CALL TO ACTION: About 80 people were at the anti-corruption rally at Ipswich council chambers.
CALL TO ACTION: About 80 people were at the anti-corruption rally at Ipswich council chambers. Helen Spelitis

Anti-council rally calls for state to step in

AN ANTI-corruption rally held outside Ipswich City Council this afternoon attracted some every day citizens with some serious concerns for their city's future.

About 80 people took part in the rally, organised by the Ipswich Ratepayers and Residents Association.

Some were there to listen, others to vent frustrations, while some had an important message to share.

A high school student said she was deeply worried about the loss of koala habitat and came because she was desperate for the council to do more to protect the fragile creatures.

A woman who claimed to have lived in Ipswich all her life, who asked not to be named, said she went to the rally out of a mixture of curiosity, frustration and hope.

She said she was sick of watching other regional areas develop and grow while Ipswich remained stagnant.

"I'm at the point where I don't believe anything the council says any more,” she said.

"I'm tired of the PR coming from the council.

"I'm tired of promise after promise, with the same promises made over and over again in the media over the years, yet nothing happens.

"I just want genuine, consistent leadership that's in the best interests of the people.

"I just want good government.

"We need fresh blood.”

Mayoral candidate and sitting councillor Andrew Antoniolli was at the rally too.

He said it showed there was a lot of concern out there, following recent revelations about former mayor Paul Pisasale.

"The idea of sacking the entire council because of some indiscretions that are still being investigated and not proven yet, is a little premature,” he said.

"Let's let the CCC do their job.

"I am confident there is no cloud hanging over my head.

"It is clear we do not have the transparency the public expects, and that needs to change.

"We really need to re-establish trust and pride in our community.

"There is a lot of disquiet in the community because (the council owned companies) are being operated like a secret society.

"I believe there is a culture of control over those companies that is not helpful in establishing trust.”

When asked why the council would want such a degree of control Cr Antoniolli said, "there has been overzealousness”.

Rally organiser and President of the Ratepayer's Association Jim Dodrill said he was happy with the turnout.

He repeated messages already floated in the media including renewed calls for the establishment of an ICAC style inquiry into local government corruption.

"We believe the council is untenable and the State Government needs to step in and dissolve the council,” Mr Dodrill said.



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