Get community NEWS from CR MILLIGAN...

Local Government across a lifetime for new councillor

Russell Milligan remembers growing up as a kid in Laidley, walking from school to the local council chambers to wait for his dad to finish up his work for the day.

His father Bob Milligan was an elected member of Laidley Shire Council for almost 20 years.

“They’d let me in and I’d sit there, watching and listening to many debates on important issues decided upon,” the newly elected Ipswich City Councillor said.

“Dad used to take me out on a lot of road inspections. They would go out with council staff to check on what was happening.”

Local government was common conversation around the family dinner table.

His mentor and godfather was Bill Gunn, former Chairman of Laidley Shire Council, before going on to State Parliament, representing the seat of Somerset from 1972 until 1992. He served as a Minister and Deputy Premier in various Queensland administrations during the 1980s, and was instrumental in establishing the Fitzgerald Inquiry.

Mr Gunn’s successor as Shire Chairman was Russell Lester Pitt, better known as Rusty. Cr Milligan was named after Russell Pitt and, perhaps unsurprisingly, is known as Rusty too.

“When I married, my then wife Tanya also entered local government and has been re-elected consecutively for over 19 years. She has served the local community as Deputy Mayor of Laidley Shire Council and is currently Mayor of Lockyer Valley Regional Council.

“So, perhaps it won’t surprise anyone that I might find an attraction to making my own contribution to public life in the same manner,” Cr Milligan said.

He won a spot as Division 4 representative on the new Ipswich City Council at the March 2020 local government election, joining Cr Kate Kunzelmann from that area.

Some might say he was born to be a local politician and born to serve community and country. He also represents a multigenerational service family.

“My father was a returned serviceman from World War Two, Korea, Malaya and Vietnam,” he said.

“My son is a returned serviceman from Afghanistan and is currently serving with the 6th Battalion of the Royal Australian Regiment.

“While I served as a Platoon Commander in the Military Police.

“This tradition of military service stems back to having a World War 1 Victoria Cross recipient in the family (his father’s uncle Lieutenant Joseph Maxwell VC, MC and Bar, DCM).”

His previous community involvement includes SES, Rural Fire Brigade, RSL sub-branch, Freemasonry and community fundraising.

Cr Milligan currently lives in a townhouse in Brassall, which he described as a million miles away from growing up on 200 acres as that council kid.

“I remember Laidley as little town and Ipswich as big town. As a teenager, my friends and I would often come down to Ipswich on the train, the “Silver Bullet”, and watch the matinee on a Saturday. I have pretty fond memories of Ipswich,” he said.

Now he gets to play a part in shaping the Ipswich of the future.

Cr Milligan said he is looking forward to working with Mayor Teresa Harding, Deputy Mayor Marnie Doyle, Councillors and council staff in a new transparent and accountable era in Ipswich, and in particular working closely with Cr Kunzelmann in a diverse urban and rural division.

“Having been a small business operator I am very conscious of the need to run an efficient business, avoiding any unnecessary wastage of money and to conduct business within operational budgets. I will bring that important ethos to the Ipswich City Council  … we must be efficient and not waste ratepayer’s funds,” he said.

By Darren Giles from Ipswich First

Original Article:



News Articles

Media Releases


Join the conversation on  Facebook  Instagram  Twitter


TWITTER @MilliganIpswich

Don't complain. Make the change!

Get involved and take control of your future.