The week in news: (top left) Paul Pisasale was sentenced to 7.5 years jail, Remondis announced plans for public consultation, and Queensland Health announced sewage testing for COVID-19.
The week in news: (top left) Paul Pisasale was sentenced to 7.5 years jail, Remondis announced plans for public consultation, and Queensland Health announced sewage testing for COVID-19.

Here is your Friday Top Five, with editor Andrew Korner

THIS was a week that closed a long and often very depressing chapter in Ipswich history.

More than three years since his infamous pyjama resignation at St Andrew’s Hospital, Paul Pisasale faced sentence on the remaining 30-plus criminal charges levelled against him.

Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale talks to media at St Andrew's Private Hospital to announce his resignation as Mayor in 2017, it would later emerge that he had been raided by the CCC the day before.
Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale talks to media at St Andrew's Private Hospital to announce his resignation as Mayor in 2017, it would later emerge that he had been raided by the CCC the day before.

The sentencing followed last week’s guilty plea to sexual assault charges, and the lifting of a court-ordered suppression on the reporting of multiple fraud charges the former mayor had already admitted to back in August.

In many ways it symbolises a chapter closed, and here is hoping Ipswich can begin to move on.

Here is this week’s Friday Top Five.

1. Pisasale jailed, again

In what Judge Dennis Lynch described as a “cynical exploitation” of his position as mayor, Paul Pisasale was found to have committed “donation frauds” between 2013 and June 2017. Judge Lynch said Pisasale put a $10,000 donation into his personal bank account, and used a $10,000 donation intended to help a senior crime victim install home security for his own benefit. Another donation of $6000 was also used by Pisasale.

All up, Pisasale pleaded guilty to 35 offences, and was jailed for 7.5 years, to serve 27 months.

2. Remondis speaks on controversial proposal

Much controversy has surrounded the plan to build a waste to energy plant at Swanbank, but we are yet to hear much from the company behind it.

Remondis this week spoke to the Queensland Times about the $400 million proposal, and the community consultation process that is about to get under way.

An artist’s impression of the proposed $400 million waste to energy plant at Swanbank.
An artist’s impression of the proposed $400 million waste to energy plant at Swanbank.

With such vocal opposition to the project already, it was surprising to hear Remondis say that their own internal polling indicated support for the proposed waste to energy plant.

I should point out, this statement does not reflect what our local state MPs, mayor and our own reporters have seen and heard in the community.

The Queensland Times will continue to follow the community consultation process with great interest.

3. The things you can learn from poo

It is very hard to go one week without talking about coronavirus, and it seems we are really scraping the barrel with this one, but it could just prove to be part of the solution to our problems.

Queensland Health is continuing a pilot program involving the testing of sewage to trace the spread of COVID-19.

It follows the detection of the virus at Airlie Beach earlier in the year.

Queensland Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young said the pilot, a collaboration between Queensland Health, University of Queensland and CSIRO Brisbane, was an important new piece in Queensland’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

4. Good news on the jobs front

It hasn’t been a good year for the economy or for employment, but Christmas could come early for those chasing work in Ipswich.

Australia Post Group CEO Christine Holgate at the new Redbank Australia Post facility.
Australia Post Group CEO Christine Holgate at the new Redbank Australia Post facility.

Australia Post is expecting a record demand for parcel deliveries, and is hiring thousands of people across the nation in anticipation.

Ipswich’s massive Australia Post facility at Redbank will need 350 new people alone.

5. Developer backs mental health service

When it comes to influence, few people have more of it than the brains and the bank account behind Springfield.

Maha Sinnathamby, his wife Yoga and deputy chairman of Springfield City Group Bob Sharpless have now put their weight behind the push for the Mater Family Wellbeing Service, with a $1 million donation.

Maha Sinnathamby, chairman of the Springfield Group. Photo: Des Houghton.
Maha Sinnathamby, chairman of the Springfield Group. Photo: Des Houghton.

The service will assist Queensland families experiencing mental health challenges right before or after giving birth.

It comes a little over a month after Springfield City Group gifted $6.5 million to the Mater Foundation for medical research and health service innovation.

Mater has submitted a proposal to the State Government to build a public hospital in partnership with the government in Springfield, with strong backing from the community.