of local, state and federal elected representatives”.

Terms of reference for the operation of this working group were developed with fellow councillors in February.

“2020 was a disruptive year in many ways, and as a means to improve discourse between the three levels of government in Ipswich it is necessary to facilitate greater working relationships to ensure collaborative problem solving and effective advocacy for Ipswich,” Cr Madsen said in his motion.

“All three levels of government have one special thing in common — we work for the same people. In that spirit we should resolve to work together and maximize any and all opportunities be that through making better use of grant programs or advocating for the infrastructure that our growing city needs.”

The motion resulted in Paul Scarr (Senator for Queensland), Shayne Neumann (Federal Member for Blair), Charis Mullen (State Member for Jordan), Lance McCallum (State Member for Bundamba), Jennifer Howard (State Member for Ipswich), Jon Krause (State Member for Scenic Rim), Jim Madden (State Member for Ipswich West), Mayor Harding and all councillors in attendance. Milton Dick (Federal Member for Oxley) was in Rockhampton for a conference but attended the meeting virtually. 

Cr Madsen said he was delighted that everyone had responded so enthusiastically and there was a window of opportunity in all their busy schedules.

“There is a time for adversarial politics and there is a time to try and resolve things. Everyone here today agrees that we want the best outcomes for Ipswich and the region,” he said.

Cr Madsen said council needed to work closer with the State and Federal Governments – and vice versa – to help the community.

“We need to keep this conversation going. We need to build relationships and build trust,” he said.

The Local Elected Representatives Working Group will be a regular forum for elected representatives of Ipswich and the surrounding region to foster strong relationships and work towards collaborative outcomes for the community.

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