News

Is Luxton the man to slay Ipswich's 'Goliath'?

PETER Luxton concedes it is a David versus Goliath battle.

But the former Ipswich mayoral candidate is being urged by his supporters to have another crack at Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale in the 2016 local government elections.

Mr Luxton has had two attempts to topple Cr Pisasale, winning 12% of the vote on both occasions.

He said he would wait until the Queensland's Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC) investigation into Cr Pisasale's community funds had run its course before deciding whether to run again.

"A lot will depend on the (CCC) inquiry, but I am getting a lot of encouragement from people wanting me to run," Mr Luxton said.

"They are thrilled for me to have taken up the fight in the past, and they want me to continue the fight.

"I am certainly listening to them. It is a big commitment, apart from financial it is personal.

"It is a bit of a David and Goliath fight I must admit. But I had 12% of Ipswich people vote for me each election and while that doesn't sound a lot, with my budget that is a considerable amount of people who are looking for an alternative."

The pair have had cracks at each other in the past but Cr Pisasale said he wanted to sit down with Mr Luxton before the next campaign.

"What I like about Peter is that he makes me think about the election," Cr Pisasale said.

"He has guts and he runs a good campaign with his resources. Before the next election I' d like to sit down and talk to him.

"If he has any ideas, instead of waiting to be mayor to implement them, I am happy to look at them now."

Mr Luxton passed on the offer.

"I've put my ideas out there in the last two elections and he hasn't taken any of them up," he said.

"We have half the number of public libraries per head of population to Brisbane and Logan. They have one library for every 30,000 people and we have one for 60,000.

"I want to reinstate the Jim Gardiner Pool in Ipswich. The population of Ipswich has exploded since the time he became mayor but the number of council facilities and services have contracted.

"I think the city wants someone who has the interests of the Ipswich people at heart and not the interests of big business and developers."

Cr Pisasale rejected the criticism.

"Where Peter gets it wrong with me is that no business person is going to compromise my love for the city," Cr Pisasale said.

"Big business is the heart and soul of the city. They create jobs, sponsor community groups and community activities.

"I am happy to sit down with Peter and explain that big business is a vital part of any community and every local council in Australia is now putting a big effort into economic development, as we did."

Topics:  council elections crime and corruption commission mayor paul pisasale peter luxton



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