Deputy mayor calls it quits on council career
WHEN Victor Attwood first stood for Ipswich City Council at the turn of the millennium even his supporters didn't think he had a chance.
He won that election and three more during a 16-year career that will come to end on March 19 when Ipswich votes for a new Division 3 councillor.
Cr Attwood yesterday announced he would not recontest the upcoming council election after facing the choice between his city or his health.
He has a mild form of muscular dystrophy and said he consulted specialists before every election to make sure his health was up to the demands of local government.
Cr Attwood said in 2012 he was advised not to stand because of the job's effect on his health.
"They told me four years ago not to run, but I had unfinished business, so I decided I wanted another crack at it" he said.
"But this time I can't ignore the change in what it's doing to my body.
"It's been something that I've been thinking about for a long time."
Cr Attwood said he hoped to use the remainder of his term to thank the supporters who have been behind him at both a council level and a division level.
He cited projects such as the Redbank Plains Rd upgrade and the extension of Collingwood Dr, completed in 2015, as highlights of representing Division 3.
"In my division, I've been really fortunate to be able to deliver most of the promises that I made people," he said.
At a city level, he said the 2008 Indigenous Lands Use Agreement with the Yuggera, Jagera and Ugarapul people was the stand-out moment of the past 16 years.
"I still think that's the best thing I've ever done," he said.
"It helped them and council to manage cultural heritage in a way that hadn't been envisaged before.
"It's been used as a model for all of the other councils around the state."
Cr Attwood said there was still a lot left to do but was optimistic about the potential of the city in coming years and its embrace of a digital future.
"It's a city undergoing a metamorphosis," he said.
"I think it's ready to throw off the shackles of the past."
Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale said Cr Attwood played an important role in working with other councillors.
"I used to joke if there were any tough jobs to do, I'd give them to Victor," he said.
"He's been a very loyal and hard-working deputy mayor.
"This city's better off because of a man called Victor Attwood.
"To replace Victor is going to be a very hard task for the people of that division."
Five candidates have already publicly announced they will contest Division 3 in March.
They are Patricia Petersen, Jim Dodrill, Danny Donohue, Steven Wood and Hayley Finocchio.