David Pahlke makes decision on political future
SACKED councillor David Pahlke will not contest the upcoming Ipswich City Council election, deciding to call it a day after 30 years in local politics.
The former division 10 representative fears for the future of the rural communities he served for nearly three decades due to boundary changes and believes the new council team will be "hamstrung" by new policies.
Mr Pahlke spent the year-and-a-half after his dismissal contemplating running for another term in March and said he was proud of his legacy.
"I've still got a lot of support in my community," he said.
"That's what has kept me going through all this.
"It's very touching … but I think it's time (to retire).
"Rosewood is my heart. My heart kept saying yes but my head kept on saying no."
The 66-year-old said would go to his grave "crying unfair dismissal" after the State Government sacked the council in 2018.
"We'll never get justice or vindication," he said.
"But that's the nature of politics sometimes."
Mr Pahlke has met with many of the candidates intending to run at the election in two months' time and offered his advice to the future council team.
"Do an independent audit of all the finances and simple don't trust senior officer's reports, ask questions and clarification," he said.
The former Rosewood postmaster said he wasn't positive for the future of Ipswich upon its return to elected representatives and new laws would be too limiting for councillors.
His former division ten seat has ballooned.
"The new councillors will have rings around their necks, they won't be game to do anything," he said.
"There's still a question mark over the future (of Ipswich). The divisions are way too big. The 55,000 population is the same size as a state seat.
"They'll be really hamstrung. I'm hoping they're there to represent the community, not the bureaucrats and not the parties.
"There are some really good candidates."
He said he was proud of the work he had done over his career and was particularly excited for the Rosewood Library to open this year.
Now his attention will turn to life beyond politics.
"My super has turned into a pension account," he said.
"I bought a caravan. I plan to do a bit of grey nomading and travelling … and catching up with family and friends.
"You start to appreciate life. I've got my health. I'll still be here (in Rosewood).
"I am healthy except for my little pot belly.
"In the next few months I will be visiting my many community groups to say goodbye. It is time to start enjoying the retired life."
He was one of seven former councillors who had an unfair dismissal case dismissed by the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission last week.
Mr Pahlke moved to Rosewood in 1985 with his young family and was elected to the former Moreton Shire Council in 1991 as a part-time councillor.
He ran in the Moreton/Ipswich amalgamation election in 1995 and won the then division 12 seat.
"I'm proud of what I've done in my country areas," he said.