Questions Raised in Ipswich Election
Ipswich has become the scene of some of Australia’s worst political corruption.
Paul Pisasale, the former mayor has been charged with corruption for allegedly receiving bribes from a property developer.
The Crime and Corruption Commission announced it had laid six charges against the 65-year-old Ipswich man, including official corruption, fraud, perjury, misconduct in public office and drug possession.
Jim Lindsay,Suspended Ipswich City Council chief executive, faces an allegation he received money over a change of use to a development application involving council contractor Wayne Francis Innes.
Former Ipswich CEO Carl Wulff, who was succeeded by Lindsay, has been charged over an allegation he “corruptly obtained a benefit, namely a sum of money, on account of his actions in the discharge of the duties of his office to facilitate a fill services brokerage agreement and subsequent works.”
He has also been charged with attempting to pervert the course of justice by influencing a witness with a false written statement in order to provide false evidence at an Eight Miles Plains pub on September 27 this year.
Now the new Mayor Andrew Antoniolli has been accused of wrongly involving himself in the election of David Martin to the Council. Antoniolli openly campaigned for Martin and Martin is on record as making political donations to Antoniolli.
Antoniolli certainly needs friends at local council, Ipswich City Council has told the QT it’s working through a strategic plan for winding up the operations of Ipswich City Enterprises Pty Ltd, Ipswich City Developments Pty Ltd and Ipswich Motorsport Park Pty Ltd. Before the companies can be shut down, mayor Andrew Antoniolli needs to fulfill another election promise – a complete forensic audit and that may open a brand new can of worms.
Having “friends” at council will certainly help Antoniolli once those worms are at his feet.
Local Political Watchdog Vicky Long has raised some interesting questions.
What is corruption:
– Interfering in a by-election of a local council division and supporting a candidate
– Breaching the local government act and the criminal act
– Taking bribes
– Running as a group
Mayor should have known better than to endorse a candidate:
– Mayor is an ex-police officer.
– Belcarra CCC investigation established that an endorsement by the mayor also means they run as a group
– The Belcarra CCC found it was systemic corruption
– Mayor is supposed to be unbiased and he recognised that before the crime committed, stating it in the paper.
– worked as a councilor for 17 years, should know the rules
When the people do not get punished for corruption committed this happens:
– Mayor ran in 2016 as a team with then mayor Pisasale and now does it again running as a team with Mr Martin
– Mayor is clueless about what corruption is and that he has done the wrong thing
– Family of Antoniolli get upset if people complain
– Mayoress and mayor even get their picture taken and do selfies while doing the wrong thing
– Antoniolli drags his children into the criminal offense he is committing of endorsing somebody after taking a bribe.
If the mayor does not even know what corruption is, how will he detect corruption?
How will his leadership change anything about the corruption in council? On the contrary he seems to be the one following in the steps of Pisasale, instead of this change he promised.
More Issues for Andrew Antoniolli
During the by-election the mayor had the following to say: “I am completely transparent about donations and about my conflict of interest. However, I expect to give no favours to any person who has given me money.”
Yet when the by-election was on he then gave one of his donors, Mr Martin, favours by endorsing him. It was not only him but his whole family that endorsed Mr Martin by wearing his T-shirt and handing out election cards. Mr Martin was one person that had given a donation of $3,000.
Mr Antoniolli then had the hide to start complaining about people being upset that his family had supported Mr Martin at the pre-polling.
Using your children to support another person at an election is actually violating their rights. Children don’t have sufficient maturity to judge the nature and consequences of their conduct, therefore using children for election purposes, even with their consent is in some countries against the law. It is said that it causes a child’s mental and physical suffering which amount to violation of the child’s rights. Using a child to gain an advantage for a person in an election, the same way as Mr Pisasale has done this in the past, is not a very good thing to do in the first place, especially when it violates the children’s rights.
Then complaining that photos have been taking is ludicrous. You yourself put them in the public place in a position that is causing controversy. You have therefore given permission that they are being photographed, as you put them into a T-shirt that is of another candidate and as you as their father did the wrong thing and actually gave favours, hence accepted a bribe and hence you breached the criminal code. Something you should be familiar with as you were an ex-police man. Another one of those that had to quit the force prematurely.
Do not make this out to be about your children and about your wife. Your wife should not have supported a candidate as well, as she is the mayoress. It has nothing to do with her democratic right, it has to do with you and therefore her accepting the position of public figure. With that position comes the responsibility to treat all people equally and be unbiased and hence do not interfere with elections. If she does not like it you should have not run for mayor. As she run your facebook campaign for you and embraced all the publicity it seems that she is happy to have this position. In her own words on her Facebook page she will rule with you this city and make a positive impact on this city. Well you are off to a terrible start.
Coming back to it, you breached the criminal code and of course the local government act. That is what this is all about. And you will have to deal with the consequences of this. You are a mayor in the public eye and you need to act according to law and acts and do the right thing, especially when the cloud of corruption hangs about the entire council.