WINNER: Cr Paul Tully with his son John Paul and his wife Liza after claiming his incredible 12th consecutive win in council elections.
WINNER: Cr Paul Tully with his son John Paul and his wife Liza after claiming his incredible 12th consecutive win in council elections. Inga Williams

Paul Tully's perfect dozen

JESUS had 12 apostles and Cr Paul Tully has 12 election wins.

If faith can move mountains, it has to be said that the people of Division 2 moved in droves to the ballot boxes and retained the faith in Cr Tully, who has just chalked up a significant milestone and a remarkable achievement.

With 63% of the vote counted Cr Tully was way out in front on 82.56% with challenger Declan McCallion on 17.44%.

Politicians come and go but Cr Tully stays and stays. He sounded as excited and humbled when he spoke to the QT on Sunday morning as a first-time winner.

You can't argue with 12 consecutive election wins and he loves his job.

"I'll bring up 40 years during the course of this term, in 2019, and I am quite exhilarated," he said.

"It is a pretty good endorsement for what you are doing and for what you are trying to achieve locally.

"Every election stands on its own. You tend to remember all of them.

"This time I had an opponent putting official Labor Party logos on how to vote cards and signs, so in some sense I had the force of the Labor Party against me and they were only able to manage 17%."

Cr Tully has lasted 37 years because he has struck a balance between serving the grass roots of his community and keeping his eye on the big picture.

"There is 900,000 square metres we have identified for non-residential development in Goodna, but there are two aspects of being a councillor," he said.

"One is the bigger picture for the entire city, including your own area, but also the nuts and bolts issues that affect people.

"If an individual has got a local problem, whether it is a pothole, a tree, a visibility issue, a safety issue - those things are to a lot of people very important. You ignore those sorts of things at your peril.

"I've always maintained that interest at a local level and also at a higher level, whether it is the CBD, Springfield town centre, downtown Goodna or Redbank."

Cr Tully said it was an unusual election and he wasn't counting his chickens before election day.

"I thought there might be a big swing on because there was a lot of dirt thrown, not so much against me, but generally in the election," he said.

"It is the first 'Facebook election' we have had in Ipswich.

"In 2012 Facebook wasn't as prominent but now every keyboard warrior in the land is ignoring the laws of defamation and putting up anything they want.

"I can't believe people would think they were immune from civil action just because they put something on Facebook."

Cr Tully is believed to be set to become the longest-serving politician in Australia after the retirement of Phillip Ruddock from federal parliament later this year. The finish line is nowhere in sight.

"I will be back in 2020, after I have achieved 40 years in local government," he said.