'Stench' around council won't fade without new blood
REBEL Labor MP Jo-Ann Miller is warning the people of Ipswich to think very carefully about who they want to lead the city into a new era beyond next year.
The Member for Bundamba believes the "stench" of corruption will remain at Ipswich City Council unless a "completely new" council is elected in 2020.
As part of the Councillor Integrity Policy Package, a number of policies have been introduced by the council and existing ones amended, with the intention of guiding new councillors and staff after the March election.
"The new integrity-based policy package for councillors sets leading practice standards for all incoming councillors to ensure that good governance, ethical and legal behaviour standards and transparent and effective processes are in place, providing a clear benchmark for all interactions between councillors, council officers and members of the community," CEO David Farmer said.
"The Crime and Corruption Commission Operation Windage report highlighted several areas of concern related to non-compliance with council policies and procedures. This integrity package addresses several of the findings made and places more appropriate and transparent controls around the risk areas.
"These leading practice standards reduce the risk of incoming councillors falling into the poor governance standards and resulting corruption that ultimately led to the dismissal of the Ipswich City Council in August 2018."
Ms Miller warned these policies put in place by interim administrator Greg Chemello are not set in stone and can be easily overturned by a new council.
"When the council elections occur next year, all Ipswich citizens need to bear that in mind," she said.
"That's why their vote is so important. People I've been talking to have made it very clear to me that they want a completely new lot of councillors elected and they don't want any previous councillors elected.
"The reality of the situation is that even though Greg Chemello has done a terrific job in bringing in new policies, the legal and administrative facts are that they can be overturned by new councillors."
The package addresses several keys areas including councillor and staff interaction, expenses reimbursement, election caretaker period, council meetings, the capture and retention of public records, contact with lobbyists, developers and submitters and the representation of the city at official functions.
"The review of current practices identified that a number of current policies required significant review or replacement to ensure that a clear alignment between the Local Government and Public Sector Ethics Principles and council process exists," Mr Farmer said.
"In formulating these documents, significant research has been undertaken on similar documents throughout Australia, with the aim of ensuring that the new policies meet the standard of leading practice that council is striving to achieve."