Better call Paul

IN 2017 Paul Pisasale faces criminal charges including extortion, assault, and attempting to pervert justice. In 2016, Mr Pisasale was re-elected Mayor of Ipswich with 83.45 per cent of the vote. Something is broken at councils in south-east Queensland. On 10 October 2017 Pisasale was charged with Official Corruption , Fraud – Dishonest application of property, Misconduct in Public Office, Perjury contrary , Possession of a restricted drug contrary (probably Viagra).

“The CCC will allege the corruption charge relates to payments made by a property developer.“  Maha Sinnathamby from  Springfield Land Corporation?

Dressed in pyjamas, a robe, and red socks, the long-serving mayor announced he was standing down for health reasons.

By 2017, it could no longer be ignored. The Crime and Corruption Commission, CCC, called an inquiry to investigate the councils of Moreton Bay Region, Ipswich, Logan, and the Gold Coast. Here is a short radio play performed on 4ZZZ prior to these charges being laid.

PShift: Please introduce yourself

Pisasale: My name is Paul Pisasale, former Mayor of Ipswich.

PShift: Could I ask you, you don’t receive or accept donations from political parties; is that correct?

Pisasale: No.

PShift: Is there a reason for that?

Pisasale: Well, look, to me – you know, I’m a member of the Labor Party, but I think it’s important for a mayor of a city to stay independent. Over the years, because of my popularity in getting 85% of the vote, I’ve had approaches from both state and federal candidates to support, and I won’t support, because I don’t think any person should tell anybody how to vote.

And to me, I think that’s important, because I think people underestimate – underestimate the voter.

One thing I can say is that people do not vote at the last minute. They’ve already made up their mind.

And if there’s a better system than How to Vote Cards, I’d welcome it, because, at the end of the day, it’s a lot of resources, a lot of people, a lot of sunburnt people, and it would be fantastic to have a system – a system that allows the voter to walk up to the booth and make an informed decision themselves.

PShift: All right. If it is the case that a political party or a developer is supporting a candidate by way of services or gifts in kind, or donations, you’d agree that should be made apparent; it should be transparently obvious?

Pisasale: Absolutely. There are rules about the candidate. If you’re a sitting member, you have to put all those in. But if an opponent got a donation from Springfield Land Development of $100,000 before the date and that was announced for the donation date, they don’t have to declare it.

The voters just think “politician”.

People vote for what you are doing for their community and what you do for their city.

PShift: Is it fair to say, Mr PISASALE, that this campaign, the last one in 2016, was one of the dirtiest in your memory?

Pisasale: It was just – it was allowed to go rampant, and I just think that the rules of protection and social media, and the way social media operates, allows it, and it’s going to get worse and worse unless the rules are there. And as I said before, I think what’s happened in this country is the rules haven’t kept up with the progress and the speed of social media. When I went down to the polling booths, there was just like a scrum outside that was just so vicious. I’d never seen anything like it. I just couldn’t go anywhere near it. I just felt the voters were trapped – if they walked outside, it was like caged animals outside.

PShift: But the idea was to protect people, like yourself, as you have complained before, about being the subject of baseless allegations during an election campaign.

Pisasale: One hundred per cent. But I want to let you know that it was easily said, but it wasn’t policed. It wasn’t policed. It’s just amazing, every time there was an allegation put in to me, the media would find out within 24 hours and I had a phone call from the media. You know, it was just ongoing and I resented to get involved, but I can tell you, at the end of the day, if you look at my history and the amount that my family and myself have been harassed with baseless – and the only protection I’ve had is to get my own legal advice and seek injunctions against those people when I have been begging for assistance and help. So I would welcome it, and every other candidate and every other decent politician in this country would welcome it.

PShift: You did say before that you did not accept money from political parties; what then was the $50K you were carrying in the bag at Melbourne airport.

Pisasale: That was for my lawyer. It had nothing to do with the Labor Party.

PShift: What were you thinking carrying that amount of money in cash.

Pisasale: I’d better call Paul.

PShift: I’d better call Paul?

Pisasale: Paul Tully.

PShift: Why?

Pisasale: Well, Paul has been in some pretty tight situations.

PShift: And Paul Tully is the current Mayor of Ipswich.

Pisasale: Yes.

PShift: I think we had better leave it there.


Penny Toland was charged under the electoral act with failure to disclose funds that she had received from the CFMEU. In contrast Tom Tate the mayor of the Gold Coast was not charged. That The crime and conduct Commission gave as its reasons that corruption was far too systemic to select any given mayor for prosecution.

Ian Curr
June 30, 2017

Special thanks to Blair Martin [4ZZZ] for playing all roles except the interviewer in the broadcast radio play.


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