Minister to issue second, tougher notice to sack councillors
A SECOND show-cause notice is expected to be issued to the Ipswich City Council under new, tougher legislation given to Minister Stirling Hinchliffe last month.
The second notice could be regarded as bad news for councillors, with Mr Hinchliffe expected to again ask why they should not be removed.
Last month, the State Government rushed through new legislation to make it easier to take action on a council.
The suite of reforms included the ability to automatically stand down a councillor facing criminal charges.
Ipswich residents have waited with bated breath since May 24 for the State Government to decide the future of the council.
"People are saying they want the government to make up their mind one way or another," she said, last week.
"It's been several weeks since the council response and they want the minister to make a decision."
THE ROAD TO DISMISSAL
May 2: Ipswich Mayor Andrew Antoniolli exits the police watch house charged with seven counts of fraud.
He denies wrongdoing.
It prompts Local Government Minister Stirling Hinchliffe to seek legal advice overnight to determine his options.
May 3: Cr Antoniolli stands aside as mayor after his colleagues hold a crisis meeting at the council chambers.
Mr Hinchliffe tells parliament later that morning he will start proceedings to dismiss the Ipswich City Council and gives them seven days to respond.
"I have reached the conclusion that Ipswich City Council can no longer function effectively," he said.
May 24: Councillors, led by Acting Mayor Wayne Wendt, respond to Mr Hinchliffe's show cause notice by the deadline.
The council argued the majority of residents did not want officials dismissed.
"The removal of innocent, and democratically elected officials, from their positions is not the right move," he said.
"I am of the opinion that, in the circumstances, dismissal or suspension would appear to be the appropriate response," he said.
The minister pledged to consider the response provided by councillors within 28 days.
June 20: Mr Hinchliffe will make a statement at Parliament House in Brisbane. He is expected to issue a fresh show-cause notice.