News

Mayor's biggest critic dips into fund he condemns

Gary Norman Duffy starts the clean up in his Keogh Street business after the 2013 flood. Photo: Rob Williams / The Queensland Times
Gary Norman Duffy starts the clean up in his Keogh Street business after the 2013 flood. Photo: Rob Williams / The Queensland Times Rob Williams

IPSWICH businessman Gary Norman Duffy has been one of the biggest critics of Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale, making comments about the mayor's community funds on social media over many months

But the QT can reveal that Mr Duffy accepted $2000 in Bunnings vouchers from the Ipswich Mayor's Community fund when his former business, Keogh St Mechanical, was flooded in 2013.

The funds were a central plank of a 10-month investigation into Cr Pisasale by the Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC), which saw him cleared of wrongdoing.

In relation to Cr Pisasale the CCC said it "did not identify any criminal conduct, and, in particular found no evidence that Mayor Pisasale misused any community funds for campaigning".

Mr Duffy has been highly critical of Cr Pisasale and how his various funds are run. Many of his comments cannot be repeated here.

In one of his posts Mr Duffy drew parallels to the way Ipswich is run to the way the Mafia runs Sicily.

He criticised how Cr Pisasale was "handing out money from his collections to pay fines etc for the poor", and said "in Sicily the mafia hand out money to the towns people to keep them happy and in this way they control the poor. What is happening in Ipswich draws parallels to this."

But on June 13, 2013 Mr Duffy signed for the fact that he had received $2000 in Bunnings vouchers after he was flooded. The QT has seen his signature acknowledging this.

When asked by Pita Aupaau why he had such a grudge against the Mayor on the QT Facebook site, Mr Duffy replied , "I just hate people who I believe are corrupt". He also suggested Cr Pisasale had paid for his votes with money.

Contrary to Mr Duffy's assertions, the CCC found the mayor to not be corrupt.

The QT asked Mr Duffy yesterday why he accepted help from the Mayor's Community Fund, and then turned on the very person who set the fund up.

"We didn't know the vouchers were from the mayor," Mr Duffy said.

"We thought they were donated by Bunnings or from the Ipswich City Council, and not from any of his private funds

"The only reason he did it was for his own self interest, not for us. We gave the vouchers away to other people."

But the QT has printed today a personal letter from Cr Pisasale to Mr Duffy, dated May 31, 2013, offering him assistance a full 13 days before he signed for the vouchers.

 

"The Ipswich Mayor's Community Fund is now pleased to be able to offer you $2000 in vouchers to help in your recovery," Cr Pisasale wrote.

"I'm very proud to be Mayor of a community that cares for people and supports those affected by flood...and I'm keen to continually work with you to assist with your recovery."

Cr Pisasale has used the fund to distribute hundreds of thousands of dollars to assist those who have suffered through fire and floods.

He paid several parking fines that were deemed to have been unfairly issued after an internal council review.

The QT understands Cr Pisasale has been advised he has a strong case to launch legal action against Mr Duffy.

"There are a lot of people who like to hide behind Facebook and Twitter, but once my legal people open up on them it will be a different story," Cr Pisasale said.

"The Mayor's Community Fund has come under attack.

"People on Facebook have tried to destroy it and destroy me.

"Gary Norman Duffy is a recipient of it. He didn't think it was corrupt when he received $2000 in vouchers.

"He got flooded and we went down to help him. I don't understand why someone we helped would turn around and say the things he has."

Mr Duffy has been banned from the QT social platforms due to the nature of his remarks, which could land the QT in court.

Before he was banned Mr Duffy, who said he twice ran for mayor in North Queensland, posted on the QT Facebook page suggestions that he would be running for mayor in the future.

One of his posts said: "I can almost double the parking in the CBD and make it free with two hour parking zones.

"Vote 1 Gary Duffy for Mayor."

Another post said: "When I am Mayor the CBD will have...no parking meters".

Cr Pisasale said he was unconcerned by Mr Duffy running against him any time in the future.

Topics:  mayor paul pisasale, mayor's community fund



We find city's tastiest burger

ISN'T SHE LOVELY: Michael and Tara Melcic with the Tower Central Cafe Noa burger, which has been voted as Ipswich's best.

City Pride gets the juicy gossip on Ipswich's best feed

How Baden-Clay's lies finally undid him in the end

Gerard Baden-Clay and Allison Baden-Clay

The High Court finds Gerard Baden-Clay murdered his wife Allison

Crash leads to traffic mayhem

Police are investigating the death of an 86-year-old man near Chinchilla.

Road was eventually cleared about half-an-hour later

Latest deals and offers

Ipswich people love heritage

'It's a great vote of confidence for a program that was launched in 1992 and has since provided thousands of property owners with heritage conservation'


Your guide to a great night out in Ipswich

Electronic duo Nocturnal Tapes, Lachie Mulligan on electronics and Harry Suttor on guitar and vocals, at their 2015 Dolphin Awards ceremony in Ballina.

Five-day gig guide to the best entertainment in Ipswich

Cryptic crosswords: Top clues to solving them

Your guide to solving the cryptic crosswords in your local paper

MOVIE REVIEW: Ben-Hur isn't likely to become a new classic

Toby Kebbell plays Messala Severus and Jack Huston plays Judah Ben-Hur in a scene from Ben-Hur.

ANYTHING less than grand in a remake of Ben-Hur won't do.

Coming up on your TVs this September...

Don't miss A Place to Call Home as season four launches this September.

HERE'S a sneak peek at what's coming up on Foxtel.

Taylor Swift dismissed from jury duty

Taylor Swift was dismissed from jury duty in a sexual assault case

Zumbo's Willy Wonka hat trick trips up Queensland brickie

Adriano Zumbo and Rachel Khoo with Zumbo's floating dessert in a scene from Zumbo's Just Desserts.

NOOSA'S Michael Basset asked to recreate floating chocolate dish.

John Lennon's killer denied parole for 9th time

John Lennon

John Lennon's killer has been denied parole for the ninth time.

Bunnings starts demolition of historic foundry buildings

SAWTOOTH GONE: Demolition of Foundry sawtooth shed to make way for new Bunnings building.

Lane and footpath closures will take place

Australia's most expensive balcony and it hasn't been built

Viridian Noosa.

How Noosa millionares' squabble could affect body corporates

Receivers move in on Springfield's 'Tower of Power'

The 10-storey tower at Springfield is up for sale with interest high in the iconic structure.

Interest high in iconic 10-storey office building

Palm Lake Resort set to move in to Coast with 276 villas

Palm Lake Group has been given approval by Sunshine Coast Council to build a 276-villa over 50s resort and 120-bed aged care facility at the intersection of Caloundra Rd and Caloundra Mooloolaba Rd in Little Mountain.

New facility planned for Caloundra Rd

Warning for unit investors with price plummet prediction

The warning signs are flashing for one real estate sector in 2017 despite others performing the best they have in years and it's not going to be pretty.

One real estate sector looks set for a rocky 2017

REVEALED: Pat Rafter's $18m Coast house on the market

Check out the photos of the Coast's most expensive property for sale