Who should and who shouldn't run for Ipswich mayor

OPINION

AS GREG Chemello and his five-lieutenant advisory panel cleans and keeps the cogs of the city turning, a future mayor walks among us, potentially unaware of the destiny that awaits them.

The 2020 poll will be a clean slate.

Here are a few people who should be considering the top job.

It is speculative, based on performance and viewed political potential.

Jo-Ann Miller

A THORN in the side of her Labor State Government, Jo-Ann Miller has repeatedly led the anti-corruption cause in the corridors of power.

She is popular in her electorate.

Her headline comments about colleagues and councillors have given her the profile to cover a citywide campaign.

Despite the MP's profile and relative popularity, the lack of Labor Party support and organisation would affect her mayoral campaign.

Any council race with Ms Miller as a candidate would be a nail-biter.

 

Jo-Ann Miller
Member for Bundamba Jo-Ann Miller. Rob Williams

 

Rachel Nolan

SINCE losing her seat of Ipswich to Campbell Newman's wave in 2012, Rachel Nolan has managed the popular Cactus Espresso shop on Brisbane St.

With a parliamentary pension, Ms Nolan is likely to have the funds to mount a significant challenge for the region's top job.

Like so many Labor MPs defeated in 2012, there is a sense among some in the community Ms Nolan's time was unfairly cut short.

Whether she can rise again as the city's mayor remains unseen.

 

Rachel Nolan owner of Cactus Espresso Bar in the Top of Town has had a positive response to the Show Us Ya Cups campaign.
POTENTIAL: Could Rachel Nolan's second political coming be as mayor of the City of Ipswich? David Nielsen

 

What about sacked councillors?

A BEVY of former mayors, challengers and potential mayors loiter on the dismissed councillor benches.

Early indications, particularly on social media, suggest some councillors will stand for election again.

The major barrier for former councillors will be; nobody will truly know how the community feels about the council dismissal in late 2019.

There is no barometer on the community's view of ex-councillors.

A QT poll showed the majority of people supported the sacking.

Many former councillors will view the climb to the mayoral peak too risky and likely out of reach.

They are likely to fight tooth and nail just to retake a divisional seat.

Coupled with no incumbency advantage - it is not likely any of them will stand for mayor.

If, with a miraculous profile revival and cash to splash they do stand, a dismissed councillor will not win.

 

Ipswich councillors on the day of their last meeting before the dismissal. David Morrison, Paul Tully, Kylie Stoneman, Kerry Silver, Wayne Wendt, Cheryl Bromage,  David Martin, Charlie Pisasale, Sheila Ireland and David Pahlke.
Ipswich councillors on the day of their last meeting before the dismissal. Contributed

 

Stirling Hinchliffe

TO SOME he's the messiah, others, just a very naughty boy.

Mr Hincliffe has proven to be an effective operator.

It just took three drawn-out months, two show-cause notices and special state legislation to dismiss Ipswich councillors.

That might just be the kind of mammoth reform Ipswich needs in 2020 when 11 fresh faces take the chamber chairs.

While Mr Hinchliffe is unlikely to leave his bayside electorate of Sandgate, he should at least consider it.

 

Stirling Hinchliffe MP at 1 William Street, Brisbane.
Local Government Minister Stirling Hinchliffe. Cordell Richardson

 

Phillip Bell

DO NOT underestimate the difficulty of Phillip Bell's role as a community leader.

When Paul Pisasale resigned the city lost its greatest salesman.

The littering of Crime and Corruption Commission charges over the next year meant Ipswich was in the news for only the wrong reasons.

Throughout, Ipswich Chamber of Commerce president Phillip Bell kept the business community ticking.

His efforts in unifying the business community meant it was able to weather the storm.

As chief executive officer of the Ipswich Hospital Foundation, Mr Bell and his team are responsible for fundraising and making a difference to the lives of patients.

Mr Bell could make an easy transition into politics.

A level head, business focus and an understanding of hardship makes him an ideal candidate for the top job.

 

Ipswich Chamber of Commerce Networking After 5 event at Fire Station 101. Chamber president Phillip Bell.
Ipswich Chamber of Commerce president Phillip Bell. David Nielsen

 

Gary Duffy

THE candidate with several years campaigning experience, Gary Duffy is likely to put his hand up for the top job.

Mr Duffy, a long-time critic of Ipswich councillors, repeatedly seized on the bombshells dropped by the State Government during this year's dismissal.

He argued his crusade against councillors was right.

Standing against Paul Pisasale and Peter Luxton in 2016, Mr Duffy secured 8390 votes - Mr Pisasale received more than 70,000 more.

 

The Queensland Times Meet the Candidates forum at USQ Ipswich. Mayoral candidate Gary Duffy. Photo: David Nielsen / The Queensland Times
Gary Duffy as a mayoral candidate in 2016. David Nielsen