Antoniolli wants dismissal decision delayed until his trial
SUSPENDED mayor Andrew Antoniolli has called for any decision about the dismissal of Ipswich City Council to be delayed until he stands trial in September.
In a submission to the committee considering legislation to dismiss the council, Cr Antoniolli said any decision should be made after his seven charges of fraud are tested in court.
"If, by quote from the Minister, my arrest on unproven charges of fraud were the 'lightning rod' for his initial show-cause action and subsequent action to date, including the Draft Bill, then it seems odd that parliament and/or the Minister would seek to expedite such legislation on the assumption of guilt," he wrote.
"One must consider the possibility that a successful defence of alleged charges would greatly undermine the urgent and unprecedented action being taken."
Cr Antoniolli said Local Government Minister Stirling Hinchliffe told him earlier this year he was happy with efforts to improve culture within the council.
"Under my stewardship as Mayor, council has taken quantum leaps forward in better governance, accountability and transparency," he said.
Cr Anoniolli said Mr Hinchliffe "was most pleased and even asked if I would assist him in his discussions with other councils".
"He described my role to be one of a 'thought leader' on better governance," Cr Antoniolli wrote.
"Again, Minister Hinchliffe was very positive when he met with all councillors at lpswich Council Chambers on March 13 and commended our actions to date."
Cr Antoniolli cited the 19 recommendations he implemented after the governance review, authored by former acting CEO Gary Kellar.
"Mr Kellar ought to be asked to give evidence to the committee," the mayor wrote.
His was one of 39 submissions handed to the State Government's Economics and Governance Committee.
Former state Member for Lockyer Ian Rickuss questioned how the legislation would improve Local Government governance across Queensland.
He cautioned consulting with the Local Government Association of Queensland.
"The LGAQ were holding up Ipswich City Council as the model, so caution needs to be executed when talking advise from LGAQ," Mr Rickuss wrote.
"LGAQ organised Paul Pisasale to travel around Queensland giving advice to other councils, this highlights LGAQ agenda."
The Queensland Council for Civil Liberties opposed the Bill "because the effect of it will be to bring to an end to proceedings which Ipswich City Councillors have commenced in the Supreme Court of Queensland.
"We have opposed legislation which has the effect of depriving individuals of their accrued legal rights," its submission said.