City has its say on future of council's memorabilia haul

HUNDREDS of memorabilia items purchased by self-serving Ipswich councillors and mayors should be sold to recoup costs, a majority of the community believes.

The future of 700 memorabilia items, purchased over several years using ratepayer funds, is in residents' hands.

Ipswich administrator Greg Chemello said the feedback on the items had been positive.

"Council continues to document the items of memorabilia and gifts located on its various premises and is in the process of determining those items that should be retained, such as sister city gifts, or disposed of," he said.

"Many suggestions have been made by members of the community regarding how best to deal with the memorabilia items not required to be retained by council.

"The overwhelming majority of suggestions have focused on auctioning or selling the items and using the revenue to contribute towards community outcomes, either directly by council or through donating the proceeds to Ipswich-focused charities."

Mr Chemello said the council's 99-member Community Reference Groups would consider the memorabilia matter and provide advice and suggestions to the council.

He said a definitive strategy for dealing with the items was expected to be made in August.

This week Mr Chemello confirmed council staff who had dealings with councillors or mayors had been reminded of their obligation to report suspected corrupt conduct.

He has asked staff to report any loose paperwork linked with memorabilia items and said an internal audit branch of the council was assessing previous community donations.

During Andrew Antoniolli's fraud trial in May, Ipswich Magistrates Court heard using council cash to purchase memorabilia was common among councillors.

Antoniolli was found guilty of 13 counts of fraud.

Other councillors are not accused of wrongdoing.



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