Ipswich City Council integrity crisis prompts appointment of Administrator

Published Tuesday, 21 August, 2018 at 06:00 PM

Minister for Local Government, Minister for Racing and Minister for Multicultural Affairs
The Honourable Stirling Hinchliffe

State Parliament has passed legislation to dismiss Ipswich City Council and appoint an Interim Administrator, who will assume the full role and responsibilities of Council until the next local government elections in 2020.

Local Government Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said the Government had been left with no alternative but to dismiss Council, in the wake of an unprecedented integrity crisis in Ipswich.

“The CCC’s investigation into Ipswich City Council found widespread failures of governance, a lack of transparency and accountability and a serious risk of corruption,” he said.

“To date there are 15 people facing 86 charges in Ipswich as a result of those investigations, which is undermining confidence in the city and its economy.

“The only way to give the people of Ipswich certainty and restore confidence in local institutions and the local economy is to appoint an Administrator.”

Once the Local Government (Dissolution of Ipswich City Council) Bill 2018 receives assent, it will take effect just after midnight tomorrow night, ending the term of each of the councillors, including suspended Mayor Andrew Antoniolli.

The Interim Administrator will be in place by Thursday when the legislation takes effect.

“Appointing an Administrator is regrettable but necessary,” Mr Hinchliffe said.

“I don’t take any pleasure in dismissing Council, but the interests of the people of Ipswich have to come before the interests of individual Councillors.

“The Administrator will be supported by an interim management committee with expertise in business, finance, governance and community engagement.

“They’ll be tasked to build and maintain a healthy council culture, install sound financial management practices, progress key projects, and manage considerable organisational change.

“All council operations will continue as usual – there will be no interruptions to day-to-day service delivery.

“The Interim Administrator will also have a strong focus on council staff welfare.

“Council staff will be able to seek confidential advice on workplace concerns and report incidents of suspected misconduct or corrupt conduct.

“I want to thank the people of Ipswich for their patience as we’ve gone through the process of appointing an Administrator.

“Ipswich is a vibrant city with talented people and a bright future – I’m confident that the city is now turning the corner and heading in the right direction.”

Media contact: Martin Philip 0427 919 548