Councillors' legal fight drawn out as talks break down

EFFORTS of seven former councillors to be financially compensated after being dismissed by the State Government could drag on for several months.

Negotiations between the former councillors' solicitor and Ipswich City Council's legal team last year were fruitless.

The matter was set for October 22 for an initial hearing.

The failure to reach a compromise means a full hearing is likely to occur before the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission.

Seven former councillors, Wayne Wendt, Paul Tully, Cheryl Bromage, Sheila Ireland, David Morrison, Charlie Pisasale and David Pahlke, are seeking compensation and reinstatement after the State Government dismissed them via a special act of parliament in August last year.

It is understood the former councillors are optimistic about their chances of securing compensation as a result of the sacking.

Some believe their case will not be heard until March, despite early indications it could have been dealt with before Christmas.

The councillors are being represented by prominent Queensland barrister Tony Morris QC.

Mr Morris has previously said the sacked councillors' cases were strong and they could each be entitled to six months salary; about $60,000.

A conciliation meeting last year was unable to find any common ground to avoid a full hearing.

Ipswich City Council declined to answer questions about the negotiations yesterday; instead offering a "no comment".

All 11 councillors were dismissed in a drawn-out process by the State Government after mayor Andrew Antoniolli was charged with fraud.

He denies wrongdoing and intends to fight the charges.

None of the other councillors are accused of wrongdoing.

State-appointed administrator Greg Chemello is running the council.



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