Ipswich’s new mayor claims victory
THE NEW Mayor of Ipswich is ready to get down the business of helping her city survive the coronavirus crisis.
A jubilant Teresa Harding said she believed trust and integrity were the two big issues for voters in this historic election.
Ms Harding won convincingly over David Martin, securing more than 40 per cent of the vote over Mr Martin's 23.84 per cent with about 62 per cent of the vote counted.
By lunchtime Sunday, Mr Martin had sent a message to Ms Harding on Facebook congratulating her on her victory.
"I think I won because I focused on all of Ipswich," she said.
"I was doorknocking and holding stalls everywhere, right across the city and country areas.
"I really went all-out."
Ms Harding said the number one question she was asked was whether or not she was one of the sacked councillors, which she was not.
"That, and people also wanted to know how they could trust me," she said.
"I outlined my background in the military, my senior position in the government and explained to them I was in a position of trust. I put my register of interests online and published my police check.
"I think all of that was important for people to know.
"I was also very upfront about my political background."
Acknowledging she and the new council would face tremendous challenges ahead, Ms Harding said she would personally oversee the city's disaster management response, while also doing what she can to assist local business.
She also plans to open the books on the previous council's operation of various privately operated companies, including Ipswich City Properties and Ipswich Motorsport Park, which were wound up with a combined debt of almost $80 million.
"For us to heal as a city we really need to know what happened there," she said.