Final speeches, parting swipes and tears at council farewell
THERE was a mix of farewell speeches, parting swipes and funny anecdotes as Ipswich's departing councillors held their final meeting this morning.
It was standing room only in the council chambers as the council, minus suspended mayor Andrew Antoniolli, undertook its final official public engagement before the State Government introduces legislation to have all 10 councillors and the mayor sacked.
Relative newcomer to the council, David Martin began proceedings with an apology and prayer.
The crowd of about 100 or more had to be patient, as the meeting meandered through general business for about an hour before getting into the meaty bit they had all came to see. Several of the councillors couldn't help but let their emotions show as they reflected on - in several cases - careers as local politicians that have spanned decades.
Paul Tully, the longest serving councillor of them all at 39 years, was perhaps the least emotional.
He made a point of reciting something former Ipswich mayor Des Freeman told him when he was first voted into council in 1979: "Numbers beat logic every time in politics."
"I'm not bitter and I'm not angry," Cr Tully said in the meeting. "[On Tuesday] I will say thank you to Ipswich for 39 great years."
Other councillors took the opportunity to let loose on the State Government.
David Morrison, along with David Pahlke and Cheryl Bromage, was among the most scathing, calling out the blanket sacking of councillors as undemocratic. After the meeting he said he was still of the firm belief that he had the support of his community.
"It has been a privilege to serve the city for 18 years but it is disappointing that a democratically elected council, voted in just over two years ago will be dismissed on Tuesday," he said.
"Regardless of what our four state members say, they have to vote along party lines, regardless of what their community said two years ago.''