Former councillor Paul Tully will stand for re-election on March 28. Picture: Cordell Richardson
Former councillor Paul Tully will stand for re-election on March 28. Picture: Cordell Richardson

Former councillor had role in own bridge naming

SACKED councillor Paul Tully applied to have bridges named after himself and disgraced former mayor Paul Pisasale in Springfield.

The QT can reveal Mr Tully, who is attempting to make a political comeback at this month's Ipswich City Council election, was the applicant for a submission to name the two bridges on Sinnathamby Boulevard, Springfield Central more than a decade ago.

The submission by the former Division 2 representative was made in February 2008.

In his capacity as Planning Committee chairperson, Mr Tully then offered "no objection" to his own application being approved by the council.

Mr Tully did not declare any potential conflict of interest in approving his own application, even though there were specific options in the approval form that he could; declare a material personal interest in the matter or, declare a conflict of interest in the matter or, refer to the planning committee for a decision.

Paul Tully Bridge in Springfield Central. Photo: Google Maps
Paul Tully Bridge in Springfield Central. Photo: Google Maps

The two bridges were officially named in August 2008.

"A submission has been received from the councillor for Division 2 with respect to the official naming of two bridges located along Sinnathamby Boulevard, Springfield Central," a summary of the submission notes.

"It is considered that the following names (Paul Pisasale Bridge and Paul Tully Bridge), as outlined on the plan below, are suitable and should be approved."

The council's former interim administrator Greg Chemello introduced a new policy last year to prevent landmarks being named after politicians.

It will be up to the new council team elected later this month to decide whether dismissed councillors' names will be removed from bridges and roads.

Mr Tully said the two bridges were originally built and named by Springfield Land Corporation, who paid for them.

"I did not and could not approve such names," he said.

"It was later discovered that the company had never sought prior council approval for the two names.

"The bridges were not located in my division.

"I was merely the notional applicant to overcome a problem identified by council officers who became aware that the bridges had been named and signposted by the company but never officially forwarded to council.

"Council officers prepared a submission and subsequently the delegate of the CEO formally approved the same names decided by the developer.

"The officers could have referred the matter to council for a decision but chose to approve the names which had not previously occurred because of an oversight.

"There was no legal requirement to declare any interest in the matter as I was not the person approving the names.

"Declarations of interest are only required under the Local Government Act if a matter comes before a Council meeting or committee meeting."