REVEALED: Push to remove councillor divisions before 2020
IPSWICH'S 10 councillor divisions could be removed as part of a shake up ahead of city's significant 2020 elections.
The next local government elections, which will result in the return of councillors to Ipswich, could be the first in recent memory without divisions.
The QT understands discussions are being had within the State Government about removing internal divisions.
It would mean the first 10 candidates with the most votes across the city would be elected to Ipswich City Council.
A separate race for mayor would continue to be held.
In another fiery speech to parliament last week Member for Bundamba Jo-Ann Miller issued a direct call for her colleague to act on Ipswich's internal divisions.
"I am glad that the Minister for Local Government is back in the chamber, because I can tell him that in Ipswich there should be no more divisions," she said.
"Little fiefdoms developed in Ipswich, where councillors had their own electorate offices and they really had to know only a few thousand people to be elected every four years."
Ms Miller, a long-time critic of former councillors, said the state needed to change Ipswich's electoral boundary system.
"We need to tell them to stop the nonsense and get out, and that we will never ever tolerate going back to the corrupt antics of that council," she said.
"We need Ipswich city to have a clean slate before the next council elections."
Seven of Ipswich's 11 former councillors were elected before 2004.
While Ms Miller is advocating to remove divisions in an effort to make it more difficult for former councillors to stand, others within the State Government believe it will make it easier for the dismissed representatives to win in 2020.
According to the Local Government Act, council boundary reviews occur every four years or in response to a referral from the Minister for Local Government.
The Local Government Change Commission last reviewed Ipswich City Council's internal boundaries in 2015.
At the time divisions two, three, four, five, seven and nine were above or below the required 10 per cent threshold.
Local Government Minister Stirling Hinchliffe can order a review into the division or electoral boundaries of a council.
Mr Hinchliffe's office referred questions on the matter to the state department.
"In order for a divided council to abolish its divisions, the council would need to apply to the minister," a spokeswoman said.
"If agreed, the minister will then refer to the Change Commission to assess.
"The reasons behind implementing or abolishing divisions are a matter for the council."
If changes are made, Ipswich would be the largest council in Queensland without divisions.
To date, Toowoomba City Council is the largest.
Earlier this year Toowoomba councillor Megan O'Hara Sullivan argued the city should be divided into divisions to ensure rural representation and encourage lower-income candidates.
"It's the only way it could possibly be fair to get a fairer representation from people," she said.
"I'm only there because I have enough money to spend it on my campaign."
She said the concept should be viewed as part of a greater discussion on electoral reform to make local government more accessible for people without vast resources.