Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

Council's Fight for Survival Taken Up a Notch; Hearing Scheduled Today

Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

Council's Fight for Survival Taken Up a Notch; Hearing Scheduled Today

Article excerpt

Byline: Hayden Johnson hayden.johnson@qt.com.au

"GLOVES are off" in the city versus state battle with the Ipswich City Council starting a legal fight to have Stirling Hinchliffe's dismissal notice overturned in the Supreme Court.

In another extraordinary day in the City of Ipswich, councillors yesterday revealed they would challenge the legality of Mr Hinchliffe's notice in court.

A hearing is set down for today at 10am.

The council wants the Supreme Court to "restrain" Mr Hinchliffe from acting on his second dismissal notice which was given to councillors on June 20.

Acting Mayor Wayne Wendt said the council would challenge the minister's new power that he could dismiss the council in the "public interest".

"What we're challenging now is that there is this new public interest test and we want to make sure that the public interest has been served," he said.

"That's something we need to test, not only for this council, there are other councils who may have to face this music again in the future.

"Should it all be proven in court that it's the correct way to go, we will happily walk away."

The council argues their "hands have been forced" with Mr Hinchliffe only giving them seven days to respond to a second show-cause notice. The acting mayor said the council had already responded to questions about why it should not be sacked.

"We have seen the evidence on which his decision could be based and we believe that we and the people of Ipswich have been backed into a corner," he said.

"We have asked for the opportunity to discuss the situation and work out the best way forward for our city and we make that request to the minister again today."

Cr Wendt said evidence was provided in the council's first show-cause notice to address the minister's concerns.

"To then receive a second show-cause notice which has an extra test of public interest, which is not an easily defined test, it's made it very difficult to come up with inside five or six business days," he said. …

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