Ipswich mayoral candidate David Martin.
Ipswich mayoral candidate David Martin.

Mayoral candidate slams watchdog for lack of transparency

MAYORAL hopeful David Martin has slammed the council watchdog for not revealing which former Ipswich councillors could be the focus of potentially reopened investigations.

The Office of the Independent Assessor told the QT last week it could "revisit" investigations put on hold concerning former Ipswich councillors if they are elected again next month.

The OIA would not confirm who exactly the investigations concerned.

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David Martin, who was sacked alongside his colleagues by the State Government in August 2018, said candidates and voters needed transparency with the comments "casting a shadow" over the upcoming election.

Mr Martin said he had confirmed with the OIA that he has not been under investigation.

"The OIA's claim it might open investigations into candidates after they are elected stinks of fear-mongering," he said.

"After two years of uncertainty residents deserve to vote on March 28 knowing a question mark will not hang over the next council.

"These vague comments by the OIA are a slap in the face to Ipswich residents who are demanding certainty when they head to the polls and vote in their council next month.

"Any person who had done the wrong thing in office should have already been investigated and dealt with."

Former Division 9 councillor Sheila Ireland will run for a Division 1 seat next month.

She said she had not been contacted by the OIA.

"I haven't heard from them," she said.

"I have no intention of contacting them. I haven't heard from anyone since August of 2018."

Mr Martin and Mrs Ireland are only members of the dismissed council team to have announced their intention to contest the election to date.

Independent assessor Kathleen Florian said the OIA "transparently reports" on "de-identified complaint and investigation data".

"Consistent with the OIA's media policy, the OIA does not confirm or deny whether a councillor is under investigation unless the matter is already in the public arena," she said.

"If a councillor is not the subject of an investigation, they are free to say so publicly.

"As stated previously, investigations into former Ipswich councillors were put on hold when the council was dismissed so that resources could be focused on misconduct investigations into sitting Queensland councillors."