Stopping dumps at top of mayoral candidate's priority list
YEARS of standing up for her city on matters of environmental significance have culminated in Ursula Monsiegneur taking a step into local politics.
The former nurse and current nurse educator remains heavily active in the Ipswich community through local groups including Rosewood and District Protection Organisation and Willowbank Area Group, where she has advocated on predominantly environmental issues.
Mrs Monsiegneur will maintain a strong environmental focus in her campaign for mayor, which she announced this month, with the official endorsement of the Willowbank Area Group.
The former Greens candidate for Ipswich West, and current Labor Party member said she would not carry any party affiliation into her campaign.
She is the fourth candidate to announce her candidacy for mayor following the controversial sacking of Ipswich City Council last year.
Gary Duffy, David Martin and Teresa Harding will also run for the 2020 election.
Mrs Monsiegneur's platform for election next year is based on the battle against major dumps proposed for Ipswich.
"This is an issue for all of Ipswich. There are eight different dumps or waste-related proposals for Ipswich at the moment including Ebenezer, Willowbank and Swanbank," she said.
"There are many broader issues affecting Ipswich, but this is the one people are most concerned about."
This year, Mrs Monsiegneur also joined the Growth Management Committee, which is one of the new city consultative groups formed since the sacking of the former council.
WAG has been a vocal opponent of the development of dumping operations at the site of the Jeebropilly mine site, set to be shut down in December.
The current proposal is for Lantrak to operate a waste operation to fill the mining void to be vacated by New Hope later this year.
Mrs Monsiegneur said on the broader issue of the environment, she would also look to make developers more accountable for breaking land clearing regulations.
She has been a resident of Ipswich since 1992, working as a nurse since 1988 before moving towards teaching.
She works part-time as a nurse educator and sessional lecturer in nursing, and is studying towards her Masters in Education.
She said her experience in the health field had given her insight into planning ahead for infrastructure.
On that front, finishing the railway line from Springfield to Ipswich was described as a priority on her hit list.
"There is a major physical divide between Ipswich and Springfield that needs to be addressed right there," she said.
"That would be an important step towards making it one Ipswich."
Mrs Monsiegneur has been a member of the Anglican Church since 1975, is married to Stephen Monsiegneur, the co-Priest at St Paul's and St Thomas Church in Ipswich, and has two children.
Residents' group backs mayoral tilt: See today's letters to the editor