MINUTES of Council Ordinary Meeting

10 December 2019

Held in the Council Chambers, Administration Building

45 Roderick Street, Ipswich

The meeting commenced at 9.00 am

Pursuant to section 8.4.5 of Council’s Meeting Procedures Policy, the Interim Administrator invited the Interim Management Committee being Jan Taylor, Simone Webbe, Robert Jones, Stan Gallo and Steve Greenwood to address the Council on any matters before it.

 

The Interim Administrator advised that he is bound to declare Conflict of Interests and potential Conflict of Interests and that the members of the Interim Management Committee are not legally bound, however in accordance with the Interim Management Committee Charter they will also declare Conflict of Interests and potential Conflict of Interests.

 

ATTENDANCE AT COMMENCEMENT

Greg Chemello (Interim Administrator)

INTERIM MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE

Jan Taylor, Simone Webbe, Robert Jones, Stan Gallo and Steve Greenwood

WELCOME TO COUNTRY OR ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF COUNTRY

Ipswich City Council respectfully acknowledges the Traditional Owners as custodians of the land upon which we meet. We pay our respects to their elders, past, present and emerging, as the keepers of the traditions, cultures and stories of a proud people.

OPENING PRAYER

Greg Chemello (Interim Administrator)

Let us in silence pray or reflect upon our responsibilities to the people of Ipswich.

We meet today to serve our community, to use our resources wisely and well, to represent all members of our community fairly and to make decisions that promote the common good.

APOLOGIES AND LEAVE OF ABSENCE

Nil

TRIBUTES

The Interim Administrator thanked the Interim Management Committee for their advice, assistance, direction, and counselling when he needed it, over the last 15 months. He passed on his appreciation and outlined that he couldn’t have done the job without their individual and collective efforts.

 

 

Confirmation of Minutes

 

Confirmation of Minutes of Ordinary Meeting

The Interim Administrator of the Ipswich City Council resolves:

That the Minutes of the Ordinary Meeting held on 19 November 2019 be confirmed.

The motion was put and carried.

 

Declarations of Interest in matters on the agenda

DECLARATIONS

The Interim Administrator declared interests in the following matters:

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE

CONFLICT OF INTEREST

ITEMS 2, 3, 4, 5 AND 6 – INTERIM ADMINISTRATOR

Item 2 – Ipswich Central Redevelopment Governance

Item 3 – Tender Consideration Plan Approval – Retail Project Audit Consultants

Item 4 – Tender Consideration Plan – Principal Contractor for Commonwealth Hotel Reconstruction Work

Item 5 – Ipswich Central Program Report No. 17 to 16 October 2019 and Report No. 18 to 15 November 2019

Item 6 – Tender Consideration Plan Approval – Retail Construction – Nicholas Street – Ipswich Central.

 

The nature of the perceived interest is that Ranbury Management Group is the primary consultant for the CBD Redevelopment and from 2008 to 2012 he was an employee and was a director and part owner of Ranbury but has no current working relationship with the company.

 

The Interim Administrator confirmed that, as there is no personal or financial benefit to the Interim Administrator, he would participate in the meeting in relation to the matter.

CONFLICT OF INTEREST ITEM 2 – STAN GALLO

Item 2 – Ipswich Central Redevelopment Governance

 

Stan Gallo from the Interim Management Committee informed the meeting that for the purpose of transparency he has, or could reasonably be taken to have a perceived conflict of interest in Item 2 titled Ipswich Central Redevelopment Governance.

 

The nature of the perceived interest is that he is a partner at KPMG, who have undertaken a financial analysis of a development and divestment strategy for retail and commercial assets.

Stan Gallo confirmed that, as there is no personal or financial benefit to him and he would not be party to any analysis undertaken by KPMG, he would participate in the meeting in relation to the matter.

 

OFFICER’S REPORT

CONFLICT OF INTEREST – OFFICER’S REPORT – INTERIM ADMINISTRATOR

 

Officer’s Report titled Project Management Services – Commonwealth Hotel and Retail Components Nicholas Street – Ipswich Central

 

The nature of the perceived interest is that Ranbury Management Group is the primary consultant for the CBD Redevelopment and from 2008 to 2012 he was an employee and was a director and part owner of Ranbury but has no current working relationship with the company.

