Nugent calls on councillors to work together
THE 48th mayor of Ipswich, John Nugent, has called on the Ipswich councillors to come together as a unified front and work for the common good of the city.
Mr Nugent said it was an honour to hang the mayoral chains around Cr Andrew Antoniolli's neck on Thursday at his swearing in as mayor - chains that have the names of the 50 mayors inscribed on silver shields.
Mr Nugent, alluding to the dramas surrounding the resignation of the 49th mayor Paul Pisasale, said it was vital the Antoniolli mayoralty was a successful one.
"This is a significant day for Ipswich,” Mr Nugent told the QT at the swearing in.
"It is a chance to put aside everything that has been going on that is negative and for everybody to get back together now and work for the common good of Ipswich.
"Andrew was elected mayor by the majority.
"There will be differences of opinion amongst the councillors, and there have been differences of opinion going on in the background, but now they have to come together, accept the outcome and get on with the job.”
Mr Nugent was the 48th mayor of Ipswich from 1995 to 2004.
There were 42 Ipswich mayors in the 79 years from 1860 until 1939.
Cr Antoniolli, the 50th, is the eighth mayor in the subsequent 78 years.
The turnover of mayors has been small since 1939 and Mr Nugent said that fact "reflected the quality of the council as a whole that has been elected since those (early) days”.
The stability of the councillors underneath those latter mayors has also been on show in that time, apart from the turbulence of the mid 1990s.
"They have been able to work together for the common good,” Mr Nugent said.
"That doesn't mean councillors don't have differences of opinion, they do.
"But if you can keep your differences of opinion within your own group, work out what you are going to do and get on with the job then the outcomes are always better.”
Mr Nugent was the chairman of Moreton Shire from 1988 until 1994 and then became mayor of that shire for a year before amalgamation in 1995, when he took over as Ipswich mayor.
He holds a unique record.
"I was the last chairman of Moreton Shire, the first mayor of Moreton Shire, the last mayor of Moreton Shire, the only mayor of Moreton Shire and the first mayor of the newly amalgamated Ipswich City,” he grinned.
"That's a record that can't be beaten isn't it.”