Dismissed councillor will run in March election

DISMISSED councillor Sheila Ireland will contest the March election, saying she wants to "help return confidence" to Ipswich City Council.

Mrs Ireland was part of the council team which was sacked in August 2018 and she will vie for a Division 1 seat in under two month's time.

She was first elected as Division 9 representative in 2004 and joins David Martin as the only of the sacked councillors to announce their intentions to run again.

Mrs Ireland said she had used the 18 months since the dismissal to spend quality time with her family and decided in November she would throw her hand up again.

"I thought I'd like to get back into council and get back to work and help council rebuild," she said.

"I've enjoyed (the time off) but I'm ready to get back to something more challenging.

"I think I've always been honest with my residents. Everything that the administrator has done or is saying the councillors should do are the practices that I've already put in place.

"I think my reputation is out there and I'm prepared to stand behind my reputation."

She said the larger divisions set in place by the State Government in October could prove a new challenge for future councillors.

"I don't know the country area very well from Willowbank out, so that will be a challenge for me," she said.

"In my opinion, I think there should be a country division the same as there always was.

"When I was in council there was never enough money to go and do anything with these (rural) roads. When you look at spending, it's about $1 million to do 1km of unsealed road.

"When you look at putting in a set of traffic lights which are about $300,000 to $400,000 … and you have 3000 people going through the lights, it's hard to show people how that would weigh up evenly in one division."

Mrs Ireland said she hadn't sensed any trepidation from residents about her running again, following her dismissal in 2018.

"I haven't found that to be the case personally," she said.

"People will make up their own mind.

"I'm not going to defend it but the 10 councillors haven't been charged.

"I think the people will make up their own mind one way or the other.

"The administrator has put in interim policies and procedures and I think that's a great place, if I were to get in, for the new council to start.

"To have a look at them and try to understand them and have the officers come up and say whether the theory matches actual practice, I think that's a really good start.

"I think we'd need to look at some of the contracts around and get our head around where money is being spent."



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