 

The Interim Administrator confirmed that, as there is no personal or financial benefit to the Interim Administrator, he would participate in the meeting in relation to the matter.

 

Reception and Consideration of Committee Reports

 

Economic Development Committee

The Interim Administrator of the Ipswich City Council resolves:

That the Economic Development Committee Report No. 2019(12) of 3 December 2019 be received and adopted.

The motion was put and carried.

 

Growth and Infrastructure Committee

The Interim Administrator of the Ipswich City Council resolves:

That the Growth and Infrastructure Committee Report No. 2019(12) of 3 December 2019 be received and adopted.

The motion was put and carried.

 

Communities Committee

The Interim Administrator of the Ipswich City Council resolves:

That the Communities Committee Report No. 2019(12) of 3 December 2019 be received and adopted.

The motion was put and carried.

 

Environment Committee

The Interim Administrator of the Ipswich City Council resolves:

That the Environment Committee Report No. 2019(12) of 3 December 2019 be received and adopted.

The motion was put and carried.

 

Governance Committee

The Interim Administrator of the Ipswich City Council resolves:

That the Governance Committee Report No. 2019(12) of 3 December 2019 be received and adopted subject to an amendment to the commentary of Item 7 titled Media Policy.

AMENDMENT

That the second paragraph of commentary in relation to Item 7 be amended as follows: Simone Webbe from the Interim Management Committee raised a concern with this suggestion stating that maybe the review could be confined to council’s role as a media outlet as a policy determination.

The motion was put and carried.

 

Officers’ Reports

 

Adoption of Meeting Conduct Policy and Public Participation at Council Ordinary Meetings Policy

The Interim Administrator of the Ipswich City Council resolves:

A.             That the policy titled “Meeting Conduct Policy” as detailed in Attachment 1, be adopted.

B.             That the policy titled “Public Participation at Council Ordinary Meetings” as detailed in Attachment 2, be adopted.

C.             That the Meetings Procedure Policy, under section 8.4.3 Order of Business, be amended by the incorporation of the following business item:

·   Public Participation

and the amendment of the Business Outstanding business item to also include the words “including conduct matters”.

DISCUSSION

The Chief Executive Officer outlined that the policy for Public Participation is an opportunity for public participation at a council meeting.  He stated that council is setting a new standard for public participation in meetings. He further stated that numerous councils undertake public engagement in different ways and this proposal is to allow the public to address the council meeting on specific matters.

 

The Interim Administrator outlined that the policy stipulates that questions from the public are required to focus on strategic and policy matters, not operational issues of council. He stated that questions need to be linked to the current strategic plan of council (Advance Ipswich Strategy) and be about council long term strategies and policies.

 

The Interim Administrator stated that the Meeting Conduct Policy is adopted from the state model and together with the Public Participation Policy, these two policies formulate the final piece of governance and integrity framework for councillors. He stated that Ipswich will now have the most contemporary and relevant set of councillor conduct and governance policies in the state and that there is no more that could be done by himself in terms of setting the framework for councillor behaviour and conduct.

The motion was put and carried.

 

Acquisition of Land for Road Purposes Redbank Plains Road Stage 3

The Interim Administrator of the Ipswich City Council resolves:

A.             That Council (Interim Administrator of Ipswich City Council) having duly considered this report dated 25 November 2019, be of the opinion that the following properties (shown in Attachments 1-3) (“the land”) be required for acquisition for road purposes:

Part of Lot 35 RP135047, 2 Shannon Street Redbank Plains;

Part of Lot 8 RP856263, 204-206 Redbank Plains Road Bellbird Park; and

Part of Lot 1 RP119577, 208-210 Redbank Plains Road Bellbird Park.

B.             That Council (Interim Administrator of Ipswich City Council) exercise its power as a “Constructing Authority” under the Acquisition of Land Act 1967 and acquire the land, (as described in Recommendation A of this report dated 25 November 2019) for road purposes.

