Ipswich Councillor Paul Tully at his office in Goodna. He’s called for compensation should he be sacked by the State Government. Picture: AAP/Mark Calleja
Ipswich Councillor Paul Tully at his office in Goodna. He’s called for compensation should he be sacked by the State Government. Picture: AAP/Mark Calleja

Give us compo if we’re sacked: Councillor

IPSWICH councillors should be compensated by the State Government when it moves to sack them under its new dismissal laws next month, the city's longest-serving councillor says.

In a scathing submission to the committee probing the Palaszczuk Government's Dissolution of Ipswich City Council Bill, Councillor Paul Tully described the legislation as one "Russia, North Korea and even Chairman Mao from Communist China would be salivating over".

"Al Capone and the Boston Strangler were afforded greater legal rights than the 10 sitting councillors of the Ipswich City Council against whom no allegations or accusations have been made," he wrote.

Councillor Paul Tully sent a scathing submission to the Parliamentary Committee investigating the Palaszczuk Government’s new dismissal laws. Picture: AAP/Mark Calleja
Councillor Paul Tully sent a scathing submission to the Parliamentary Committee investigating the Palaszczuk Government’s new dismissal laws. Picture: AAP/Mark Calleja

Cr Tully called for the councillors facing the sack to be compensated to ensure some fairness, whether that be to pay them out for the remainder of their term - potentially 19 months - or by giving them two weeks' pay for every year served.

"In almost every jurisdiction, a worker dismissed without cause is entitled to fair compensation," Mr Tully, who has sat on the council since 1979, wrote.

"Current Ipswich councillors should be entitled to be fairly compensated if the Government proceeds with this Bill.

"My suggestion is that all affected councillors be statutorily provided with either two weeks' pay for each continuous completed year of service to local government or be paid out in full until the normal conclusion of their current term in office in March 2020.

"This would go a long way in portraying the Government as acting fairly and honourably towards each of those sitting councillors."

Local Government Minister Stirling Hinchliffe is expected to introduce the Bill in late August. Picture: AAP/Ric Frearson
Local Government Minister Stirling Hinchliffe is expected to introduce the Bill in late August. Picture: AAP/Ric Frearson

The councillors earn about $120,000 a year, while the mayoral salary is about $200,000 a year.

Parliament's Economics and Governance Committee is due to hold a public hearing on the Bill on Monday.

Cr Tully is not the only Ipswich councillor expected to plead their case.

Local Government Minister Stirling Hinchliffe intends to introduce the dismissal Bill on the first day of next month's sitting week, on August 21.

The Government is expected to use its numbers to pass the Bill that day.

It is Labor's third attempt to dump the council amid a corruption allegation scandal that has rocked Ipswich.

Mr Hinchliffe issued two show cause notices to the council but moved to bring in new laws after the council challenged his most recent show cause notice in the Supreme Court.

There will be no avenue of appeal under the laws.

The Ipswich City Council offices. Picture: AAP/Dave Hunt
The Ipswich City Council offices. Picture: AAP/Dave Hunt

Former mayor Paul Pisasale and suspended mayor Andrew Antoniolli are among 15 people associated with the council who have been charged by the Crime and Corruption Commission.

The saga was raised during yesterday's Budget Estimates hearing where Crime and Corruption Corruption Commissioner Alan Macsporran told the hearing the CCC had been investigating the council since October 2016.

"We intend at the end of our criminal investigation, which is in the next few weeks, to issue a public report that will deal with broader issues of lack of governance, transparency and accountability with Ipswich City Council," he said.

Pisasale and Antoniolli will defend their charges.



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