Council dismissal 'urgent', sacking only hours away
THE wheels are turning on the final road to dismissal for Ipswich councillors, with the Bill formally introduced to Queensland Parliament.
Local Government Minister Stirling Hinchliffe introduced the Bill about 11.20am on Tuesday "to restore good local government to the community of Ipswich".
The parliament has declared the matter an urgent one, with Mr Hinchliffe pushing to have an outcome before the end of the day and an administrator appointed Wednesday morning.
There are 21 members of the Opposition due to speak on the Bill, which could delay the passage of the legislation.
It is the first order of government business, and Mr Hinchliffe cited the numerous reports and findings of investigations into Ipswich City Council as reasons to dissolve the council.
"There have been many findings, some of them deeply disturbing," he said.
"I have powers under the Local Government Act to remove councils, suspend mayors or councillors.
"The people of Ipswich deserve better and they will get much better with the arrangements we are putting in place."
A change to the Bill will now mean dismissed Ipswich councillors will be able to stand in other Local Government elections before 2020.
He said Ipswich City Council intended to challenge the show cause notice in the Supreme Court.
"While I know that is their right, it is not in the best interests of the people of Ipswich," Mr Hinchliffe told parliament.
He said councillors had a clear intention to defend the matter "until the very end".
Mr Hinchliffe said the needs of council staff were "at the heart" of the government's intervention in Ipswich.
An administrator will be introduced until the next quadrennial elections, due in 2020.
"We will correct the failure of governance, we will ensure proper practices and procedures are put in place," he said.
"There is no doubt in my mind that these are extraordinary circumstances."
Members of Parliament will now speak on the Bill.
It is expected Labor's four MPs will speak later today.
"The people of Ipswich deserve better and they will get much better with the arrangements we are putting in place," he said.