C.             That the Chief Executive Officer be authorised to negotiate compensation and perform any other matters, arising out of the Acquisition of Land Act 1967 or otherwise, and to do any other acts necessary to implement Council’s decision to acquire this land in accordance with section 13 (3) of the Local Government Act 2019.

DISCUSSION

The General Manager Corporate Services stated that consultation had been undertaken both internally and externally with the community in relation to this acquisition.

The motion was put and carried.

 

Acquisition of Land for Road Purposes part of 14 William Street Blackstone

The Interim Administrator of the Ipswich City Council resolves:

A.             That Council (Interim Administrator of Ipswich City Council) having duly considered this report dated 26 November 2019, be of the opinion that the following property (shown in Attachment 1) (“the land”) be required for acquisition for road purposes:

Part of Lot 25 RP110739, 14 William Street Blackstone;

B.             That Council (Interim Administrator of Ipswich City Council) acquire the land by agreement, (as described in Recommendation A of this report dated 26 November 2019) for road purposes.

C.             That the Chief Executive Officer be authorised to negotiate compensation and perform any other matters, arising out of the Acquisition of Land Act 1967 or otherwise, and to do any other acts necessary to implement Council’s decision to acquire this land in accordance with section 13 (3) of the Local Government Act 2019.

DISCUSSION

The General Manager Corporate Services stated that this is an acquisition for kerb and channel project where the owner is the state.

The motion was put and carried.

 

Brisbane Lions Stadium Funding Agreement

The Interim Administrator of the Ipswich City Council resolves:

A.             That Council (Interim Administrator of Ipswich City Council) enter into a contract with the Brisbane Lions in accordance with the funding arrangements specified in this report.

B.             That the Chief Executive Officer be authorised to negotiate and finalise the terms of the contract to be executed by Council and to do any other acts necessary to implement Council’s decision in accordance with section 13(3) of the Local Government Act 2009.

DISCUSSION

 

The General Manager Coordination and Performance provided an overview of the report stating that the report relates to Council’s contribution towards the Brisbane Lions Stadium at Springfield.

 

In 2015 there was an original Heads of Agreement (HOA) signed between Council and the Brisbane Lions and that there was a subsequent HOA signed in 2017. The agreement stipulates that Council will provide the Springfield City Group’s (SCG) developer contributions for the particular fields in question, Development Areas 22A and 22B, and that Council will provide those funds directly to the Brisbane Lions for the development of the stadium. Council has been in negotiations with SCG as to the amount of that contribution and that it is a somewhat complex history but the calculation for the contribution in total from SCG is  approximately $10.6 million which takes into account the LGIP construction rates. In the course of the intervening period between the HOA and now, Council has agreed to shift certain amounts of those contributions away from the development of those sports fields.

 

There were courts that were transferred from Development Areas 22A and 22B to Development Areas 16 and 17 which are the southern sports field. That contribution is approximately $521,800 so those have been delivered as part of the southern sports field at Springfield which are now open and operating.

 

Council also entered into negotiations with SCG in the realignment of Eden Station Drive when Council was constructing that particular road. The alignment of that road was shifted to the south which impacted the ability of SCG to deliver the specified number of fields and courts on that site. As part of the negotiations for that realignment, Council agreed that there would be a reduction in the SCG contribution to Development Areas 22A and 22B of one field which reduces their contribution by a further $820,000. In effect what that means is that the entire SCG embellishment contribution value to the sports fields is in fact $9,046,264. The HOA cited approximately a $12 million contribution by Council to the Brisbane Lions project. Based upon that stipulated and non-binding contribution amount the lions then went and sought state and federal funding as part of this project.

 

It is important to understand that whilst the HOA for $12 million was non-binding, it was part of Council’s “pitch” to secure the Brisbane Lions to build their stadium in Ipswich. There are obvious community benefits of having a national sporting facility based in Ipswich and that was the basis upon which they would build the stadium in Ipswich and sought the federal funding.

 

Council has calculated what the SCG contribution was, taking into account the reduction of the six courts which were delivered on the southern sports field, and the realignment of Road 10, bringing that contribution down to $9 million. This raised significant concerns with the Brisbane Lions in terms of a funding gap between their budget of what they anticipated they would receive from Council.

