Pe­ti­tion to save, dis­miss coun­cil

The Queensland Times - - News - – Hay­den Johnson

op­pos­ing pe­ti­tions ar­gu­ing for the fate of Ip­swich’s 11 coun­cil­lors have been handed to the Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Min­is­ter for a response.

A pe­ti­tion to save the Ip­swich City Coun­cil and one to dis­miss them were tabled in the Queens­land Par­lia­ment this week.

Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Min­is­ter Stir­ling Hinch­liffe has been handed the two pe­ti­tions and will have un­til July 12 to pro­vide a response to the par­lia­ment.

The pe­ti­tion to dis­miss the Ip­swich City Coun­cil se­cured 1096 sig­na­tures since April 5.

It ar­gued res­i­dents had “lost con­fi­dence in the ca­pac­ity of the Ip­swich City Coun­cil to per­form its re­spon­si­bil­i­ties and be­lieve that the ex­ec­u­tives/ elected of­fi­cials have se­ri­ously or con­tin­u­ously breached the lo­cal gov­ern­ment prin­ci­ples”.

It called for Mr Hinch­liffe to dis­solve the coun­cil and ap­point an in­terim ad­min­is­tra­tor to act in place of coun­cil­lors.

The pe­ti­tion was started be­fore charges against mayor An­drew An­to­niolli – which he in­tends to fight – prompted Mr Hin­cliffe to start the process to dis­miss the coun­cil.

A con­trast­ing pe­ti­tion to save the coun­cil se­cured 791 sig­na­tures since May.

It was started in response to Mr Hinch­liffe’s dis­missal pro­ceed­ings and ar­gued an ad­min­is­tra­tor would be a “sig­nifTWO icant step back­wards”.

“Res­i­dents voted coun­cil­lors to their po­si­tions and we con­tinue to sup­port our de­ci­sion,” it said.

“If the gov­ern­ment chooses to re­move the coun­cil, they are tak­ing away our fun­da­men­tal right to choose our lead­ers and un­der­min­ing the demo­cratic sys­tem our na­tion was built on.”

Un­der stand­ing or­ders, the min­is­ter must pro­vide a response to pe­ti­tions to the Clerk within 30 days or pro­vide an in­terim response.

Mr Hin­cliffe is likely to make a de­ci­sion on the coun­cil’s fate be­fore he is due to re­spond to the pe­ti­tions.

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