MAYORAL RACE: Alliance gives four hopefuls thumbs-up
THE Queensland Community Alliance may not have been out to pick a clear winner in the mayoral race, but they did achieve one very important breakthrough yesterday.
The joint venture of church and union groups assembled four of the leading contenders in the August 19 by-election, putting what they have identified as the big issues affecting Ipswich people on the table.
The result; a clear commitment from each of the four candidates that they would recognise the Alliance, and work with them to address these issues if elected.
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Mayoral candidates Andrew Antoniolli, Gary Duffy, Peter Robinson and Paul Tully were asked to commit to several priorities, including a promise to work alongside the alliance if elected, working to address better treatment for people with mental health issues, welcoming refugees into the community, and attending the Alliance's Founding Assembly in Brisbane on August 30.
While all four gave an unequivocal 'yes' in response to the four questions, each of the candidates provided differing amounts of detail on how they would work alongside the Alliance's Ipswich branch.
Andrew Antoniolli praised the Alliance for not only highlighting the problems, but for working towards a solution.
"Mental health is one of the fastest growing issues facing our community," Cr Antoniolli said.
Mr Duffy addressed the community consultation aspect of the Alliance's wish list, promising to introduce a Planning Review Panel that would vote on major city projects.
"So that we the people will become involved in what happens in our city," he said.
Mr Robinson said he would work with the Alliance to the best of his ability, but was wary of making a promise he couldn't keep. He urged those at the meeting to question the promises made by other candidates during the campaign.
"The two questions you should ask are how are you going to achieve it, and how are you going to fund it," Mr Robinson said.
Seeming unperturbed about Mr Robinson's earlier warning regarding election promises, Cr Tully told the crowd he enter into a formal arrangement with the Alliance within 60 days if elected.
Cr Tully said he would back a project aiming to provide farm work for African migrants by working with Queensland Urban Utilities to provide water free of charge.
Alliance community organiser Dave Copeman praised the crowd of 103 people for contributing to a productive meeting.
"We are quite optimistic that whoever the next mayor is, there will be a good relationship," he said.
The Alliance conducted a poll of 1000 people prior to the event to decide which candidates to invite. Dallas Klass finished in the top four, but was unable to attend.