 

Brisbane Lions contacted Council and said if they were to provide the embellishment costs for 22B which is the field on the Northern side of Eden Station Drive (noting the contribution from SCG relates to the embellishment of both fields, not just the one where the stadium is) that means that Council has the responsibility to deliver the embellished fields on both 22A (stadium) and 22B (the community based sporting facilities).

 

There will be a contractual requirement for Council to embellish the field. Council has calculated those costs under the LGIP construction rate and it will cost $3 million to embellish it to a local sports and courts facility for the community to use. The $3 million includes the normal sports, courts and lighting but does not include any type of clubhouse.

 

A facility of this nature in that location, will require a clubhouse to be built at some stage and that is something that Council will need to consider in the future if we were to go down that path. As part of the negotiations with the Brisbane Lions they proposed they would embellish 22B (community sports fields) on Council’s behalf and that in this embellishment it would include a clubhouse for community use. The reason the Brisbane Lions have an interest in developing and embellishing that field is that they want to use it for warm ups for the opposition players on game days as well as for training when they want to rest the main playing surface.

 

There is significant interest in the Brisbane Lions to do this from an operational perspective which is the driver for wanting to see it embellished sooner rather than later. As part of this proposal the Brisbane Lions have requested Council to consider contributing the $3 million required to embellish that particular field to the Brisbane Lions. This would be contingent on a contractual arrangement that the Brisbane Lions would then embellish the field to a local sports and courts facility, including a clubhouse, within four years of Council signing the contract.

 

The benefit from a community perspective is that in Council’s existing long term financial forecast and capital works program, there was no intent for Council to embellish that particular sporting field within the next 10 years. By Council providing this contribution to the Brisbane Lions, Council meets its moral and ethical obligations under the HOA of $12 million. Council will also provide a total contribution to the Brisbane Lions that meets their purposes and Council will get a community sports and courts facility delivered well ahead of time than what it would have if it was otherwise left with Council. Council also get enhanced embellishment of the field as it will have a clubhouse and the intent of the Brisbane Lions is to embellish it well above the standard than Council would normally undertake for a community courts and sports facility.

 

The agreement would be that Council would lease the second field to the Brisbane Lions and that would be inclusive of community usage of about 90/95% of the time. It would be no different to any other sporting facility that Council has where an Expression of Interest would be called to get an idea of the sporting clubs that would want to tenant the clubhouse and use the sporting fields.

 

This meets Council’s obligation under the HOA and the committed funding from the state and federal governments. The Brisbane Lions stadium is built in Ipswich and Council get a community sports and courts facility delivered ahead of time and to a higher standard to what would otherwise be delivered by Council.

 

There is a significant demand in Springfield for sports and courts given the fact that it is the largest and quickest growing area within the Ipswich local government area so this is seen as a positive for the community and for Council.

 

This agreement means that Council’s total contribution is significantly less than the $15 million previously anticipated  and now is a total of $13.6 million with an approximate saving of $1.4 million for the ratepayers of Ipswich.

 

Once approved, Council will enter into the commercial arrangements and agreements with the Brisbane Lions to ensure they are contractually bound to deliver the embellishment of 22B (the second field) to the standard that they have specified. Council will have a clause in the contract that if it isn’t completed within the specified timeframe which is envisaged at four years, Brisbane Lions have to refund Council the additional $3 million.

 

From an organisation and community point of view this mitigates the risk significantly. If Brisbane Lions don’t deliver within the four year timeframe, the $3 million comes back to Council and then Council fulfils its obligation to embellish that second field.

 

The Interim Administrator stated that this has been a huge challenge for the organisation due to the various agreements, arrangements and obligations. He stated that it was very clear that the HOA was non-binding legally but for him both ethically and morally it was a different matter particularly because the commonwealth and state governments have proceeded on that basis. He further stated that there are obvious risks in this decision however there is already embedded risk in the decisions to date in that Council was already funding the cost of the core earthworks to have a stadium ready facility there  at $5 or $6 million as well as transferring the infrastructure charges of $9 or $10 million over. The Interim Administrator stated that at the end of the day Council owns these assets so regardless of lease or licence arrangements it is a Council owned stadium and Council owned sports field and courts field next door.

