My special appreciation is extended to the five members of my Interim Management Committee – Stan Gallo, Steve Greenwood, Robert Jones, Jan Taylor and Simone Webbe – who consistently provided sound and considered advice to myself and have been a superb “sounding board” for David Farmer (CEO) and your council’s Executive Leadership Team. We look forward to observing from the sidelines as your city and your council continues to go from strength to strength under new elected leadership from March 2020 onwards. It has been our privilege to serve the Ipswich community.
It has been just over 16 months since I commenced as your city’s Interim Administrator. It has been an honour to serve your city during that time. While it has been very busy and challenging, not once have I regretted accepting the task of helping the Ipswich community and its council to address the problems of the past and set new foundations for the future. The mayor and councillors of Ipswich City Council were dismissed in August 2018, and since that time I have been impressed by the commitment from many of your council’s staff. Not only have staff continued to deliver high levels of service, but they have done so while simultaneously taking up the challenge of reviewing, reforming and resetting many aspects of your council’s strategies and operations. This report brings together a summary of the major initiatives and achievements of your council over the past 16 months. I thought it important that Ipswich community be aware of the major transitions we have embarked on during this time. How your council interacts with the community; this covers a wide range of issues that we have addressed, many of which would be already public knowledge; and How your council operates internally, much of which the public would not be very familiar with as we haven’t actively promoted these reforms. What the situation was before I was appointed as Interim Administrator; What we have done on the issue over the past 16 months; and What the current situation is from three perspectives of the community, council staff and the incoming elected representatives. Much has been achieved and yes, while there is still more to do, I am confident that your council is well down the recovery pathway. The report is structured into two themes: For each issue, I have tried to explain: