Labor plotting to control the city: Pahlke
AN ORCHESTRATED takeover of Ipswich City Council by the Labor Party and the unions is well under way, warns Cr David Pahlke.
Cr Pahlke, who is running again in Division 10 at the March local government elections, has pointed to the number of left faction members of the Labor Party running in council seats such as Steve Franklin (Division 10), Declan McCallion (Division 2), Danny Donohue (Division 3) and Jade Connor (Division 9) as evidence of his claims.
"The push by the Jo-Ann Miller camp along with her hard line unionist supporters to storm the ranks of Ipswich City Council is finally being exposed," he said.
"But standing in her path is Mayor Paul Pisasale.
"This is why we are seeing Labor Party candidates standing against Labor Party councillors."
Mr Franklin and Mr Donohue have dismissed Cr Pahlke's warning as a conspiracy theory and evidence of delusional paranoia on his behalf.
But a senior Labor Party source has confirmed Cr Pahlke's assertion that the left faction of the party locally aimed to place endorsed ALP teams in the 2016 local government elections, but was outvoted by both the right faction locally and non-factionally aligned members.
"The push by Jo-Ann Miller and her left wing acolytes for a Labor team and a takeover of the Labor Party here locally was rebuffed by the right at various party forums in Ipswich in the last 12 months," the source said.
"It was knocked back (due to recommendations to the) admin' committee, and the regional conference voted two-to-one against it."
Cr Pahlke said that while unsuccessful this time around, the ALP was positioning itself to make another play at controlling council with endorsed teams in 2020.
He said the push for control went right to the top.
"The push to put Steve (Franklin) against me is the Labor Party again wanting to get control of Ipswich, with the unions backing it.
"The Rosewood branch has union synergies to the Jo-Ann Miller camp.
"There is also a direct linkage from the Rosewood branch to the heart of the Premier's office.
"I do not wish to see this sort of grubby mainstream politics in council. I want to see councillors making decisions for the good of their communities, not along any party lines.
"It will be a sad day indeed, if any mainstream political party directs councillors on how they must vote on an issue.
"The Labor Party has always wanted control out here. At the eastern end of Ipswich it is all about union factions wanting control."
ALP state secretary Evan Moorhead confirmed the ALP was not running endorsed candidates in the Ipswich council elections and said "Cr Pahlke's comments are the conspiracy theories of a losing National Party candidate".
"People get involved in politics because they are passionate about improving their community," Mr Moorhead said.
"There should be no surprise that Labor members want to represent their community."
Cr Pahlke was a former state rep' for the postal workers union and said he had not been a member of the National Party for over a decade, and would not be joining any party again.
Mr Donohue said Cr Pahlke's claims were "nonsense" and "pure conspiracy".
"For the record, I am running as an independent in the electorate where I live, and in the electorate where I came home to from the hospital when I was born," he said.
"There is no strategy here, apart from me being someone who cares about their electorate and wants to give a bit back.
"I think that sometimes when politicians have been in for too long they become a bit insecure and paranoid and start coming up with these conspiracy theories."
Mr Franklin, who is running against Cr Pahlke in Division 10, said the Rosewood councillor was "trying to run a scare tactic".
"I am standing as a true independent and someone who cares about the community I live in," he said.
"I started the Rosewood Roosters and have been the centre manager of the little athletics out here. He is worried because he knows I have good support in the area."