So you want to run for council?

Former State MP for Logan and now Associate Professor at QUT John Mickel is urging people who are considering local council politics in Ipswich to bite the bullet and commit.

“A number of Southeast Queensland local governments has been shaken to the core by ongoing Crime and Corruption Commission investigations which have seen whole councils sacked and others under a cloud,” Professor Mickel said.

“Local government requires the best people around to represent the community; authentic voices to stand up for them.

“Regardless of which side of politics a candidate hails from, they have to have the interests of the populace at heart or they will be doing them a disservice.

“Now is the time for people to put their name forward and commit to representing their community. Public confidence in public office needs to be repaired.”

Ipswich will welcome a new class of councillors and mayor in March, and Professor Mickel said there was a lot of work to be done to make repairs to councils’ reputation.

“The greatest commodity you can have in public service is trust,” Professor Mickel said.

“The new task that council will need to do is rebuild that trust with the community.

“Building trust won’t be easy as it has probably come at a time when trust at all political levels is very low.”

Professor Mickel also said that the administration in-charge of council has done good work in trying to fix council’s reputation among the community.

“There’s a group of people who will be very grateful for the contributions of council by people like Greg Chemello in picking up the pieces and the operations team behind the administration of council without elected officials,” he said.

“The next transition will be difficult for new councillors. We have had one-man rule in Ipswich for a long time – and it has been men.

“What we’re going back to is democracy and the trust element will be evident throughout the process.”

“The best types of people to run for council are those who are usually deeply rooted in the community – they come from a large involvement with the community and understand people.”

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