Veteran councillor in line for new gig amid probe

VETERAN Ipswich councillor Paul Tully has been nominated to represent thousands of ratepayers in a policy role with the state's peak council body, despite facing an investigation over unresolved complaints.

Cr Tully was among former Ipswich councillors sacked in 2018 after new laws were passed by State Parliament to do so following a widespread probe into the council by the Crime and Corruption Commission.

At the time, 15 people - including former mayor Paul Pisasale and council officials - were facing almost 80 charges, triggering the entire council's dismissal.

Cr Tully - one of two former councillors returned to office this year - has not been charged with any offence.

He is facing investigation by the councillor watchdog, the Office of the Independent Assessor, over unresolved matters that predate his March election.

Cr Tully has told The Courier-Mail the allegations were minor, not of a criminal nature and untested.

The Independent Assessor Kathleen Florian released a statement before the March election confirming Cr Tully had "outstanding matters against him".

"Any relevant matters will be progressed once the election result is officially declared, and they'll be treated as confidential at least until they're finalised in keeping with procedural fairness and natural justice," she said.

Cr Tully was last month nominated by a majority vote of Ipswich council to sit on the Local Government Association of Queensland's 16-member policy executive.

He would represent Ipswich, Scenic Rim, Somerset and Lockyer Valley if elected to the $3000-a-year job.

The LGAQ policy executive sets the direction on issues involving legislation, funding and government relations.

New councillor Kate Kunzelmann had initially been nominated by Ipswich council, but that was toppled by four councillors, with Cr Tully, who abstained from voting.

Cr Tully then won the nomination.

His nomination was opposed by new Mayor Teresa Harding and first-term councillor Marnie Doyle.

Cr Tully has told The Courier-Mail the prospect of an OIA investigation posed no impediment to his serving on the LGAQ policy executive.

"These are only allegations. Anyone can make an allegation. It doesn't mean it's proven," he said.

Cr Tully has refused to discuss the allegations, but has previously referred to them as "minor."

He said he had previously served on the LGAQ policy executive prior to the council's 2018 dismissal.

LGAQ chief executive Greg Hallam said Cr Tully had an opponent for the position and an outcome on the vote would be known by May 28.

"There is nothing in the Corporations Law that precludes him taking up that role," he said.

 

Originally published as Veteran councillor in line for new gig amid probe


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