Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

Minister Makes a; State Plans Dismissal Move to End Drawn out Drama in City's Council

Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

Minister Makes a; State Plans Dismissal Move to End Drawn out Drama in City's Council

Article excerpt

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

COUNCILLORS have six weeks to clean their offices after the State Government announced it would rush through legislation to remove the embattled Ipswich City Council.

A new law will be carefully crafted and introduced to the Queensland Parliament on the week of August 21 to sack the council.

Yesterday Local Government Minister Stirling Hinchliffe took councillors and his Ipswich colleagues by surprise when he revealed the state would take action to end the saga.

His decision comes after the council decided to test the legality of Mr Hinchliffe's two show-cause notices in the Supreme Court.

Mr Hinchliffe said by lodging the court challenge; "Ipswich councillors have made it plain they could drag this process out for years".

"Dismissing a democratically-elected Local Government is not a step to be taken lightly, but it's necessary because of an extraordinary chain of events," he said.

"After a year of turmoil, arrests, criminal charges and a recent Supreme Court challenge it was time to give the Ipswich community certainty.

"For me this decision is as much - if not more - about ratepayers and staff of this bruised and battered council."

The introduction of special legislation will allow for an administrator to be appointed until March 2020 when the next quadrennial council elections are due.

An administrator, which the government says will not be an ex-politician or aligned to the Labor Party, will be supported by an expert advisory panel.

"When the legislation is dealt with and the power is there to appoint the administrator we'll be ensuring there is a competent and capable administrator focused on delivering good public policy," he said.

An advisory group will also be appointed.

Councillors will remain in their roles and some say it will be "business as usual" until the new legislation is passed by the Queensland Parliament.

By introducing an Act of Parliament the State Government will be able to ensure its dismissal of the council cannot be legally challenged. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.