Ipswich City Council interim administrator Greg Chemello said his one biggest regret from his time with the city is not seeing the CBD complete before he leaves.
Ipswich City Council interim administrator Greg Chemello said his one biggest regret from his time with the city is not seeing the CBD complete before he leaves.

Administrator quits top job to pursue another local gov role

IPSWICH City Council Interim Administrator Greg Chemello will step down from his role at the council to take up as Moreton Bay Regional Council's CEO.

Mr Chemello lamented that the reappointment was earlier than he would have liked, but said he had achieved a great deal in his 15 months in the role.

READ MORE: Chemello heading coastal to transform another council

"We've done 90-95 per cent of the work we need to do in terms of the councillors; the role of the councillors, the policies the councillors need to comply with, code of conduct," he said.

"To hand them on their plate the framework they need to work within to keep them happy, keep them honest, keep them out of jail and to help them succeed, that's all ticked.

"There's still a fair bit of work to do in the council operational reform, to be honest another two months (up until March) would have made a little bit of difference, but not a fundamental difference."

Mr Chemello said there is still some work to be done in the operational aspects of council, but said those duties fall to CEO David Farmer.

"We're not the world's best customer service mentality in council yet, we're on the path … but it require some months to get there."

 

Mr Chemello said there are some operational issues he would have liked to have seen resolved before his departure. Photo: Cordell Richardson
Mr Chemello said there are some operational issues he would have liked to have seen resolved before his departure. Photo: Cordell Richardson

 

Mr Chemello said there are some IT overhauls he wished to oversee in the council but said they would come with time and said it was not a problem unique to Ipswich City Council.

"The CBD is my other regret, a couple of months more we would have been able to announce the first group of committed tenants to the redeveloped Nicholas St precinct, that's really exciting and that's been close to my heart being a development manager," he said.

Local Government Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said Mr Chemello had been in the position since August 2018 and would be succeeded by Steve Greenwood, a member of the Interim Management Committee, which has been working closely with Mr Chemello in his role with the council.

Mr Chemello will have had a 16 month tenure by the time he finishes up in the role and said his biggest achievement is instilling a sense of perspective back within the council and residents.

"There's a much better perspective across the council and the community about the role of council, the role of councillors and what governance means," he said.

"And the relationship between councillors and the community and the relationship of councillors to its staff."

From the dire mentality among residents when Ipswich City Council was sacked to now, Mr Chemello said the council is now "humming along okay" without "in your face" councillors.

"You don't need to have an in your face set of councillors constantly spruiking stuff to community groups to get things done, you can operate quite effectively in the background," he said.

Interim administrator of Ipswich City Council, Greg Chemello speaks to the community at Booval. Photo: Cordell Richardson
Interim administrator of Ipswich City Council, Greg Chemello speaks to the community at Booval. Photo: Cordell Richardson

Mr Chemello said the behaviours were similar to 30-40 years ago and that laws has changed, the scale has changed but the way the council worked before 10 councillors were unprecedentedly sacked, had not.

"You only need three things in a councillor, one is honesty, the second is a desire to do fulfil the role for the right reason and the third is a willingness to learn anything they don't yet know," he said.

"If you run around (the current) candidates, the vast majority … fulfil the brief."

 

Minister for Local Government, Minister for Racing and Minister for Multicultural Affairs Stirling Hinchcliffe said Mr Chemello had done an excellent job as administrator.
Minister for Local Government, Minister for Racing and Minister for Multicultural Affairs Stirling Hinchcliffe said Mr Chemello had done an excellent job as administrator.

 

Local Government Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said Mr Chemello had been in the position since August 2018 and would be succeeded by Steve Greenwood, a member of the Interim Management Committee, which has been working closely with Mr Chemello in his role with the council.

"I'd like to thank Greg for taking the helm during a difficult time for Ipswich City Council and doing a terrific job," he said.

"Steve will now take the Council up to the March 2020 elections, when a new mayor and team of councillors will be elected.

Mr Greenwood is due to start on January 13, 2020 and remain in the position until the local government elections in March.

Mr Greenwood previously worked in urban planning and property, and is the founding CEO of the Queensland Futures Institute, former CEO of Canegrowers Australia and former Queensland Executive Director of the Property Council of Australia.


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