The City of Ipswich is the owner of more than 700 memorabilia items, the bulk of which is believed to have been bought over the years with ratepayers’ money.
It includes some items which were not necessarily logged, but were likely received as gifts.
Now, council wants to know what you want to do with them.
“These items belong to the people of Ipswich,” Ipswich City Council interim administrator Greg Chemello said.
“So who better to discuss the best course of action for these things? People might want to put them on display somewhere, or give them away, or sell them. It’s a discussion which for now is best left up to those whose money was used to buy them.”
The items have been garnered from wall mounts, inside cupboards, floors and corners of multiple buildings currently owned, leased or managed by council.
Ultimately, newly-formed community reference groups – set up to guide council on public sentiment, contribute ideas, and discuss proposed council decisions – will be asked to make a recommendation about where the items end up.
Reference group meetings start taking place at the end of this month, and ideas from the public will be tabled at these meetings.
Record keeping of the items, how much they were bought for, and when they might have been bought is poor or non-existent.
Valuers are currently assessing the items.
Some of the items include:
- Signed Muhammad Ali boxing gloves;
- Cricket bats;
- Football jerseys;
- Signed photographs;
- Giant chess pieces;
- Street signs;
- Licence plates;
- Garden gnomes;
“Due to the poor record keeping, at this stage we really don’t know how much was paid for these items, or necessarily where they were acquired,” Mr Chemello said.
“It is likely that quite a few of them were bought at charity auctions, but it’s possible others were bought or received in different circumstances, some as gifts.
“Given that the circumstances are vague, we don’t know whether the items were over-priced. But we do know it’s probably a good idea to do something with them that the people are happy with.”
Mr Chemello said governance policies and procedures had been tightened to prevent future councillors from bidding at auctions, or from buying memorabilia items with public funds.
Each of the items has been catalogued by council staff.