MAYORAL RACE: Morrissey's green city solution
THE GREENS are agents for change so it is no surprise that their endorsed candidate at the Ipswich mayoral election Brett Morrissey has vowed to make change if elected.
Mr Morrissey said he was asked by Pat Walsh, who has run previously in Ipswich state and federal elections, to nominate for the Greens.
It was a natural fit for the committed environmentalist and married father of three young daughters.
Mr Morrissey said running for the top job was "an opportunity to raise a few issues".
"I have been known as a bit of an activist in town and I am not shy about speaking up about stuff," he said.
"I have spoken to a lot of people in town who have issues or grievances they want aired so I thought I could use this as the opportunity to raise them.
"I got a degree in urban and environmental planning at university after I decided 10 years ago that I didn't just want 'a job'. I wanted to do something that really mattered. My values align with the Greens."
Environment Minister Steven Miles said an independent scientific review would, "look at the materials the Swanbank industries currently accept for composting, and determine whether any changes may be required", after countless complaints about the stench.
But Mr Morrissey said the issue went further than that and as mayor he would ensure more environmental assessments were done, an issue he previously raised regarding the Bunnings development at Bundamba as it impacted on the nearby creek.
He has put forward a possible relocation solution to the issue at Swanbank.
"I'd like to see stricter controls for certain developments," he said.
"The problems out at New Chum and Swanbank are out of sight and out of mind.
"I think if a lot of people were aware of the problems going on out there - how it is impacting on the community and how it has the potential to do so in future - they would be concerned. Strategically we need to have a plan to relocate any activities which are a threat to people's health and safety now and in future.
"These activities are intensifying and they are expanding. At the fringes of this industrial area we have the residential areas of Redbank Plains, Collingwood Park and Ecco Ripley. Ecco Ripley is 1.2 kilometres from some of these composting facilities and waste dumps out there are just as close."
When asked where he would relocate some of the industries to, Mr Morrissey said "we would need to sit down with the State Government and with all of the key players and have a good look at it".
Mr Morrissey is concerned about the impacts of gambling on the community. He once lived in Leichhardt and said he saw first hand how addictions to poker machines facilitated disadvantage among the vulnerable.
"There are a lot of venues in town here that have a lot of pokies and they have extended their trading hours," he said.
"The State issues the (machine) licenses but (as mayor) I would conduct a report into the impact gambling is having on the community, and get everything out on the table. People are losing their homes, their jobs and committing suicide. These are real issues."
Mr Morrissey said he would be applying Green ideals to transform Ipswich at a local level.