Labor members told to 'be quiet' about councillors' future
DISCUSSION about Labor's embattled Ipswich City Council was forbidden at the party's regional conference this week.
About 100 party delegates from the Ryan, Wright, Blair and Oxley federal-electorate branches met at Brothers Leagues Club on Sunday.
The regional conference sets out motions to be debated at the next state Labor conference.
Members were banned from talking about the elephant in the room; the future of the majority-Labor council.
They were told any discussion about councillors' future was sub judice - meaning any talk could interfere with the council's legal battle.
The Ipswich City Council has taken Local Government Minister Stirling Hinchliffe to the Supreme Court and argued he does not have the "jurisdiction" to dismiss them.
A source who attended the meeting but was not authorised to speak publicly about it said members were asked not to discuss the council's fate and warned from talking about internal discussions.
"They runaway from the issue as far as possible," the source said.
"I think it was a pretty convenient effort not to talk about it."
"It was a non-event in that sense."
While no formal discussion about the council's future took place, Labor members spoke quietly about their fate.
"There were plenty of private conversations, like every pub shop and hairdresser, it's on the tip of everyone's tongues," the source said.
A second source who attended the meeting said were "robust discussions about other things".
All of Labor's MPs within the Ipswich and surrounding areas provided a report about their activities.
Member for Ipswich Jennifer Howard said the conference showed Labor "understands the issues that Australian and Queenslanders are facing" including cost of living.
"I think it shows Labor locally is very focused on the big picture, cognizant of the local issues and challenges we're facing," she said.