The motion was put and carried.

 

Budget Amendment - December 2019

The Interim Administrator of the Ipswich City Council resolves:

A.             That the amended 2019‑2020 Budget and Long Term Financial Forecast, as detailed in Attachments 1, 2 and 3 of the report by the Treasury Accounting Manager dated 1 December 2019, be adopted.

B.             That the amended Debt Policy, as detailed in Attachment 4 to the report by the Treasury Accounting Manager dated 1 December 2019, be adopted.

DISCUSSION

The General Manager Corporate Services outlined the three main focus areas of the report:

1. Council has now completed its audit and it has consequential impacts on the balance sheet and profit and loss which have been adjusted.

2. Updating the key assumptions with interest revenue and interest expense and waste management utility charges.

3. Incorporation of the Retail precincts of the Nicholas Street Redevelopment.

 

The Interim Administrator stated that the interest revenue, interest expense and waste management are pretty straight forward to understand and that the largest impact is the retail precinct of the Nicholas Street Redevelopment. He stated that this is the last material decision that Council can make in terms of the CBD. Council acquired the CBD over a decade ago for certain reasons and the current Council has now inherited the situation. He outlined that he has talked at length about this situation within council, at committees and at community organisations.

 

The Interim Administrator commented that it is not a matter of debate about whether Council should own the CBD buildings or not, the fact of the matter is that it does own them and it is understanding what is the best thing to do with them.  He thanked Steve Greenwood for chairing the CBD Steering Committee and outlined that Council has engaged a significant number of experts in the field to advise Council. He stated that he felt this is the best strategy and that there has been a substantive amount of well documented consulting advice to lead Council to this point. He outlined that in essence Council will spend approximately $43.6 million on the retail, commercial, entertainment and buildings that Council own, redevelop, refurbish and then lease them. The market advice from potential investors has really concluded or advised Council that they are not greatly interested in acquiring these assets at this point in time. Notionally, Council is talking about retaining these assets for a year or two before disposing of them.

 

The Interim Administrator stated that in his view, although a future council may form a different view, the retail buildings are not long term assets that Council should hold, they are imperative from a city building point of view. The only other option was to do nothing and leave the buildings as they are which is not really a good choice for the community. The Interim Administrator outlined that he is aware of discussions the consultants are having with potential tenants and business operators and that a future council will have the joy of announcing these. He outlined that Council is spending $43.6 million and the anticipated approximate sale price is $50 million and that there is significant risk but the bigger risk for the community is not doing anything.

The motion was put and carried.

 

Delegation of Council Powers and Functions to Chief Executive Officer

The Interim Administrator of the Ipswich City Council resolves:

A.             That the Interim Administrator of Ipswich City Council repeal all the instruments of delegation from Council to the Chief Executive Officer as detailed in Attachment 1 of this report dated 3 December 2019.

B.             That the Interim Administrator of Ipswich City Council delegate all of the powers or functions of the Ipswich City Council to the Chief Executive Officer in accordance with Delegation Instrument LGD-2019-1(including attached schedule of powers (Attachment 3)), as detailed in Attachment 2 of this report dated 3 December 2019.

DISCUSSION

The General Counsel and Manager, Legal and Governance outlined that this report was one of the outcomes of Transformational Project #11 (Delegations). The report is in relation to the repeal of the existing delegations from Council to the Chief Executive Officer and the introduction of a new delegation instrument with the schedule and a full description of all the powers. He outlined that this just relates to the Chief Executive Officer and that there were previously around 80 existing delegation instruments however this proposal is for one delegation instrument with all the schedule of powers and conditions attached. The General Counsel and Manager, Legal and Governance stated that in a previous Council meeting a report was submitted in relation to recent changes to the Economic Development Act and that these changes have been incorporated into this review.

