Bridges, roads and a park named after Ipswich city councillors — including disgraced former mayor Paul Pisasale — could be renamed under the new council, which was elected in March this year.
The entire Ipswich council, west of Brisbane, was sacked in August 2018 following Queensland’s Crime and Corruption Commission investigation.
New Mayor Teresa Harding said council would look at renaming three bridges, two roads and a nature reserve in response to community concern.
Harding said council would investigate how much it would cost ratepayers to retitle the landmarks and that she did not believe any councillor should name things after themselves.
“It’s not something I agree with, and the interim administrator changed the policy, so it’s not something that will happen again,” Harding said.
The roads include David Morrison Way in Springfield and Paul Tully Avenue at Collingwood Park.
Also on the list are Paul Tully Bridge, David Pahlke Bridge and Paul Pisasale Bridge — all at Springfield Central, as well as the Sheila Ireland Reserve at Redbank Plains.
‘Up to the people of Ipswich’
Harding said residents and businesses near the affected roads would be consulted in the coming months.
She said 75 per cent of them would need to agree to change the names for council to proceed with the renaming.
“It is up to the people of Ipswich,” Harding said.
“It’s really important community consultation is done and we have a full idea of the cost, especially given we are facing tough times with COVID-19 and job losses.
“I want to make sure we don’t waste any ratepayer money.”
Harding said council would also investigate how the landmarks came to be named after councillors in the first place.
“We’ve had a lot of people wanting to know how the decision was made — there were allegations councillors were involved in the decisions [to name the landmarks after themselves],” Harding said.
Two of the dismissed councillors — Sheila Ireland and Paul Tully — were re-elected and are part of the new council voted into office in March.
Ireland and Tully would not vote on the name change due to their conflict of interest.
“Councillor Ireland and Councillor Tully are councillors elected by the people of Ipswich so [them serving in council and renaming landmarks] are two different issues,” Harding said.
Councillors Tully and Ireland have told the ABC they would not comment.
‘A change wouldn’t be a bad thing’
The renaming of the landmarks was a big issue for voters in the March local government election, with many locals saying Paul Pisasale should also be remembered for good things he had done for the city.
Others disagreed, like Springfield Lakes resident Brad Savage, who said changing the names would help give Ipswich a fresh start.
“It’s probably not a good look — a change wouldn’t be a bad thing,” Savage said.
“Even though they did a lot of good stuff, it doesn’t give the community a good look to keep the names.”
Cheryl Pike drives past several of the councillor-named bridges and streets on her way into work every day.
“It could be a good idea to change it — it would be better to name them after people who set a better example for the community,” she said.
“If they’ve set a bad example, you don’t want it named after them — it’s a very vain thing to do to give yourself a bridge or street name.”
Springfield local Declan Biggs said he did not think councillors should name things after themselves.
“The council did some bad things — that’s why they got dismissed,” he said.
“They should name things after something or someone more significant, something more than themselves.”
– ABC / Anna Hartley and Baz RuddickJump to next article