Minister calls out MP for 'close relationship' with Pisasale
THE Minister for Local Government Stirling Hinchliffe has lambasted the man formerly in his role for introducing legislation that served as the "tipping point" that eventually led to the sacking of Ipswich and Logan councils and his "close relationship" with disgraced former mayor Paul Pisasale.
Speaking in parliament in regards to the second stage of reforms to Queensland councils that were later passed, Mr Hinchliffe took aim at Member for Broadwater David Crisafulli for his time as local government minister between 2012-2015.
Mr Hinchliffe criticised Mr Crisafulli for legislative changes introduced in 2012.
"On November 14, 2012, the then local government minister put out a media statement titled Ipswich mayor backs council reform, promoting the minister's legislative changes, of which much was said by the former minister in his contribution," Mr Hinchliffe said.
"Those legislative changes gave mayors additional powers. The then minister's press release quotes Paul Pisasale as saying... 'under the old legislation I could not ask my CEO to do something without keeping a record of the directive. How much red tape is that?'
"That did not work out real well for some people involved. I suspect there are two involved for whom it ultimately has not worked out real well. Any reading of the Operation Windage report should make any Ipswich ratepayer shudder at that association and that sort language which clearly the member for Broadwater was so proud of.
"I am told that in promoting this legislation, the then minister took his local government roadshow all around the state, saying that the then Ipswich mayor was the model of how to get things done."
Mr Hinchliffe also pointed to meetings between the pair noted in Mr Crisafulli's diary, twice in 2013 and three times in 2014, and tabled QT photos of "media stunts" involving the two from 2012, 2013 and 2014.
He asserted Mr Crisafulli's "Pisasale endorsed legislation" had led to the "integrity mess" and subsequent loss of confidence in councils.
"(It) handed over greater power to mayors and, as the member suggested, allowed mayors 'to get things done in their community' and this shows his lack of understanding of the root of the problem we are dealing with," he said.
"Mayors having the reach around ability to direct council officers allows them too much involvement and too much power in the day-to-day operational running of councils. I refer those opposite to the Operation Windage report and the implications in that."