 

The Interim Administrator confirmed that the 80 delegations from Council to the Chief Executive Officer have all been wrapped into one instrument of delegation with all the powers properly described and that this could go on line as a register for members of the public to view. It will include the powers delegated and a proper description of all those powers. He stated that the Chief Executive Officer can then, at his discretion, sub-delegate the schedule of sub-delegations and that this closes another one of the Transformational projects.

The motion was put and carried.

 

Project Management Services - Commonwealth Hotel and Retail Components Nicholas Street - Ipswich Central

The Interim Administrator of the Ipswich City Council resolves:

That in accordance with section 175(E)(6) and 257 of the Local Government Act 2009, the decision to be made on this matter, as detailed below, be delegated to the Chief Executive Officer:

A.          That Council  approve a variation to Contract No. 13908 with Ranbury Management Group Pty Ltd for the provision of Program Management Services for Package 3 (Commonwealth Hotel) and Package 4 (Retail) as outlined in confidential Attachment 3.

B.           That the Chief Executive Officer be authorised to negotiate and finalise any amendments or variations to the terms of the Contract No. 13908 executed by Council and to do any other act necessary to implement Council’s decision in accordance with section 13(3) of the Local Government Act 2009.

CONFLICT OF INTEREST

The Interim Administrator informed the meeting that he has a real conflict of interest in the Officer’s Report titled Project Management Services – Commonwealth Hotel and Retail Components Nicholas Street – Ipswich Central.

 

The nature of the interest is that Ranbury Management Group is the primary consultant for the CBD Redevelopment and from 2008 to 2012 he was an employee and was a director and part owner of Ranbury but has no current working relationship with the company.

 

The Interim Administrator stated that as this report is a proposed variation to the contract with Ranbury Management Group and that he was a previous employee and Director, he has decided not to make any decisions that involve a contract between Council and Ranbury. He stated that he would resolve to delegate the assessment and decision of the matter to the Chief Executive Officer.

 

The motion was put and carried.

CLOSING COMMENTS

As this was the last Council meeting for the Interim Administrator and Interim Management Committee, the Interim Administrator invited each member of the committee members to add closing comments.

Interim Administrator

The Interim Administrator made the following comments:

 

This is the final council meeting and it has been a privilege and an honour to be in this role for the past 15 months. I will finish my term on 10 January 2020 which will then be a 16 month journey for all and most noticeably for the community. There  is still much more change and evolution to occur in the community and for staff as we move forward. We have achieved substantial reform and I will release a report in the first week of January outlining all the achievements we have made. This will be a summary report with links to all the Transformational Projects undertaken and some of the other key initiatives that we have achieved. It will really be a statement for Council staff and the community to understand the journey Ipswich has been on for the last 15 months. Some significant achievements have been made in terms of the Councillor’s role in integrity, performance and interactions between councillors and staff. The final piece of that work in terms of Councillor governance and integrity was adopted at today’s meeting. There are no more decisions that are outstanding that I could make and it is now up to the incoming set of elected representatives to live these documents, values and policies.

 

The CBD was the other big challenge and again, coincidentally, the last final piece was adopted today in terms of the Council decision on the CBD redevelopment. I understand there is still major ongoing reform in terms of the operating areas of Council across a number of areas and I thank David Farmer for coming on board as Chief Executive Officer and committing himself to the Council for the years ahead. I am very confident in the ability of the Council to recover from where it was. As I look around the room and think about where we were 15 months ago, it is very different. I am also confident in the communities ability to move forward. One of the greatest community meetings I attended was a couple of weeks ago with 150 community members who were looking to set up a peak body of community organisations to deal constructively with Council. This was not possible when we started as the thinking was not there so I look forward to that proceeding in the future.

 

Thank you to the Interim Management Committee for your advice and assistance and a special thanks to Steve Greenwood for volunteering to be the Interim Administrator for the last two months. Thank you to David Farmer and all the staff.

 

I also want to thank the Queensland Parliament for their unanimous vote in August last year to enable the sacking of councillors. Having learnt about how the organisation was run over the last 15 months, it was in my view the right decision to make. I want to thank the State Government and Minister for Local Government for entrusting me with the role. Thank you to the community. It has been a difficult journey for those watching over the last 15 months but it has been the right thing to do and I have great confidence that the council and community will continue to grow.

