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Questions raised about Pisasale's spouse support

SUPPORT: Paul and Janet Pisasale at the 2017 Mayor's Ball.
SUPPORT: Paul and Janet Pisasale at the 2017 Mayor's Ball. David Nielsen

QUESTIONS have been raised about the extent of administrative support provided to former Ipswich mayoress, Janet Pisasale.

After a push this week to see Ipswich City Council offer support to Karina Antoniolli, wife of mayor Andrew, comparisons were drawn to Mrs Pisasale's entitlements.

At the council's committee meeting on Tuesday, division six councillor Cheryl Bromage said she did not know what was provided to Mrs Pisasale, wife of former mayor Paul.

Councillors heard the former mayoress had been provided with a council email address, phone, tablet, laptop and secretarial support.

After the councillors' confusion, the Queensland Times sought to clarify what was provided to Mrs Pisasale.

A spokesman for the Ipswich City Council said records for office and administration support for the former mayoress were available from 2008.

"Office equipment supplied included a mobile phone, council email address, iPad, desktop computer, printer and WiFi router," he said.

"No fuel card was ever supplied.

"No remuneration was paid for the role of mayoress for the entire period 2004 to 2017."

The spokesman said prior to 2008 no policy existed to regulate support for the mayoress.

"There was a separate arrangement when the former mayoress was employed as an administrative assistant on a part-time ad-hoc basis between September 2013 and March 2016," he said.

"A total 460 hours were recorded over a 30 month period at a cost of $14,039."

Local Government Association of Queensland spokesman Craig Johnstone said it was not unprecedented for a spouse of the mayor to be provided support.

Section 249 of the 2012 Local Government Regulations facilitate the reimbursement of reasonable expenses incurred by councillors for discharging their duties and responsibilities.

Mr Johnstone said the section could also extend to a mayor's spouse.

"This provides for councils to give the necessary equipment, facilities etcetera for them to perform their duties," he said.

"Councils have regularly provided such support."

The discussion about Mrs Pisasale forced Cr Antoniolli to assure colleagues his wife was "not looking for the same level" of support.

The council's City Management, Finance and Community Engagement Committee agreed to recognise Mrs Antoniolli's role as city mayoress and offer administrative support through the Office of the Mayor. It will be voted on at the next ordinary meeting.

Cr Antoniolli said his wife "would not be stepping into any council role".

"They mayoress does not want a phone provided, does not want a laptop and does not want a desktop computer, " he said.

Topics:  ipswich city council janet pisasale karina antoniolli mayor andrew antoniolli paul pisasale


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