LIVE STREAM: Pisasale, Tully and Silver front CCC

Ipswich Council deputy Mayor Paul Tully arrives for a hearing at the Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC) in Brisbane, Wednesday, April 19, 2017. Mr Tully is expected to give evidence in an investigation into conduct of candidates involved in the 2016 local government elections for the Gold Coast City Council, Moreton Bay Regional Council and Ipswich City Council. (AAP Image/Dan Peled) NO ARCHIVING
Ipswich Council deputy Mayor Paul Tully arrives for a hearing at the Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC) in Brisbane, Wednesday, April 19, 2017. Mr Tully is expected to give evidence in an investigation into conduct of candidates involved in the 2016 local government elections for the Gold Coast City Council, Moreton Bay Regional Council and Ipswich City Council. (AAP Image/Dan Peled) NO ARCHIVING DAN PELED


PAUL Tully is being questioned by the CCC over the use of the Goodna Community Fund in the 2016 election, which received $6000 in election donations.

Cr Tully established the fund was not an official charity or corporation, but a bank account managed by the councillor and his wife Liza.

"It's really just a bank account you and your wife decided to establish," counsel assisting the CCC Glen Rice, QC, asked.

Cr Tully said he and his wife advised people the bank account was for limited community and other purposes.

He said it was also used to receive three election donations in 2016.

Cr Tully told the CCC that of the $6000 in election donations only $3584 was spent on the campaign, and the rest remains in the fund.

In his evidence, Cr Tully said election donations were spent on the campaign and that no other money in the fund was spent on the election.

Cr Paul Tully is being questioned by the CCC.
Cr Paul Tully is being questioned by the CCC.

UPDATE 1.35:

IPSWICH councillor Kerry Silver has appeared before the CCC and was grilled for failing to read documents outlining the basic rules of running a local government election campaign.

Cr Silver appeared after mayor Paul Pisasale and before deputy mayor Paul Tully at the public hearing.

She was questioned about sharing a how to vote card with Cr Paul Tully as well as certain donations to her campaign.

The Division 3 councilor appeared flustered when probed about donations to her campaign and said she was happy to resubmit donation declarations.

When asked whether she read a package from the electoral commission outlining her responsibilities as a candidate, she admitted she looked up some information online but failed to read the entire document.

"I should have taken time to have read those (electoral commission) documents," she said.

"I've made a mistake and I apologise for that."

Cr Kerry Silver with Cr Paul Tully.
Cr Kerry Silver with Cr Paul Tully. Rob Williams


IPSWICH Deputy Mayor Paul Tully has made a bombshell call, which if recommended by the CCC and adopted, could lead to the banning of election donations by property developers in Queensland.

Cr Tully, in his appearance before the CCC public hearing after Cr Kerry Silver, agreed that donations from property developers can give rise to a perception of a conflict of interest for elected officials.

The city's former planning boss, Cr Tully said the last figures he saw indicated there were around 900 applications in a calendar year and only four went to a council meeting.

"But I just have a view in dealing with this situations that developers are putting forward their personal interest which often don't coincide with the community's interests," Cr Tully said.

"That is why my view is…that Queensland should follow the NSW model in banning all donations from property developers.

"I do believe… there should be public funding of local government campaigns which would significantly reduce the reliance on any donations.

"That would also mean there would be a more equal playing field.

"In NSW they have also put a monetary limit on corporate and individual donations of $5800 and $2500 respectively."

He said consideration should be given to a similar arrangement in Queensland.

"I might add that council, as opposed to federal and state candidates, are limited to a tax deduction of $1000 per campaign," he said.

"At state and federal (level) the deduction unlimited, and that figure of $1000 hasn't been increased since 1985.

"That reform to increase that, combined with prohibitions on developers and limits on individual donations, would go a long way to taking out that perception (of a conflict of interest) in relation to developers or individual donors."

Ipswich mayor Paul Pisasale.
Ipswich mayor Paul Pisasale. Rob Williams


IPSWICH Mayor Paul Pisasale has called for funding for candidates in elections to be based on the amount of votes secured by each, as is the case in state and federal elections.

He said that would take the heat off developers and other donors to contribute.

r Pisasale is appearing before the Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC) hearing into the conduct of candidates at the 2016 local government elections in Ipswich, Moreton Bay and the Gold Coast.

Cr Pisasale also said that declaration returns of donations should be made by candidates and sitting councillors before the election and not after it.

Counsel assisting the CCC Glen Rice, QC, asked Cr Pisasale: "So far as these returns are concerned can I ask you your view about whether the disclosure returns serve the purpose of informing electors given they are completed and furnished to the ECQ some months after the election?"

Cr Pisasale had earlier stated that he recorded and updated his donations as they came in on his register of interests but added when asked by Mr Rice that he was in favour of early declarations.

"I don't make the rules but it would be better for them all to be put in before the election," Cr Pisasale said.

"I was trying to keep people informed through my register when candidates running against you don't have to.

"There are two sets of rules."

Cr Pisasale added that "the issue is that councillors and mayors have to run a campaign and they don't receive funding like other levels of government, so somehow you have to raise the money to run a proper campaign to keep your community informed"

"It would be better if there were the same rules for all levels of government."

Mr Rice then said "that raises another question of how funding ought best be done for local government such as Ipswich City Council?"

"I'd say that we should do the same as state and federal so that the onus is not on councillors and mayor to run a proper campaign," he said.

"My preferred funding model is to have people getting payment on the amount of votes they got, the same as state and federal.

"That way people can run their own campaigns and not put pressure on the poor old developer who give because they want good leadership in a city and that get accused of trying to buy a vote."

Cr Pisasale received around $220,000 from 76 donors and confirmed in the hearing that he spent it all on his campaign.

He earlier answered questions on how-to-vote-cards. Cr Pisasale confirmed, as he did earlier to the QT, that he did not pay for his image to appear on any candidate's cards.

On the issue of candidate "groups", Cr Pisasale said his image appeared on competing candidates cards in several council divisions and confirmed that he had run as an independent.

Topics:  crime and corruption commision cr paul pisasale editors picks

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