Ipswich councillors with chief executive officer Sean Madigan and former acting CEO Gary Kellar.
Ipswich councillors with chief executive officer Sean Madigan and former acting CEO Gary Kellar. Hayden Johnson

Minister reviews rival petitions as council dismissal looms

TWO opposing petitions arguing for the fate of Ipswich's 11 councillors have been handed to the Local Government Minister for a response.

A petition to save the Ipswich City Council and one to dismiss them were tabled in the Queensland Parliament this week.

Local Government Minister Stirling Hinchliffe has been handed the two petitions and will have until July 12 to provide a response to the parliament.

The petition to dismiss the Ipswich City Council secured 1096 signatures since April 5.

It argued residents "have lost confidence in the capacity of the Ipswich City Council to perform its responsibilities and believe that the executives/elected officials have seriously or continuously breached the local government principles".

It called for Mr Hinchliffe to dissolve the council and appoint an interim administrator to act in place of councillors.

The petition was started before charges against mayor Andrew Antoniolli - which he intends to fight - prompted Mr Hincliffe to start the process to dismiss the council.

A contrasting petition to save the council secured 791 signatures since May.

It was started in response to Mr Hinchliffe's dismissal proceedings and argued an administrator would be a "significant step backwards".

"Residents voted councillors to their positions and we continue to support our decision," it said.

"If the government chooses to remove the council, they are taking away our fundamental right to choose our leaders and undermining the democratic system our nation was built on."

Under standing orders, the minister must provide a response to petitions to the Clerk within 30 days or provide an interim response.

Mr Hincliffe is likely to make a decision on the council's fate before he is due to respond to the petitions.



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