Ipswich Mayor Andrew Antoniolli believes amalgamation in 1995 was a good thing for Ipswich and the Shire of Moreton.
Ipswich Mayor Andrew Antoniolli believes amalgamation in 1995 was a good thing for Ipswich and the Shire of Moreton. Rob Williams

We got the jump by amalgamating in 1995: Mayor

BY AMALGAMATING more than a decade earlier, Ipswich was able to get the jump on many other councils, Mayor Andrew Antoniolli believes.

In 1995 the Shire of Moreton was merged into the City of Ipswich when the State Government decided to amalgamate some local councils across Queensland.

There was no referendum or vote taken.

Moreton Shire had a population of 50,000 and Ipswich had 80,000 in 1995.

In 2008 Ipswich escaped then Premier Peter Beattie's amalgamation program, designed to cut costs.

Cr Antoniolli said the decision more than 20 years ago to amalgamate was the right one.

"Moreton Shire and Ipswich would have struggled on their own obviously.

"There's been some economies of scale," he said.

"As a city we've grown through that amalgamation and efficiencies have been gained. You can pick the eye teeth out of anything but the reality is that we're a much stronger city because of it."

Cr Antoniolli, the third mayor of Ipswich since amalgamation, said councils were now focused on partnerships.

"Amalgamating in 1995 has given us the jump on many other councils and that just becomes so obvious today," he said.

"We have a very strong position in southeast Queensland," he added.

"Southeast Queensland Council of Mayors is a very strong partnership model that works very well."

Cr Antoniolli said a city's residents did not care about council boundaries and their main focus was on achieving prosperity.

"We have to work together to get the best out of all of our regions," he said.

"We're all looking for jobs for our people."

- Hayden Johnson



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