Patricia Petersen leaves Ipswich Magistrates Court after a magistrate turned down her application for access to information pertaining to Cr Paul Tully.
Patricia Petersen leaves Ipswich Magistrates Court after a magistrate turned down her application for access to information pertaining to Cr Paul Tully. Ross Irby

Court puts stop to Patricia Petersen's 'fishing expedition'

FORMER Ipswich political candidate Patricia Petersen is pursuing legal action amid claims that her reputation has been damaged.

In a fresh matter before Ipswich Magistrates Court, Ms Petersen said while it was suggested that she should drop her legal action, all she wanted was to hear the word "sorry" from Ipswich City Council or Councillor Paul Tully.

With a damages case lodged before the Supreme Court against Ipswich City Council and others, Ms Peterson went before the Ipswich Magistrate's Court on Tuesday with an application to get payroll employment details on Cr Tully.

She sought the information from the council payroll officer, however, Magistrate Andy Cridland dismissed her written application after reading the documentation and hearing her submission.

Mr Cridland said the application was unclear, and he found it to be a "fishing expedition".

The council and Cr Tully were represented by barrister Anastacia Nicholas who, in a written submission, had sought for the application be dismissed.

Neither the council nor Ms Petersen's submissions were read in open court and the substance of the matter remains unclear.

Ms Petersen did say that she had withdrawn a defamation action against Cr Tully.

She sought documents from the council's payroll officer, saying the council was not able to claim it was privileged information because of the "significant community and political interest" in Ipswich City Council activities.

"Mr Tully is under investigation by the Crime and Corruption Commission about what he did to me in 2012," Ms Petersen said.

"All I need is one tiny little jigsaw piece to fill out the entire jigsaw puzzle."

"What is the information you want," queried Mr Cridland.

"Whether Mr Tully was working as an Ipswich City Council employee on January 12, 2012," Ms Petersen replied.

Ms Petersen said she had already served documentation on the head of payroll and "she wanted to give me it. She did not object".

"It is Ipswich City Council and Mr Tully who objected. She told me she has information and wanted to hand it over.

"I made it clear to Ipswich City Council as to why I needed those documents. On whether Mr Tully was working as a councillor at that time."

Ms Petersen said Cr Tully "actively engaged in a course of conduct against me. It has probative value."

"If it goes to trial I will allege Mr Tully knew the federal government was refusing to help Goodna flood victims," Ms Petersen said.

"And (that he) sent out media releases to deflect media releases I sent out.

"It's been suggested it's a fishing expedition and it isn't the case your honour. I know exactly what I need, and want.

"It's been suggested that I drop the case.

"All I need is one sorry from Ipswich City Council and Mr Tully. I want to heal and move on from this."

Ms Nicholas said the application was "technically defective" and must fail for a number of reasons.

She said it did not specify the relevant documents, there had been no attempt to identity any document whatsoever, and is also against a party who is party to a litigation matter.

Ms Nicholas said although Ms Petersen states her defamation action had been abandoned it still appears in some documents. And she has twice been invited to withdraw her application.

Ms Nicholas said Ipswich councillors are not required to record or do time sheets.

Mr Cridland found the application to be "very unclear" .

"It has all the hallmarks of being a fishing expedition. I can see no reason why I should make that order," Mr Cridland said.

The application was dismissed.



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