Ipswich City Council CEO Sean Madigan.
Ipswich City Council CEO Sean Madigan. Hayden Johnson

INSIDE STORY: CEO reveals life within council during sacking

THE chief executive officer of Ipswich City Council has declared its 11 councillors should not have been dismissed by the State Government.

Fresh from the "hardest period" in his working life, CEO Sean Madigan is working to rebuild the trust and pride in the council's 1300 staff.

He revealed what life was life inside the council during the dismissal and how the city would move forward.

"There's a sense of optimism around in the organisation," he said.

Mr Madigan, who was appointed CEO in May two days before the first show-cause notice was issued, knew early on councillors were likely to go.

"There was probably only ever going to be one outcome, the government was going to dismiss the council," he said.

"The minister came out very strongly following Andrew Antoniolli's charges.

"At the end of the day we are an instrument of the state - I think the writing was certainly on the wall."

Mr Madigan revealed he thought councillors should not have been sacked.

"I believe yet again in the system of local government," he said.

"I think there were potentially alternatives that could have been considered.

"This organisation could have transformed and made the changes necessary to bring it into a modern government standard. We were on that journey already."

During the dismissal Mr Madigan had a front-row seat to history, balancing the council's day-to-day operations while supporting 11 councillors in the fight of their lives.

He acknowledged it was a tough period, but said the key was "rallying the troops to keep delivering services to the community".

He said since the sacking the said the level of angst within and negative community sentiment against staff had reduced.

"People are thanking them and having that positive response rather than being aggressive towards them," Mr Madigan said.

"Our staff are noticing that, which reduces the level of stress and uncertainty that was overwhelming them."

He said life was different after the voices of the community, councillors, were removed.

"There's no doubt not having the councillors here places that extra onus on the officers to make sure they get it right," he said.

The CEO said he would work to restore staff and community pride in the organisation.

"Everyone should have confidence this council is heading in the right direction," he said.



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