Ipswich mayor Andrew Antoniolli says having a teacher on the council will add to diversity.
Ipswich mayor Andrew Antoniolli says having a teacher on the council will add to diversity. David Nielsen

Mayor hails council's diversity as teacher wins Div 7

THE DIVERSE background of the Ipswich councillors has only been enhanced by school teacher David Martin's win in the Division 7 by-election.

That is the word from Mayor Andrew Antoniolli in the wake of his close friend Mr Martin's victory.

Cr Antoniolli is a former policeman. Cr Paul Tully is a qualified lawyer and Cr Cheryl Bromage was a nurse prior to entering politics. Cr David Pahlke was a postmaster for Australia Post. The mayor said that diversity was only a good thing.

"Councils in many respects are supposed to be a cross-section of the community and I think we have a good cross-section on this council," he said.

"We have people from diverse backgrounds and jobs, and as a teacher David will bring a different insight. Teachers by their very nature have a different way of dealing with problems and situations and we don't have a teacher on council.

"Teachers are very close to the people and very close to the community. Interaction is part and parcel of what they do. David is a people person. He's genuine. He's warm. I guess that resonated with the residents of Division 7.

"It is always good to get new blood and considering that for 13 years on council there has been little change, some might see it as a challenge for myself to have so many relatively new faces on council.

"But I think it is a great opportunity for David. He has a steep learning curve in front of him because he only has two and a half years until the next election. He is passionate about the community and I believe he won't let the people down."

Cr Antoniolli did support Mr Martin and had a David Martin shirt on the polling booths and was handing out how-to-vote cards.

"But I don't want to take anything away from David," he said.

"He door knocked and ran an old fashioned campaign and he did that himself. It would be unfair for anyone to take that away from him."

As to why he handed out how-to-vote cards on the day, the mayor explained his rationale as a response to an attack on his wife Karina for handing out for Mr Martin.

"I wasn't going to hand out for David until the (social media) slur and the insult to democracy in attacking my wife and her ability to support a friend," he said.

"I thought 'blow it'. I am going to come out and support my friend and my wife and I handed out for half an hour at the Raceview West booth.

"I make no qualms about it. My wife, just as much as me, has the right to support a candidate in the democracy we live in. This isn't the 1950s where women are seen and not heard."