HAPPIER TIMES: Ipswich councillors with new chief executive officer Sean Madigan and acting CEO Gary Kellar two days before the Local Government Minister moved to dismiss the council.
HAPPIER TIMES: Ipswich councillors with new chief executive officer Sean Madigan and acting CEO Gary Kellar two days before the Local Government Minister moved to dismiss the council. Hayden Johnson

Councillor responds to claims 'they knew about misconduct'

LESS than one week remains for Ipswich councillors to persuade the State Government to let them keep their jobs.

On May 24, the deadline for Local Government Minister Stirling Hinchliffe's show-cause notice will expire.

New powers passed by the Queensland Parliament on Thursday afternoon will give Mr Hinchliffe greater certainty about his power to remove the council.

Some councillors are concerned the Minister will move to sack them before May 24.

Despite the dangling guillotine, the mood among most of the councillors is one of optimism.

Several were relaxed and acknowledged the situation was largely out of their hands.

Committee meetings scheduled on Monday and Tuesday could be councillors' last-decision making exercise.

The next full council meeting is an external one - scheduled for May 29 at Hymba Yumba, Springfield.

Division 9 Councillor Sheila Ireland said the community was supportive of the elected officials and believed dismissing the council would slow progress.

"For me, I think Ipswich is on the cusp of greatness again," she said.

"To even consider an administrator at this stage when the councillors are driving into the divisions and helping the community - I think it's a shame."

She is approaching D-Day "just positively", hoping the government will carefully consider sacking elected officials.

"I believe in justice," Cr Ireland said.

"They haven't thrown the full government out because of a few rotten apples."

In a candid interview, Cr Ireland also slammed the notion that councillors knew about alleged corruption and misconduct because of their association.

"How can they look at it and say you should have known," she questioned.

"What's happened at the top, it's like the banks and insurance companies, how do people underneath know what's happening at the top?

"They say we should have known. That's just unbelievable."

Cr Ireland said a dismissal would damage her reputation and shatter any legacy she would have left upon retirement.

"Mainly for my family, people will say you were part of a crooked council," she said.

She said if the council was dismissed, she would consider standing at the next election.

"Now that this has happened, I probably would run again and put my hand up to prove a point that I'm not afraid to put my name out there," she said.



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