The face of our city’s political governance is fundamentally different following the appointment of Greg Chemello and five other experts to take charge of the Ipswich City Council.
With no political aspirations in mind, Mr Chemello’s priorities lie within “settling the Organisation down” and to “transform the culture” of the Council.
Another priority high on Mr Chemello’s list is restoring faith in both the Ipswich community and business community.
“Confidence in the [Ipswich] community and confidence in the business community is fundamental,” Mr Chemello said.
“We’ll be out there engaging with the business community and talking about their vision of what they want Council to be and what they’d like Council to look like.”
While 18 months is certainly not a long time to get things in order, Mr Chemello wants to assure the community that they’re not ‘treading water’ until the next election – major issues will be tackled within this period.
“This is not a caretaker role,” he said.“Certainly by the next local government election, we will have the Mall redevelopment resolved in one way or the other. Waste management is another big issue as well that we will also have resolved and there are some other major issues that we will fix.”
Understandably, the community is still worried about the impact an administration-led Council will have on local business.
President of the Ipswich Chamber of Commerce Phillip Bell said people should be reminded that Ipswich is separate to Ipswich City Council.
“Whether it’s the floods of 2011 or 2013, natural disasters, other disruptions, the business community always remains really strong and is consolidating,” Mr Bell said.
“I’ve spoken to local business owners who are understandably concerned about this element of change but when we do have the conversation, the revelation we’re finding is with each event or disruption or scandal, there’s another opportunity to look forward. We need to be conscious that this is an opportunity to start with a fresh image.”
Mr Bell said the Ipswich Chamber of Commerce looks forward to working closely with Mr Chemello, and establishing a stable market for businesses to trade within.
“As a Chamber, we will continue to bring business together to support each other throughout this event,” he said.
“There are more ways that business-to-business can work in a supportive way rather than just simply trading, buying and selling.
“The concepts of advocacy, networking and sharing of information is absolutely critical.. it doesn’t always come down to business to business trading that guarantees success.”
Sean Madigan, Ipswich City Council’s CEO corroborated Mr Bell’s statement, saying a new era of stricter governance will see opportunities with the economic and job sector.
“High on the agenda is our mission to manage sustainable growth into the next decade, initiate programs which advocate regional economic stability and job prosperity, and to ensure the rapid development of Ipswich Central,” he said.
“This is an opportunity for us to look forward as an organisation, and we trust the people who live here will stand by our 1300-plus staff as we endeavour to further improve the way we deliver great outcomes for the city.”