Local government must be open and accountable
ACCOUNTABILITY and transparency in local government was the issue Gary Duffy asked Ipswich voters to be mindful of when voting on Saturday.
Mr Duffy opened his speech questioning Ipswich City Council's $80,000 legal bill to avoid answering questions from the media under Right to Information laws, including questions on whether Mayor Paul Pisasale used a private jet during a tour of the US.
"That is a lot of money. We need to have a look at that and find out what is accountable and what is transparency. What is happening and why aren't these being disclosed," he said.
Mr Duffy said he had worked some hard jobs in his young years from picking cotton to being a night pan worker before becoming a qualified mechanic and taking a bridging course to undertake university studies to become a mechanical engineer.
He said high youth unemployment was the biggest problem that faced Ipswich and his policy for a 40% local loading on all tenders would keep jobs and employment in the local area.
"That needs to be put into Ipswich City Council's tender processes," Mr Duffy said.
"That provides jobs, it puts money back into the community. If we have a big company coming in and they are going to build this building in the CBD or they are going to build a bridge, we need to put that 40% process in that. That will drive down our youth unemployment. Our youth unemployment in some areas of Division 10 are over 70%."
He also said 69% of the city's workforce worked outside of Ipswich, further reinforcing the need for a local jobs first policy and the need for council employment not to be outsourced.
"Currently the council is subcontracting work out, even to the Brisbane City Council," he said. "Stop the outsourcing and get jobs back to get fair wages and get our own resources to do the maintenance a council is required to do."
Mr Duffy said his promises to build a $9million equestrian centre would help address the loss of rural industry, a surf pool would bring people and jobs into the CBD, tourism had to be driven forward and his plan for a North Ipswich Stadium would boost the economy and give us a national standard sports grounds and cycle tracks.
GARY DUFFY: RATING - 6.5/10: Had the fortitude to challenge the current council on a lack of accountability, but in front of the podium lacked the polish and confidence we have seen throughout his campaign. Had some good policies to raise but fell victim to time limits enforced on all candidates on the night.
Who will get your vote for mayor in the Ipswich Council Elections?
This poll ended on 19 March 2016.
This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.