Hard work is paying off for Duffy
HE was out on the hustings a year ago and he was the only mayoral candidate present for the ballot draw yesterday.
Ipswich businessman Gary Duffy said his hard work on the campaign trail was paying off. He said he had reached out to an average of 30,000 people a week on social media and believed he had a 50-50 chance of claiming victory in the March 19 local government election.
"One week we answered 861 emails and comments," Mr Duffy said.
"The feeling through the city is change, they want change. They want transparency, they want a little bit of honesty in what they are being told and they want to be able to have some input in what is going on in the city. It is really simple stuff."
He said the council-owned companies such as Ipswich City Properties and Ipswich City Development Enterprises were a big concern to voters he had spoken to.
"ICP is building, buying and using a lot of money. They are running at a loss.
"People work hard for their money. We pay a lot in rates and water charges and ratepayers want to see their money spent wisely."
Despite his eagerness on the campaign trail, Mr Duffy drew third spot on the ballot paper.
Peter Luxton drew the number one spot.
Mr Duffy said he wasn't concerned with the position but was concerned that the other mayoral candidates did not turn up to the draw.
"We were first out of the gate with the campaign and we were the only ones to turn up here at the draw," Mr Duffy said.
"If the others can't be bothered to come here to the draw or be a part of what is involved in the process, they are not going to want to be involved in the city either."
He said he was surprised Mayor Paul Pisasale failed to show up for the draw, which was held in the Humanities Centre neighbouring the council building.
"He has to walk 100m to turn up to a ballot to go through due process. Maybe he has been to too many of them."
Cr Pisasale said he had appointments before launching the Heritage Bank Ipswich 100 bike ride at USQ Ipswich to raise funds for the riding for the disabled program at the McIntyre Centre at Pinjarra Hills.
"I would love to have been there, but unfortunately as mayor I had back-to-back appointments from 8am," Cr Pisasale said.
"I'm busy looking after the city. Standing there waiting for my number to be called out is what benefit to the city? Does Mr Duffy want me to help the electoral officer to pull out the name?
"I'd rather put my energy into helping the city."
Cr Pisasale said he was impressed with the number of candidates running for council.
"It is good for democracy. I just want everybody to put their case forward why they should be elected and not embarrass the city. People want to see what you can do that's different."
Redbank Plains salesman Peter Luxton couldn't get away from his work at David Jones in Brisbane to attend the ballot draw.
He said he didn't believe his late campaign run would affect his chances in the election.
"I don't think that makes a difference because people really aren't listening until you are getting closer to the election date," Mr Luxton said.
He said he was standing because people had asked him to run again.
"There are several issues. One of them is that people are scared of the future. They are worried about the planet and the environment and here we have developers who are lopping trees like the year 1216 rather than 2016.
"A lot of people are heartbroken about what has happened to the CBD and every four years we hear of a great plan to revive it and at the end of the four years people realise that nothing has happened."
On Facebook on Tuesday night Mr Luxton announced his intention to run. "I look forward to a short, sharp and clean - I hope - campaign," he said on Facebook. "Maybe third time lucky, but I wish Gary Duffy every success in his quest. Ipswich needs change."
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