Former councillor the first to announce candidacy for mayor
DISMISSED councillor David Martin has revealed he will campaign to become the region's next mayor when Ipswich residents go to the polls in March.
The former councillor, who was sacked with his 10 colleagues in August last year, is the first to announce a stand for the top job which has been vacant for 10 months.
Speaking to the QT, Mr Martin said he would run on the platform of providing "a bold new vision" for Ipswich.
"For too long Ipswich has been kicked around," he said.
"I'd love to see people proud to call Ipswich home."
Mr Martin acknowledged there was a divide between Ipswich's old suburbs and its new.
"I see great things happening in Springfield and Ripley and at the moment there's not much very good happening in the city," he said.
"We need a vision to embrace what we have and our river which for years we've turned our back on.
"There's so much potential but so much of it is untapped... our city heart needs to be restored.
"For years we've been downtrodden but we need someone with a bold new vision."
Not since John Nugent in 2004 has an Ipswich mayor left office without the cloud of the Crime and Corruption Commission.
Mr Martin pledged not to wind back policies implemented by administrator Greg Chemello to improve the council's governance.
"If I'm the mayor that's not going to happen," he said.
"If Greg has put policy and procedures in place that's open transparent and above board, I certainly won't be changing anything."
He said the Springfield to Ipswich rail link was a priority project, as was investment to create open space on the banks of the Bremer River.
The former division seven councillor was in town hall for six months before the dismissal process started.
He apologised for the chaos surrounding the council, but said cultural and criminal matters happened before he was elected.
"The people who have so far gone to jail, I wouldn't know them if I fell over them," Mr Martin said of the people locked up by the CCC's investigation.