Paul Tully to run for mayor of Ipswich
UPDATE 12.12AM: QUEENSLAND'S longest-serving councillor has declared his intention to replace former Ipswich mayor Paul Pisasale.
After two weeks of speculation Cr Paul Tully has formally announced he will run for mayor in the yet to be announced mayoral by-election.
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During his announcement this morning near the council chambers, Paul Tully said it was now up to voters to decide.
He said he was confident and that revelations concerning him, uncovered by the latest CCC hearings under Operation Belcarra, did not infer any criminal activities.
Those revelations include information Cr Tully used the Goodna Community Fund to accept political donations.
"There were no allegations put to me of any unlawful conduct," Cr Tully said.
"The account was actually in the name of Paul Gregory and Liza Tully.
"All of my donations have been declared and I'm confident at the end of that enquiry there will be no finding of any improper conduct or any illegal conduct.
"I don't have any concerns about that whatsoever."
Cr Tully confirmed he would happily have acting deputy mayor Cr Cheryl Bromage as his deputy, if elected.
The QT understands another councillor will also declare their intention to run for mayor later this week.
Cr Tully said he wouldn't be surprised if the competition was significant.
"My fate will be in the hands of electors."
"I expect a field of a dozen who might stand," Cr Tully said.
"By-elections tend to bring out a lot of people.
"I expect a Melbourne Cup field…. will be standing on this occasion."
Although the Electoral Commission Queensland is yet to set a date, the by-election is expected to be held in mid-August.
Crs David Morrison and Cheryl Bromage offered him their support.
Cr Tully said his key priorities over the next three years would be;
- Ensuring value for money for Ipswich ratepayers and cushioning rates increases
- Creating jobs and developing the local economy
- Improving roads and public transport infrastructure
INITIAL: A MAJOR announcement will be made today by acting mayor Paul Tully on his future political plans.
But he's not the only one with something important to say.
Cr Andrew Antoniolli had planned to make an announcement of his own, although he wasn't willing to disclose any details.
Last yesterday evening he decided to hold off on his announcement.
Since the shock resignation of popular former mayor Paul Pisasale, speculation has been rife over which sitting councillors would take a tilt at the top job.
Four councillors have already ruled themselves out of the race, leaving Cr David Morrison, Cr Sheila Ireland, Cr Cheryl Bromage, Cr Andrew Antoniolli and Cr Paul Tully in the spotlight.
The QT understands Cr Tully will today announce his support for Cr Cheryl Bromage - who has just been appointed acting deputy mayor - as Ipswich's next mayor.
Cr Bromage denied that, saying she would not run for mayor and would instead be "backing Tully".
Cr Tully has not yet confirmed he will run.
He said if he chose not to stand for mayor he would be "more likely to support a sitting councillor than a candidate with no experience in local government".
"It's a tough decision, not only for me but for my wife Liza and my family," Cr Tully said.
"Whatever I decide, will be putting my family first."
Earlier this month the QT revealed a secret plan between the councillors to have Wayne Wendt installed as the next mayor with the support of his colleagues; although Cr Wendt denied being part of such a plan.
Today the councillors' intentions will be made clear when two separate announcements signal the beginning of a mayoral race that will pit two councillors against each other.
Councillors Morrison, Ireland and Wendt say they're yet to decide.
"If Paul Tully announces he is standing for mayor of Ipswich he has my full support and I will not stand for mayor," Cr Morrison said. Meanwhile councillors Ireland and Wendt want to see the cards on the table before making their decision. Cr Wendt said he was still in discussions with family and friends.
"I will wait another 24 hours before making my decision and to see what unfolds," Cr Wendt said.
Cr Ireland said she'd like to know an election date, and more about the candidates, first.
"I would like to know how big the field will be before making a decision," she said.
No date has been set for the by-election.
Who's more popular?
- David Morrison: 78.9%
- Paul Tully: 82.49%
- Wayne Wendt: 61.24%
- Cheryl Bromage: 68.9%
- Andrew Antoniolli: 69.07%
- Sheila Ireland: 54.18%
*2016 elections results (after preference distribution. Listed numerically in order of division)