ATTACKS: Ipswich councillor David Martin has received reports from council staff about bottles and abuse being hurled by disgruntled residents.
ATTACKS: Ipswich councillor David Martin has received reports from council staff about bottles and abuse being hurled by disgruntled residents. Hayden Johnson

Residents hurl abuse, bottle in anger at council staff

STAFF working for the Ipswich City Council have been the targets of disgruntled residents who have thrown bottles and hurled abuse.

The QT can reveal some of the council's 1500 employees have been caught up in the community's anger over its elected council.

Across the region, council employees are responsible for mowing parks, building footpaths and enforcing local laws.

Division 7 Councillor David Martin, who was elected in October, said while people had a right to be angry with councillors, they should not be abusive towards staff.

"One guy mowing lawns had a bottle thrown at him," Cr Martin said.

"People are being told they're all corrupt.

"Our girls at the front counter, people who ring and ask for something and don't get the answer they want, they'll say, oh that's right you're all corrupt. I bet it would help if I gave you some money."

The city's 11 councillors will be dismissed by the State Government on August 21.

After more than one year, a Crime and Corruption Commission investigation has resulted in 15 people charged with more than 70 offences.

Last month, CCC chairman Alan MacSporran said his organisation's investigation had "identified significant governance failures and cultural issues" occurring over many years.

Cr Martin acknowledged the whole entity "has been under a cloud with the CCC there for the past 12 months".

He said despite the charges against elected representatives, staff should be left to do their jobs without working in fear. "I feel outraged, I'm fiercely proud of our council staff," he said.

"They certainly don't deserve to be abused because they've got an ICC logo. It's all pretty poor behaviour."

Cr Martin said council staff "do a cracking job".

"It's very ordinary people, by virtue of the fact they work at Ipswich City Council, are tainted with the alleged actions of a few," he said.

For two years, council CEO Sean Madigan headed up a Line of Sight program, designed to improve communications with staff and to improve organisational culture.

"Staff welfare and morale has been a core focus of Ipswich City Council for some time," Mr Madigan said.

"This council is conscious that the majority of the work we do is public-facing, whether it be the extensive work with community groups, via our parks and gardens, road maintenance teams, or economic development.

"There is a free psychological service for all staff, and managers have all been asked to put staff welfare at the top of their work agendas. Ipswich City Council staff are proud to serve their city, and do a remarkable job to ensure one of Australia's fastest-growing regions is a great place to live."

Cr Martin said the organisation was working to improve itself, and encouraged residents to complement staff in the community.

"Tell them they're doing a good job," he said.