 

Robert Jones

Robert Jones made the following comments:

 

When we started this journey we identified what our focus should be, not in this order necessarily, but it was governance, culture and transformational change with a lot of things fitting underneath these categories.

 

The issue more immediately was to deal with complaints and grievances which obviously were significant and needed a lot of input and I think that both Simone Webbe and Stan Gallo have done a fantastic job in working through this and establishing the right frameworks and policies to move forward.

 

In relation to the organisation, it was a great opportunity for the Interim Management Committee to make the most of this 15 months and really build Council into an organisation that is at leading practice. This was one of the objectives we really wanted to see occur when we came to Ipswich, for Ipswich to be an example to other councils and be leading practice. It is a journey and the journey will continue under management’s leadership in the new Council.

 

Thank you to all the Interim Management Committee members for their support and comradery through the process; I have really enjoyed my time here. I couldn’t say this the day I was asked to participate as I didn’t really know what it would be. It has been a challenge and has been interesting and there are really great people here who have undertaken some good work and it has been a good opportunity to be a sounding board for these people.

Simone Webbe

Simone Webbe made the following comments:

 

I would like to congratulate and celebrate the many individuals and teams who worked very hard and with great significance to seek the transformation of this organisation in pursuit of good governance. I acknowledge that this pursuit is an ongoing one, as it is for every organisation always. For this organisation in particular, you move from development of key scaffolds of governance to the implementation of those and that is a very difficult phase to be in as you breathe life and effect into the documents, processes and systems that you have developed.

 

I encourage, as you embark on that very difficult challenge, the ethical leadership of all those that are charged with the responsibility to lead. I would also encourage stewardship of all officers at Council, wherever they may be, for the public accountability of the public funds and powers that you hold on public trust for the benefit of the residents and ratepayers of Ipswich.

 

I pay tribute to the courage, resilience and patience of many who have stepped up and in a very early and timely way, identified areas that needed a priority focus, either for themselves or for the organisation generally, so that those matters could be attended to during the interim administration as a way of being able to let the whole organisation move forward.

 

I underscore the importance of good governance generally and why all of that was worth it for the courage of various change agents in the process through this last 15 months because although at times it feels for people that we were always talking about good governance issues, whether it be people, processes, systems or procedures, they are your enabling tool to do your strategic work. The CBD, sports stadiums, the services that we offer to the community cannot happen if you don’t do the right thing, the right way at the right time, with the right people, to deliver those strategic objectives and that is what good governance is all about. It really is a stich in time and provides a safe and enjoyable, satisfying, place to work.

 

Good luck to all, you are well on your way and look out for each other.

Jan Taylor

Jan Taylor made the following comments:

 

I went into this task with a certain degree of trepidation as well and didn’t enjoy the first couple of months but what has really uplifted me through this process, the pleasure that I have had in meeting and dealing with the community, has been fantastic.

 

I now do quite a lot of shopping in Ipswich, so can speak with a certain degree of knowledge of the pleasure it is to deal with some of the retail outlets. Every person I have ever dealt with who works in any shop in Ipswich has been phenomenal. They have a certain degree of acceptance of anyone and everything. One of my favourite coffee shops has an intellectually challenged young man working there and it is such a pleasure to go in there and find the degree of acceptance. He is wonderful at what he does and generally Ipswich is a community that is extraordinarily diverse. You just have to look at the architecture. I love driving through some of the streets and looking at the glorious, grand old homes and think what it would have been like to live in one of them.

 

Ipswich is a place, is a microcosm of a whole lot of other areas, but what makes it different is an element of vitality that you don’t necessarily find in other places. I have found nothing but pleasure in getting to know a whole range of people in this town and hope that I don’t lose these ties. I think that the Council, as representing this community, has a wonderful job ahead of it. I wish all those future unnamed councillors the best of luck. I think that Greg Chemello has led a fantastic ship here and all those who follow him including Steve Greenwood, can enjoy this as well. It has been a pleasure and a challenge these last 15 months and good luck for the next 15 years at least.

