Interim Administrator of Ipswich City Council Greg Chemello.
Interim Administrator of Ipswich City Council Greg Chemello. Cordell Richardson

Candidate guide for 2020 election released

IPSWICH City Council today launches an Election 101 guide which includes everything you need to know about becoming a councillor or mayor.

Ipswich, It's Your Council: A Candidate Guide for Ipswich City Council is aimed at people considering putting their name forward for the March 2020 local government elections.

The 50-page guide was prepared by Interim Administrator Greg Chemello and can be found on the council's website.

"The Candidate Guide is intended to help potential candidates to better understand the city of Ipswich and Ipswich City Council, the role and purpose of local government, what is expected of a councillor and mayor, and what support your council's management team and staff will provide to enable and empower incoming councillors to succeed for the Ipswich communities," he said.

"For potential candidates, it is a starting point to help you decide whether or not the position of local councillor or mayor is for you. If you have already decided to nominate, hopefully this guide will be a useful tool to ensure that you're as informed as possible throughout your forthcoming campaign."

Today marks 20 weeks until the March 28 poll. So far nine people have nominated to become a councillor for the four new divisions (two councillors in each) and four people for the mayoralty.

Mr Chemello said the election would be "an unprecedented opportunity for Ipswich to start over with a refreshed, passionate and committed executive team, a loyal workforce and (after more than 18 months of major reforms under administration) an open, transparent and leading-practice council".

He said the guide was an overview of everything a candidate should know before committing to run for council and will also be of interest to many residents and ratepayers.

"Whether you've decided to run, you're contemplating running, or you want to better understand the role of council and elected representatives so you can make a fully-informed decision at the ballot box on 28 March, 2020, I hope this document will assist," he said.

"If you're still undecided, this guide will help you to make a decision either way."

Mr Chemello said the guide contained a checklist - including such items as personal motivation and attributes, the role of a councillor (and mayor), council knowledge, and your campaign/the logistics of running - which every potential councillor should tick off and would also be a useful tool for voters.

"The role of a councillor is exciting, diverse and challenging. Councillors work together to make decisions about what your council will do to meet community needs and how money should be spent in the best interests of the whole community. Councillors help our suburbs, towns and cities grow and prosper now and into the future.

"Every day you will be expected to balance the needs of your local area, your residents, the priorities for the city as a whole, community groups, local businesses and the council. All will make legitimate demands on your time - on top of your personal commitments to family, friends and obligations which may include running a business or balancing another part-time role."

Mr Chemello said the council would hold candidate information sessions to provide an opportunity for candidates (confirmed and potential) and interested residents to learn more about the role of a councillor and council's operations.

The sessions will be held later this month.