Innocent Ipswich councillors 'damaged'

Stuart Layt

Queensland's local government minister has admitted some innocent councillors will pay a heavy price for his decision to sack the Ipswich City Council.

Stirling Hinchliffe will introduce special legislation next month to dismiss the council after 15 former councillors and staff were charged with 75 corruption charges and related offences.

The minister said the depth of cultural change that's needed means the entire council must go, with administrators to run the council until the next elections in 2020.

"I believe there will be some innocent people damaged out of this process, as there has been already," he told ABC radio on Tuesday.

"They've been put in a bad situation, an unprecedented situation, and we need to resolve that and take the opportunity to move the city forward."

But Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington says the government should have taken the action it announced on Monday sooner.

"What they should have done is got their ducks in a row and put a piece of legislation in to effect the sacking of the council, if that is where the minister wanted to go," she told reporters on Tuesday.

Mr Hinchliffe said the council faced a long period of administration, but there needed to be a clean break.

"I believe that the depth of cultural change that is needed within the council ... needs an administrator to be there for some length of time."

Long-serving Ipswich councillor Paul Tully has branded the minister's move undemocratic, but says he's powerless to stop it.

"There has been no council in Queensland dismissed by a special act of parliament since Queensland parliament was formed in 1859, this is an extraordinary situation," he told the ABC.

"The minister can say there are innocents who will be hurt, but that's more than a glib statement, there are 10 of us against whom there are no accusations."

Mr Tully has never been under a corruption cloud, and insists he had no knowledge of any of the corruption allegations before councillors and staff, including long-serving former Mayor Paul Pisasale, were charged.

All 10 existing councillors can recontest their positions in 2020, but Mr Tully is yet to decide if he will.

Mr Hinchliffe said that would not have been the case if a special election was held before then under normal administrative practices.