WHAT’S going on inside the chambers of Ipswich Council.
The disharmony amongst our elected officials is bubbling out the doors of the new $110m council building.
The recent move to censure deputy mayor, Jacob Madsen, because he dared to praise the Federal Government’s support in helping fund new infrastructure in the city, was an embarrassment.
This sort of nit-picking does nothing to help Ipswich, it just reveals we have officials who’ve forgotten what they were elected to do and that’s to run this city to the best of their ability as a cohesive team.
The censure motion was instigated by the mayor when it’s believed she asked the CEO to lodge a complaint against Cr Madsen to the Office of the Independent Assessor because he had broken the council’s media policy.
That policy basically says a councillor other than the mayor cannot make a statement on behalf of the council.
Now if Madsen was criticising the Labor Government or making a negative statement, I would understand this complaint. But a positive comment and getting a photo with Federal Member, Shayne Neumann, should never have been raised as an issue. Where was the commonsense in this matter?
It was like scolding a young child and it was a slap in the face for a hardworking councillor who was only trying to be positive.
This whole issue runs a little deeper than just a complaint against a fellow councillor.
The strong rumour is there is widespread unrest amongst the councillors over a number of issues and many are pointing the blame squarely at Mayor Harding.
To lead a council is a difficult assignment and you can only be successful if you have the full support of the entire team.
Cracking the whip over the back of the deputy mayor was both a mistake and a black mark for the mayor.
The mayor had to eat humble pie when she was kicked out of the council meeting when the matter came back for deliberation and she admitted she had instigated the complaint.
Cr Nicole Jonic used the opportunity to speak out about the emotional toll it took on her when she was the subject of a recent complaint to the OIA.
She referred to the resignation of a Scenic Rim councillor who was bashed into submission by complaints from within his own council.
“This whole issue is a total waste of our ratepayer’s time, money and patience,” she said.
Cr Jonic, I totally agree with you, let’s hope this sort of bickering becomes a thing of the past and instead we start seeing positivity.