Mayor Paul Pisasale has hit back at claims made by the ABC.
Mayor Paul Pisasale has hit back at claims made by the ABC. Inga Williams

Pisasale ridicules the ABC’s accusations

CLARIFICATION

The QT's report yesterday on a Paul Pisasale story by ABC's Mark Solomons quoted the mayor as saying that Mr Solomon had not contacted either himself or the Premier for comment.

That was an error of interpretation on our behalf. The mayor was referring only to Mr Solomon not contacting the Premier.

Mr Solomon sent a number of questions to the Ipswich Council on this matter and council supplied answers.

These answers were used in detail in his story.

 

Pisasale ridicules the ABC's accusations

IPSWICH Mayor Paul Pisasale has hit back at ABC reports he lobbied on behalf of a developer keen to get a $2 billion project on the Sunshine Coast over the line.

Cr Pisasale said it was old news, had been investigated by the CCC, given a new headline and was part of an ongoing smear campaign against him.

He said the ABC journalist involved did not contact him or former premier Campbell Newman about the story.

The ABC reported on Tuesday Cr Pisasale lobbied Campbell Newman on behalf of Japanese developer Sekisui House over their proposed six-star hotel and residential scheme at Coolum.

The report alluded to the fact Cr Pisasale only got involved because Sekisui House was a major political donor.

Sekisui House donated $5000 to Cr Pisasale's mayoral re-election campaign this year, which was reported in the Queensland Times last month.

Cr Pisasale told the Queensland Times he was simply giving advice to a company who wanted to spend billions of dollars in the state.

He said Sekisui House executives approached him for advice more than three years ago after their Sunshine Coast project was knocked on the head.

"Every decision I have made has always been in the best interest of this city and absolutely no developer could ever buy that vote," he said.

"They (Sekisui House) could not work out what happened on the Sunshine Coast.

"So I called Mayor Jamieson who told me they did not conform to the town plan and they did not follow the community consultation process.

"I went back to Sekisui House and told them to start all over again, work with the community and follow the town plan.

"I hear they have started to put that advice into place and have started over again.

"I did not lobby anyone at any stage . . . I simply gave them some advice."

Cr Pisasale said it was during that conversation Sekisui House executives revealed they had never met then-premier Campbell Newman, who had only just been elected to office.

He said he told the executives to write a letter stating what they were all about and he would pass it on to the premier.

"They wanted the opportunity to meet with the premier as they were spending a lot of money in the state," he said.

"They sent me a letter, I put it on my letterhead and sent it to Campbell Newman saying this is what they wanted to talk to him about.

"They organised it from there and then went ahead and had the meeting with him.

"I did the introduction and was not involved in any discussions . . . I simply introduced the two parties which is what my job is as a mayor."

Cr Pisasale said it seemed some sections of the media wouldn't accept he had passed one of the most stringent investigations any politician could face.

"Not once did he mention all those allegations have been investigated by the Crime and Corruption Commission and were 100% cleared."

Cr Pisasale said he fully supported Speaker Peter Wellington's call on Tuesday for greater transparency surrounding political election donations.

He said he would like to see widespread changes to political donations laws at a local, state and federal level.

Campbell Newman could not be reached for comment.

*The Queensland Times has a commercial relationship with Sekisui House surrounding the publication of the monthly newspaper Ripley Today.



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