OPINION: Ipswich deserves answers before election day
THE OFFICE of the Independent Assessor must tell the people of Ipswich if the dismissed councillors running for office have complaints against them.
The office stopped investigating complaints because the person or people they were against were no longer serving as councillors.
With nominations officially closed, we now have confirmation that former councillors will appear on our ballots come March 28.
We deserve to know before heading to the polls whether or not investigations into complaints will be reopened, potentially tainting our fresh start or even resulting in disciplinary action somewhere down the track.
While Ipswich has absolutely forged on and shown resilience during the past 18 months, this election still acts as a line in the sand.
It truly draws a line under everything that has happened and lets us clearly form a vision for the future of our city.
It would be heartbreaking to see this opportunity overshadowed by more investigations in to the council.
It would take away from positive conversations about where we are headed and everything we have to offer.
Our new councillors will no doubt walk in the door, fresh, excited and ready to prove themselves.
They do not deserve to have this cloud of wrongdoing hanging over their heads as they find their feet and discover the intricacies of the role.
It is not fair on the voters either.
You all deserve to go to the polls knowing whether or not there is potential for an investigation to be reopened.
We are calling on the Office of the Independent Assessor to do the right thing.
We are calling on Stirling Hinchliffe, who saw fit to step in before, to step in again and force the OIA's hand on this one if necessary.
Mr Hinchliffe, you felt Ipswich deserved better before when you sacked the council and you were right. Back it up because we deserve better now.
Shannon Newley is the editor of the Queensland Times.