REVEALED: What boundary change means for former councillors

A FORMER councillor claims the controversial carve-up of Ipswich divisions was done to prevent dismissed representatives from standing again.

For 27 years, David Pahlke held the rural division 10, head-quartered in Rosewood.


Mr Pahlke, who was one of 11 councillors sacked by the State Government last August says the move to a multi-member, four-division city was done to make it more difficult at the next election.

"They are the worst redraw of boundaries I've seen since 1995," he said.

At the centre of Mr Pahlke's concern is the inclusion of rural suburbs with major growth areas.

"You should try and keep communities of interest together," he said.

The Local Government Change Commission agreed to the minister's recommendation and an Ipswich survey that said multi-member divisions were the best way forward.

Rural representation was a concern touted by many when considering multi-member divisions or an undivided council area.

The change commission report noted it had sought to address the residents' concerns by making divisions one and four a mix of urban and rural areas.

"In doing so, rural residents will have four councillors, or half of the divisional councillors, with some responsibility for rural suburbs," the commission report noted.

Ipswich was previously a divided council with one councillor representing each of 10 divisions, plus a separately elected mayor.

The proposed Ipswich City Council boundary change.
The proposed Ipswich City Council boundary change. Contributed

A mammoth division one, which includes Grandchester, Ripley and Redbank Plains, is the largest proposed by the commission.

"Grandchester has no relationship to Redbank Plains," Mr Pahlke said.

"I just can't believe it.

"It's a numbers game and the Ripley urban and Redbank Plains areas will always outweigh Grandchester."

Mr Pahlke said the boundary change was aimed at making it more difficult for sacked councillors to slot back into their old divisions at the March Local Government elections.

"I have no doubt in my mind they redrew my division to make sure I don't run," Mr Pahlke said.

The colourful Rosewood character admitted it was "still too far away" to make a decision on returning to politics.

He warned the new divisions would pave the way for Labor to run a cross-city campaign.

"You can bet your boots there will be party politics," he said.