The proposed Ipswich City Council boundary change.
The proposed Ipswich City Council boundary change. Contributed

Super divisions proposed, councillors cut in city carve-up

A SUPERSIZED division will be created under a proposal to split Ipswich into four areas with two councillors in each.

The Local Government Change Commission has proposed carving Ipswich City Council into four divisions, each represented by two elected councillors under one city mayor.

Under the plan, which is now available for public comment, the number of councillors would fall from 10 to eight.

The city would be divided into four divisions, each with 32,012 voters, making a councillor responsible for 16,006 electors.

Representation of rural areas has been touted as a concern among residents and politicians.

The change commission report noted it had sought to address the concerns by making divisions one and four a mix of urban and rural areas.

"In doing so, rural residents will have four councillors, or half of the divisional councillors, with some responsibility for rural suburbs," the commission notes.

Ipswich was previously a divided council with one councillor representing each of 10 divisions, plus a separately elected mayor.

Under the new model two councillors will be elected under a new supersized division one, which would cover Swanbank and Ripley in the east to Grandchester in the west.

Due to the large growth predicted in the Ripley Valley the commission has shaped boundaries to allow for an almost 20 per cent population increase.

A multi-councillor, four-division model was the choice of Ipswich residents surveyed earlier this year.

Local Government Minister Stirling Hinchliffe cited the council's survey and recommended the change commission followed the interests of residents.

The commission discussed whether four or five multi-member divisions would be in the public interest for Ipswich.

"It was decided that four divisions, with two councillors each, would cater for the current council size, while providing scope to add additional councillor/s to all or some of the divisions as communities expand and elector numbers increase," the report noted.

The community can have its say on the proposal until July 30.

Visit, email or post feedback to GPO Box 1393, Brisbane QLD 4001.

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