REVEALED: Dick Williams out of the mayoral race
FORMER ALP state president Dick Williams says he will not be contesting the Ipswich mayoral by-election and has confirmed the Labor Party will not be running an endorsed candidate at the August 19 poll.
Mr Williams earlier told the QT he was considering a run at the mayoralty, but only as an ALP-endorsed candidate.
In the interview he said it was time for fresh blood as mayor and outlined how he was keen to enhance employment opportunities and facilitate a range of industry returning to the city.
The Ipswich-born Mr Williams, also the Electrical Trades Union (ETU) state secretary from 2001 until 2009, said he did believe there should be ALP-endorsed candidates in Ipswich council and that he would be working towards securing that outcome.
But the 2017 mayoral by-election is not his time.
"I think the timing is not right for me in respect to embarking on a new career at my stage in life," he told the QT.
"I would still prefer to see somebody from outside the council to run, and preferably someone endorsed by the Australian Labor Party.
"It has been confirmed to me that that there is no chance, on this occasion, that there will be an endorsed ALP candidate in the field.
"I have been in discussions with both Ipswich councillors and the party in Brisbane, and it is not going to happen on this occasion.
"However I do have a commitment from senior party representatives, from all factions, that once this by-election is out of the way we will start the process of having a full and thorough debate within the party about whether we should have ALP-endorsed candidates."
Mr Williams said that would not be a quick or simple process. He said it was a complex issue which would need to be thoroughly investigated before any final decision was made.
"It could be a couple of elections away before that is determined," he said.
"But as a long-standing and senior member of the Labor Party I will make it my mission over the next few years to try and bring about a change in local politics and (with respect to) ALP endorsement within Ipswich City Council."
Mr Williams said he was humbled by the amount of support he received after flagging his possible run.
"That was particularly from within the party membership in the Ipswich area," he said.
"There were numerous offers to assist with the campaign and help me with my endeavour and there was some significant support from the general public.
"To each and every one of those people who did support me I say 'thank you very much'."
Mr Williams will be kept busy in his role chairman of the Queensland Building and Construction Commission and director of Construction Skills Queensland.
He is also a keen golfer and the vice-president of Gailes Golf Club.
Mr Williams, who once played off 13, will be working hard to reduce his official handicap of 19.2.
He has notified mayoral candidates Acting Mayor Paul Tully and Cr Andrew Antoniolli, both ALP members, of his decision not to run.
Mr Williams will however be watching the mayoral by-election unfold with interest.
"I harbour no ill-feeling towards any of the candidates," he said.
"It is entirely up to the people of Ipswich who they select to be their mayor."