Residents called to decide future of Ipswich City Council
THE make-up of Ipswich's next council will be put to residents in one of the most significant consultation campaigns in recent memory.
Ipswich City Council will prepare a submission to the State Government about whether councillor divisions should stay, and how they look.
Interim administrator Greg Chemello has revealed the council will ask for public input about future grass-roots representation.
"In the next couple of months, Ipswich City Council is intending to seek the community's views and preferences on the best way forward for Ipswich residents and ratepayers to be represented by their councillors in a future council," he said.
"This is whether Ipswich should be an undivided council or have divisions and, if the latter, how many divisions and how they should be defined."
Mr Chemello has previously insisted the people of Ipswich know how the council will look "long before 2020" elections.
Local Government Minister Stirling Hinchliffe has the final say on the make-up of the city.
The push for councillor divisions to be abolished has already secured support from Bundamba MP Jo-Ann Miller.
In parliament, Ms Miller said councillors considered divisions as "little fiefdoms, developed in Ipswich, where councillors had their own electorate offices and they really had to know only a few thousand people to be elected".
The existence of nine community offices spread across the region will be affected by the decision about divisions.
"Until that has been resolved, which involves a lengthy process of review by the state boundaries commission and decision by the Local Government Minister, the matter of the number, location and format of any community offices cannot be appropriately considered," Mr Chemello said.
A new office is planned for the Rosewood library, which is due to be started in March.
"Whether a community office is included within the fitout of the building needs to be determined within the context of the overall divisional arrangements," Mr Chemello said.