Shayne Neumann, the Federal Member for Blair, grilled council candidates earlier this week for their lack of activity.
Shayne Neumann, the Federal Member for Blair, grilled council candidates earlier this week for their lack of activity. Bev Lacey

Council candidate activity revealed after MP grills inaction

SPECIAL INVESTIGATION: CANDIDATES have rebutted Federal MP for Blair Shayne Neumann's claims earlier this week in which he criticised the apparent lack of council candidate activity in Ipswich.

Mr Neumann said six months out from the election he would expect to see more candidates engaging with the community more frequently.

READ THE INITIAL STORY: 'If you haven't declared, you're not fair dinkum'

The QT investigation into candidates' social media activity showed varying degrees of engagement with the community over the past month.

Mayoral candidate Gary Duffy hit back at the MP's comments on social media.

He said most of the candidates announced for next year's election "were paying for our own elections out of our own pockets".

"We have families in bushfires to look after, we have people who are homeless we have to care for, and we have elderly people who cannot pay for basic things like bread and milk who we as community members take care of," Mr Duffy said.

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Mr Duffy's policies and political history is available on his website.

According to social media, mayoral candidate Teresa Harding was in the community last in mid-September, surveying business owners at the Top of Town about what they would like done in the area.

"I did some business door knocking in top of town, spoke with six businesses and one former business owner," she said at the time.

Ms Harding's policies, as well as a declaration of interests, are available on her website.

Rosewood-based mayoral candidate Ursula Monsiegneur is lobbying against Lantrak's plan to fill the New Hope mine with building waste and approached the QT earlier this week.

She does not, however, run an active campaign Facebook. Peter Luxton, who has previously run for council but is yet to confirm if he will run in 2020, is active on social media, reposting links he believed were relevant to an Ipswich constituency, but he has not posted about community meet and greets or policy.

Former councillor and mayoral candidate Dave Martin was active among the business sphere in the community, attending meetings, and posted regularly about community events but he has avoided strong policy commentary on Facebook.

The only candidate in Division 1, Pye Augustine has an active social media profile and was on the ground speaking with football clubs and community events in Redbank Plains.

Division 2 candidate James Pinnell's social media showed he spoke at Springfield Central High School on Tuesday night, commenting on concerns from parents in the school's catchment.

"Amongst the concerns from the P&C, the main one was about the lack of regular daily access to the new Community Sports Fields that are directly on the border due to potential trampling. Sports fields are there to be used, not manicured, and it's up to council to make sure they are maintained to standard," he said.

Mr Pinnell's background and policies are available on his website.

Division 2 James Fazl candidate has remained quiet on social media, but in early September posted about revitalising the city through "Open House Ipswich", a free public festival that celebrates the city's architecture, culture, heritage and an insight into Ipswich's most historic buildings.

Division 3 Jim Dodrill candidate announced via Facebook this week he has just returned from Nepal, trekking to Everest Base Camp and will begin publishing his policies in the coming weeks. Mr Dodrill has a website listed on his Facebook, which is inactive.

Rochelle Caloon, another Division 3 candidate retains an active Facebook and was last in the community late September, "meeting with local business owners" in the Top of Town.

Division 4 candidate Kate Kunzelmann provided the QT with her run sheet up until September, which included "Street Talks" scheduled up until Christmas at schools and prominent places in the community.

She was out in the community in Rosewood this week.

It is also featured on her Facebook. Ms Kunzelmann's policies and background are available on her website.