Caption: His Excellency the Honourable Paul de Jersey AC recently visited Ipswich City Council. The Governor’s support was well received, as he shared his personal history with Ipswich and took the time to get to know some of our officers.

 

“Be confident in doing right.”

This motto – in latin as “Confide Rect Agens” – is featured on the Ipswich City Council crest. It’s been there for 158 years, and it’s something I’m intent on delivering during my time as council’s interim administrator.

With just over 17 months until the next scheduled local government elections on 28 March 2020, it’s a tight timeframe to fulfil a mission to make Ipswich City Council an exemplar of leading practice that other councils will want to emulate.

I’m in little doubt that we have the team to do it. I do know there are 1,200 passionate and committed staff, many who you’ll see emptying your bins, caring for our parks and gardens, and building or repairing the city’s roads.

We also have a highly experienced advisory team – Stan Gallo, Simone Webbe, Jan Taylor, Rob Jones and Steve Greenwood – who form our Interim Management Committee.

While we need to learn from the past, our collective focus is on the future. We’re calling it VISION2020, our plan to address priority issues and implement necessary changes in order to create the exemplar model which future councillors can work with.

This plan focuses on changes over three horizons:

Horizon 1 – Immediate Issues: In the first phase of VISION2020, we are committed to addressing the most pressing issues facing council.

Horizon 2 – Operational Realignment: Operational realignment of the council will ensure the business continues to provide quality services to the residents of Ipswich during Interim Administration and beyond.

Horizon 3 – Leading Practices and Implementation: With the goal to establish Ipswich City Council as a leader in local government, horizon 3 is all about leading practice – about becoming a shining light for other councils to follow.

Our leadership team has been learning about the numerous facets of Ipswich City Council’s business. While there’s much excitement about what’s to come, it hasn’t been easy. Navigating significant change rarely is.

As Interim Administrator, it’s not my role to be “the face” of the city – I’m not the Acting Mayor. My focus is to make the right policy decisions for the betterment of the long-term interests of the city as a whole.

I do not purport to be aware of the various interests of all residents, but it’s imperative that I understand your city.  As such, I’ve been meeting with local community and business leaders to listen to their concerns and to take on suggestions and feedback. 

Ipswich is a proud city.  We know many want the CBD redevelopment to restart ASAP, and I’ve recently announced this will happen.  We are also intent on finding sustainable solutions to waste issues; solutions that make sense for the environment, economy and most importantly, the community.

Over the next 18 months, we will be providing monthly updates via ipswichfirst.com.au as well as more detailed quarterly newsletters, starting in November.  On behalf of Ipswich City Council, I thank you for your support, and for joining us on this journey.

Be proud of your city