Ipswich mayor Paul Pisasale hard at work in his office and (inset) his challenger for mayor Peter Luxton.
Ipswich mayor Paul Pisasale hard at work in his office and (inset) his challenger for mayor Peter Luxton. File

Pisasale wins Gold Coast votes

THE Ipswich mayor has received support from an unlikely source with a Gold Coast newspaper saying its city needs a leader like Mayor Paul Pisasale.

The Gold Coast Bulletin said one of the key issues for the council election in its city was the need for leadership.

"Local government experts continually point to the dynamic leadership of Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale and what he has done for that city," it said.

"He has encouraged his bureaucracy to free up planning restrictions to help stimulate growth and jobs. Cr Pisasale has installed CCTV cameras throughout the city to help clean up crime.

"It's the leadership and vision that the Gold Coast has so badly lacked in the past eight years."

It's a far cry from the relationship between Ipswich and the Gold Coast in recent years. In 2007, after Ipswich won a category of the Liveable Communities Awards, Gold Coast mayor Ron Clarke said: "If Ipswich has won it, how prestigious can it be?"

In 2008, Cr Clarke said Ipswich was a town for the "lower-class leftovers" who couldn't afford to live in Brisbane or on the coast.

Last year, Ipswich's mayor called Ron Clarke the worst leader in the Gold Coast's history for his mismanagement of the crime-ridden tourist strip.

Mr Clarke stepped down as mayor to contest the seat of Broadwater in last month's state election and received less than 4.5% of the vote.

Paul Pisasale said it showed a lot about Ipswich's progression that a Gold Coast newspaper would tout his leadership skills.

"Ipswich has come of age from the years when the mayor of the Gold Coast was subjecting Ipswich to continual broadsides," he said.

"It's music to my ears when they say that if the Gold Coast doesn't follow the Ipswich model they will be lost. It's good to hear the penny has finally dropped."

Ipswich mayoral challenger Peter Luxton didn't appear to be convinced as has made a final appeal to voters to "embrace change".

"I am not a career politician or bureaucrat; I bring real world business experience to the table, experience which I look forward to applying to make Ipswich all it can be," Mr Luxton said.

"I am the only candidate with a clear vision for Ipswich. Let's not mince words; Ipswich has fallen behind in public services under the current administration.

"Not only do we lag behind other parts of Queensland and the rest of Australia in terms of sports facilities and public libraries, basic maintenance work is not being done either - kerbing and channelling and council pickup, for example."

The mayor promised to kerb and channel all Ipswich's urban streets but Mr Luxton said that should have already been done.

Mr Luxton started the campaign with a six-point plan but had to "revoke" one of them, saying he didn't plan to subsidise public transport, only to make it cheaper by revamping TransLink.

He also promised customer service centres at regional libraries so Ipswich residents could "carry out transactions without having to go into the city".

"We will also introduce free wi-fi access at all council libraries and videoconferencing facilities for the customer service centres for consultations, for example for engineering or planning advice."



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