Sombre councillors return to chambers as dismissal looms
IT IS "business as usual" within the Ipswich City Council as the deadline for dismissal approaches.
Councillors met publicly today for the first time since Local Government Minister Stirling Hinchliffe announced on May 3 that he would begin the process to dismiss the council.
The deadline for councillors to provide a response to that notice is Thursday.
Under the tougher legislation passed by the Queensland Parliament last week, Mr Hinchliffe could revoke that notice and move swiftly to dismiss the council within 24 hours.
Despite the uncertainty of being sacked, councillors attended the first day of two for committee meetings.
It was a sombre mood inside the chamber, with all but Mayor Andrew Antoniolli and Division 6 councillor Cheryl Bromage in attendance.
There were few references to the Minister's looming decision about their livelihoods.
In response to Division 4 councillor Kylie Stoneman's concern about the time it would take to get information about bats, Acting Mayor Wayne Wendt told her councillors needed to act as if they would remain in their roles.
"Business as usual," he said.
Division 10 councillor David Pahlke was looking forward to attending the opening of the new Springfield Library in August.
"We'll put it in our diaries," he said.
"That's if our diaries still exist."
Aside from the few sly comments, councillors discussed problems and called for reports on issues as normal.
A waste and recycling matter, not due to be finalised until the end of the year, was voted on and praised by councillors.
Cr Wendt said until the minister informed otherwise, "it is business as usual".
"All councillors would be naturally concerned about what the future holds under the current circumstances," he said.
"Council staff continue to proudly serve the city and its residents."
The second day of committee meetings will be held tomorrow.
The first external council meeting of the year is scheduled for May 29 at Springfield.