Ipswich Council launches court action
Ipswich City Council is taking legal action to avoid the sack.
The council has applied with the Supreme Court to dispute a recently-issued show cause notice.
“Nobody wants to go through this but our hands have been forced,” Ipswich Acting Mayor Wayne Wendt said.
“This is not about declaring war on the State Government. To the contrary, it is about seeing sense in the situation and seeking an opportunity to find the right solutions.
“Importantly, it is also a move to protect all Queensland councils into the future by ensuring that from the outset these ministerial powers are appropriately applied to avoid a dangerous precedent being set.”
Queensland Local Government Minister Stirling Hinchliffe issued the show cause notice and threatened to dismiss the council using new powers passed in Parliament last month.
The council argues that the Minister does not have the jurisdiction to dismiss or suspend it.
Cr Wendt said the council provided Local Government Minister Stirling Hinchliffe with all the information he required.
“We have offered solutions and we have provided evidence that has refuted his concerns,” he said.
“Yet we remain passengers in the process which has seemingly looked beyond the innocence of ten elected councillors.”
Mr Hinchliffe said it is “gravely disappointing” that the council appears to be hiding behind the legal proceedings.
“Residents, ratepayers and businesses deserve transparent and accountable leadership — they want a council they can have confidence in,” Mr Hinchliffe said.
“I am more determined than ever to address any governance shortcomings at Ipswich City Council, which is why I've issued a show cause notice that includes a right of reply.
“Council's delaying tactics in seeking to circumvent the legal process already underway will only create more uncertainty and confusion for the people of Ipswich.”
He said he would do everything in his power, and even seek new powers if necessary, to make sure the council is serving the city's best interests.
“I will monitor tomorrow's proceedings closely, and any actions I take will be focused solely on restoring transparency and accountability at Ipswich City Council,” he said.
Meanwhile, reports say Ipswich Council has lost more than $80 million through a secretive property development arm.