The State Government will appoint a governance advisor to support councillors elected to Ipswich City Council at the 28 March local government elections.
Local Government Minister Sterling Hinchliffe said the government will appoint a governance advisor on a part-time basis for 12 months to support the eight incoming councillors and mayor.
Mr Hinchliffe said the next council will have access to the advisor for its first year of operations to ensure a smooth and seamless transition from no council to new council. He had dismissed the previous council in August 2018.
He said the decision to appoint a governance advisor was at the advice of the council’s former Interim Administrator Greg Chemello, who left last month to take up a role of CEO with Moreton Bay Regional Council.
“Mr Chemello proposed an advisor be put in place in Ipswich if the Director General of the Department of Local Government believed it would be in the public interest,” Mr Hinchliffe said.
“This means that the residents of Ipswich can go to the polls safe in the knowledge that the council they elect will continue down the path of creating good governance that has been laid down by Mr Chemello, Steven Greenwood and the Interim Management Committee.
“At this stage, the advisor will be employed on a part-time basis for 12 months, with the option to extend that if necessary.
“In the 18 months since the Palaszczuk Government took decisive action in relation to the conduct and integrity of the Ipswich City Council, a great deal of terrific work has been done.
“We want to make sure that work stays on track and that the residents of Ipswich get the council they deserve.”
Ipswich CEO David Farmer welcomed the move.
“This is not a surprising move by the State Government and we see this as simply adding to the guidance and tools that will be available for our incoming councillors – which is a good thing,” Mr Farmer said.
“The role that has been announced is one which intends to support councillors, some of whom would have had limited exposure to governance in the past, so we believe it will be beneficial for our organisation as a whole. We can continue building on the great work that we’ve been doing.”
Nominations for mayoral and councillor candidates open Saturday 22 February and close on 3 March.
Candidates nominating for Ipswich City Council can do so knowing that for at least the first year they will have an experienced advisor on hand should they need it, the minister added.