Stan Gallo

Stan Gallo made the following comments:

 

I think for me, with Greg Chemello initially coming into the leadership role in Council, I thank you for being open to the advice and animated discussion that occurred between the Interim Management Committee members and yourself occasionally, and being willing to listen. For myself, not coming from a government background, more of a corporate space, to see a bipartisan approach to everything that was achieved over the last 15 months was tremendously enlightening for someone with my background.

 

Each of the Interim Management Committee members brought a different skill to the team. I came in thinking that I had my little piece and that essentially joined me with Simone Webbe from day one. Out of all the members, I got to work with Simone most closely and to find a lawyer with a social conscientious on her sleeve is a rare find indeed.

 

To the other members, it has been a tremendous learning curve for me in terms of governance in government and working in government and I will take that back to my corporate future.

 

To the team here in Council, we pushed pretty hard and we know that but to achieve what we did in the transformational projects and to achieve that change in culture that we all collectively sought, we needed to. I congratulate those who did stand up and take the reins.

 

For those that we stood in front of in the early weeks and asked that you trust us in bringing forward the issues, complaints and all that dirty laundry, stating that we were willing to listen, in particular those people who had raised these matters before and not felt that they had been properly dealt with or had been beaten down, you were willing to stand up one more time and trust us to take these matters forward which is a tremendous step to take. I think we are still seeing ripples of this through the entire organisation. We have been able to try and wrap those governance processes around these issues to support you and I would hope that the incoming councillors will continue down that path. The framework is in place and they can carry this forward.

 

Lastly the community, who did embrace the Minister’s termination of the Council. It was a bold move and quite a significant one in Queensland history. To be a part of that and the outcome and to also keep an eye on the local media about how we were going in the public’s view; to see that come through very positively and supportive has been tremendous.

 

Although it has taken a lot of time in Ipswich, it has opened my eyes to how the government operates, both at local and state levels. There are a lot of learnings in the change that this organisation has undergone that can be taken to other organisations. This puts Ipswich from a place behind to a place in front which is a tremendous achievement in 15 months.

 

Thank you to everyone and I hope it continues to move forward.

 

Steve Greenwood

Steve Greenwood made the following comments:

 

I reflect on the thoughts and comments of the other Interim Management Committee members. When I was offered this position; when the Minister contacted me, I didn’t think about it too deeply and took it quite lightly. It was only about the first 30 minutes we were in Ipswich and I was speaking to staff about what had been occurring in Council and the impact on staff, that it really hit me. I realised that this was a very serious role and a very serious challenge for all of us. It is very rare in anyone’s career that you have an opportunity to be a part of something significant that is going to genuinely impact the future of a lot of people in a community. For that I am truly appreciative.

 

I have never worked closely with Greg Chemello and have really enjoyed it. I have become one of Greg’s biggest promoters outside of Council as I have found that everything we have done, we have had to invent; it is all new. There is no guidebook and no one to follow. Everything that we have done, every decision, process, program that Greg has driven and that we have been a part of has been very difficult but also very rewarding, so thank you Greg.

 

As Stan said and the others reflected on, the Interim Management Committee is a group of very different people, with very different backgrounds, which has created some interesting discussion but has also been the strength of the Interim Management Committee as well. It has been very enjoyable and I thank you for your collegiate nature, even though there were many stresses.

 

For the senior executives, it has been hard. We will move on but the real load is going to be borne by you. You have been through massive change and stress and now through continuous change so I am particularly aware and recognise the weight you are carrying. I know that the Chief Executive Officer is very focussed on this in terms of ensuring the wellbeing of Council’s senior managers in carrying this reform program going forward. Thank you for your support and forbearance and I will see you back here on 13 January 2020.

 

Interim Administrator

The Interim Administrator made the following final comments:

 

A comment that I make very regularly is that the Interim Management Committee and I are incredibly strong supporters of democracy which is an interesting phrase as this is a very undemocratic job. Our job was to get this council back on its feet so that elected representatives have a good platform to bring democracy back to the city. I proudly think we have done this and have achieved our job and again am privileged to be a part of this.

 

 


MEETING CLOSED

The meeting closed at 9.53 am