Ipswich Administrator Greg Chemello with new CEO David Farmer.
Ipswich Administrator Greg Chemello with new CEO David Farmer. Cordell Richardson

City boss reveals why councillors shouldn't work full time

INCOMING councillors should not have to work full time in order to fulfil their responsibilities, administrator Greg Chemello believes.

Scuttlebutt has been ripe in Ipswich about if the next batch of councillors would be paid for working part-time.

Mr Chemello, who is likely to have enforced sweeping reform to councillors' roles by 2020, said remuneration was a matter for the Local Government Remuneration and Discipline Tribunal.

"The tribunal does not stipulate a minimum or maximum number of hours a councillor must commit to once elected, unlike an employee of council who has set working hours... it's not a full-time position as such," Mr Chemello said.

"A councillor's key role is to work as a team of councillors to lead the strategy and policy development for the council organisation.

This is to be in the public interest of the entire local government area, regardless of whether it is a divided or undivided council.

"Councillors need to have active engagement with their communities to effectively deliver this role."

Mr Chemello said a well-operated organisation was one where councillors were not involved in council intricacies.

"When focus is placed on setting and overseeing the strategic direction for the whole of the city, as opposed to getting involved in the day-to-day workings of the council which is carried out by employees under the direction of the CEO, my personal view is that the role of councillor should not require full-time hours," he said.

"There are many examples of similar-sized councils across Australia where councillors are effectively delivering leadership for their communities without getting involved in the intricacies of council operations and working excessive hours.

"I'm confident incoming councillors should be able to enjoy a healthy work-life balance."