‘Too long’: LNP hits out at lack of decision on council

OPPOSITION leader Deb Frecklington says the State Government is taking too long to deal with alleged corruption at the embattled Ipswich City Council.

Today, Local Government Minister Stirling Hinchliffe issued a new show cause notice to the council, again asking why councilors shouldn't be dismissed.

Councillors have until June 29 to respond to the new show cause, issued under the Minister's increased powers rushed through parliament in May.

Ms Frecklington said she was gobsmacked by the announcement.

"It's unbelievable how long it's taking this Premier to clean up alleged Labor corruption in her own backyard," Ms Frecklington said.

"The Premier has known about these corruption allegations at Labor's Ipswich Council for years but has refused to act.

"Quite simply, this Labor protection racket needs to end.

"Labor rushed sweeping new powers through the Parliament as a matter of urgency but has failed to actually make a decision.  

"Annastacia Palaszczuk was dragged kicking and screaming to issue a show cause notice in the first place and it's unacceptable that 48 days later she still can't make a decision.

"It's not good enough. The people of Ipswich deserve better. They deserve certainty from the Palaszczuk Government."

Ipswich residents have been left in limbo since early May when the first show cause notice was issued to the council.

That five-page confidential document, seen exclusively by the QT, accused councillors of failing to act "legally and ethically".

"I am of the opinion that, in the circumstances, dismissal or suspension would appear to be the appropriate response, necessary to uphold the importance of the principles enshrined in the Local Government Act... and to protect the public through general deterrence of other councillors," he wrote.

The notice listed more than 50 charges against a host of Ipswich personalities connected with the council.

Councillors were given an opportunity to respond, which they did on May 24, arguing that no individual charged had entered a plea or been found guilty of any wrongdoing.

Today, the council has confirmed it will respond to the new notice again arguing the 10 remaining elected officials should not be forcibly removed.  

Acting Mayor Wayne Wendt said councilors would again submit documentation "which shows how this council is getting on with the job of servicing the ratepayers of Ipswich."

"As elected representatives, we are committed to serving the best interests of our communities, and that is what we will continue to do," Cr Wendt said.

"Until we receive further direction, it is not appropriate for us to comment further."

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