Strong support from councils for Ipswich’s position on homelessness, health and transport

20 October 2023

Ipswich City Council received strong support from Queensland councils as its six key motions with a focus on homelessness, health, planning and transport infrastructure were passed at this week’s 2023 Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ) Annual Conference in Gladstone.

Ipswich Mayor Teresa Harding said it was pleasing to see the six motions well received by the conference and passed with no debate or opposition, which signalled Ipswich had put forward matters relevant to the challenges and opportunities facing many councils across Queensland.

“Our motion relating to homelessness was supported unanimously – a strong sign that the homelessness issues we are experiencing are Queensland-wide and of significant concern to all councils,” Mayor Harding said.

The motion read: The LGAQ calls on the Queensland Government to significantly increase funding to local community providers for outreach in response to the housing crisis, recognising that housing and homelessness is the responsibility of the state.

“The housing crisis is one of the most important and difficult matters facing all levels of government at this current time. While the State is tasked with the responsibility for housing and homelessness, the community generally looks to councils to step up when times get tough,” Mayor Harding said.

“The homelessness and housing issues we are experiencing in Ipswich are being felt across the state. While councils are on the front line of this crisis every day, we are not funded or resourced to tackle a challenge this immense on our own and we call on the State for more urgent funding.

“The conference was an opportunity for mayors and councillors from across Queensland to set the advocacy agenda for the LGAQ for the coming year. We thank fellow councils from across Queensland for ensuring Ipswich's challenges and opportunities are on the state agenda.”

Mayor Harding and Division 2 Councillor Paul Tully were council’s appointed voting delegates at the conference. They were joined in Gladstone by Deputy Mayor and Division 4 Councillor Russell Milligan, fellow Division 4 Councillor Kate Kunzelmann, and Division 1 Councillor Sheila Ireland.

Cr Tully, an LGAQ policy executive representative, said the six motions had been well-researched and formulated by councillors and he and colleagues were delighted to see the overwhelming support.

“It was a resounding success for Ipswich to put forward six motions and have 100 per cent backing from everyone. They are not always easy to get supported at the conference; motions have to be broader, of a bigger scale than one issue for one council, and these certainly were,” Cr Tully said.

“There were several other successful motions, supported by ICC’s delegates, that had particular interest and/or benefit to Ipswich. It showed that the LGAQ and councils as a whole can provide evidence-based arguments to all levels of government for further investigation and investment.”

A motion from Maranoa asked for the State and Federal governments to implement measures to alleviate the financial burdens imposed by unaffordable flood insurance premiums.

Another from Lockyer Valley and Toowoomba called for a risk-based approach to the event traffic management framework to enable councils to authorise personnel to manage council and community event road closures/vehicle movements at low-risk events.

And one from Noosa called for adequate funding for infrastructure to match any increase in dwelling and population projections imposed by the State Government during the ShapingSEQ review process.

Council’s six key motions passed at the 2023 LGAQ Annual Conference were:

1. The LGAQ calls on the State Government to commit to a regional health tour involving local governments and local health authorities to understand region-specific concerns, to improve community health outcomes.

2. The LGAQ calls on the State Government to work with local governments to integrate their existing eplanning tools with State Government review and approval of local planning.

3. That the LGAQ works in partnership with the Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads to review the process for the development of business cases for major transport projects, generally shifting the cost of doing so from local government back to the state, if appropriate.

4. The LGAQ calls on the Queensland Government to significantly increase funding to local community providers for outreach in response to the housing crisis, recognising that housing and homelessness is the responsibility of the state.

5. That the LGAQ make urgent representations to the State Government to ensure that the planned amendments to the Local Government Act 2009 regarding the Office of the Independent Assessor are progressed through Parliament as a matter of priority.

6. That the LGAQ make representations to the Commonwealth Government to require all mobile phone carriers to ensure that key mobile blackspots in urban and rural areas are properly addressed and resolved in a short timeframe required by the Commonwealth Government.