Ipswich City Council Administrator Greg Chemello.
Ipswich City Council Administrator Greg Chemello. Cordell Richardson

'We'll acknowledge mistakes, be honest': Council declares

IPSWICH City Council will acknowledge mistakes and be more honest with residents under a new plan to improve community engagement.

This week administrator Greg Chemello repealed the 2013 Community Engagement Strategy, formulated under Paul Pisasale, in favour of a new direction.

Under the new plan, dubbed Participating Ipswich, a working group will be established within the council to ensure all departments are actively engaging with the public.

The council hopes the plan will increase the number of people participating in decisions that affect the livability, social and economic future of the city.

"Honest and respectful conversations are needed to debate and decide the best responses for Ipswich as we grow to a population of half a million people,” the plan notes.

The council has pledged to engage with people who live, work or play in the region to make the best decisions.

It said residents can expect to "have a real say in how the city functions”.

The council has promised to "have mistakes acknowledged and addressed” and "be given honesty around what is and isn't negotiable”.

A cornerstone of the council's new policy is early engagement with residents.

"Early engagement is essential for better outcomes because it brings more voices to the table to identify issues and ideas before options for solutions are developed,” the plan notes.

"Engaging early on the challenges allows us greater opportunity to discuss, debate and decide on long-term solutions.”

The new strategy was developed with input from Interim Management Committee member Jan Taylor.