News

Getting control of Ipswich Council on Labor's agenda

SECTIONS of the Labor Party are planning to run a ticket at the 2016 Ipswich City Council elections for both mayor and councillors across all divisions.

Six current councillors - Cheryl Bromage, Paul Tully, Victor Attwood, Charlie Pisasale, Andrew Antoniolli and Mayor Paul Pisasale - are Labor Party members but are not endorsed.

As independents and not endorsed Labor candidates, they do not fall under Labor Party caucus rules.

A well placed Labor Party source told the QT that plans to run a ticket were in the works.

"We are all talking about it and saying that it is time we did it. It is something that has been discussed," the source said.

"By running as Labor Party candidates we tie them (the councillors) into party rules and the party has better control to stop any nonsense going on."

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For decades in Ipswich the Labor Party ran a ticket with a mayoral candidate and councillors on it.

Cr Pisasale ran on a Labor Party ticket for council in 1991 and won.

He ran for mayor on a ticket in 1994 and lost during a turbulent time in Ipswich local politics where the Labor council was decimated and Cr Tully was the sole Labor endorsed survivor.

Cr Pisasale took a year out of political life before re-entering the fray in 1995 where he won as an independent councillor.

He has been mayor since 2004 and told the QT that he had no intention of running on a ticket.

"I don't think party politics belongs in local government," he said

"In the last three terms we have taken the city to a very good position, and from a Labor Party view they still have representatives on council.

"I don't know what they have to gain, but it is up to them to make a decision…and I welcome any decision they make.

"But I want to put my cards on the table. If I do run it won't be as part of a political party.

"I think the Labor Party should concentrate on policy at a state and federal level. In the olden days if you ran for the Labor Party in Ipswich, you got elected.

"But the city has changed. People aren't going to vote for someone because they are in the Labor Party. They are going to vote for the person.

"I don't care whether people are Labor or Liberal. I treat them all the same and that is why the city is going well."

Cr Tully, celebrating 35 years as a councillor, won numerous elections early his political career on a Labor Party ticket.

He is an independent candidate now but said he was open to a Labor party ticket.

"I haven't heard anything specific for the 2016 election, but I have always been supportive of that," Cr Tully said.

"I think it is an opportunity for a team to be elected. It is something the Labor Party has looked at. When I was first elected they had teams in places like Ipswich, Brisbane, Maryborough, Rockhampton and Townsville."

Certain sections of the Labor Party believe the local council needs a shake-up, but Blair MP Shayne Neumann is not among them.

"The party will make the decision about what they want to do in the future," he said

"But my wish is that there would be more councillors on the council with Labor Party membership tickets in their wallets and Labor Party values.

"I have voted for Paul Pisasale every time he has run because I think he and the current council are doing a good job here in Ipswich."

Topics:  council elections, labor party



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