Book battle inspires candidate to run for council seat
A BATTLE over books prompted long-time Redbank Plains resident Jim Thompson to take a close interest in the affairs of Ipswich City Council.
The 68-year-old has regularly attended council meetings since May 2018 following the decision to relocate about 25,000 books from his local library to the Springfield Library earlier that year.
In one of the final acts before they were dismissed, the majority of the former council team voted to return the books.
Mr Thompson said a lack of transparency shown during this period, with residents kept in the dark leading up to the initial decision being announced, was a motivation for contesting a Division 1 seat in the March election.
"In the course of the last year-and-a-half attending the council meetings, I've become more educated as to what the council does do, how the systems work and how they've been changed to work under the new regime," he said.
"I feel that I'm perhaps as best qualified as anyone to provide a steady transition to the new council.
"The staff at Ipswich council have been through a tumultuous two years. We need to make it a smooth run as possible and that's what I hope to offer."
Mr Thompson has lived in Redbank Plains for 32 years and will be running independently.
He works as a craftsman, selling his wares at markets, and worked as a retailer for most of his life.
"I worked in Sydney for about 10 years for Woolworths as a buyer and then as a merchandise manager. I then became an executive and they put me in charge of data control," he said.
"I then took an offer to come up to Brisbane and manage a small chain of retail stores there.
"I've spent all my life in one way or another dealing with people and with the public generally."
Mr Thompson said his only previous election experience was running for council in Canada when he was a 19-year-old university student.
"I've always been interested in politics wherever I've lived," he said.