RSPCA weighs into greyhound fight between councillors
THE RSPCA has weighed into the dog fight between councillors Andrew Antoniolli and Paul Tully over the city's bid for a $12 million greyhound track.
The slanging match between the councillors came to a climax yesterday when Cr Tully called for Cr Antoniolli's resignation, suggesting a conflict of interest in his roles on the council and on the RSPCA Queensland Board.
Cr Antoniolli returned fire yesterday saying he saw no reason to stand down from his roles in either council or the RSPCA.
"There are 11 decision makers on council, not one and as such we are all free to express our views and position," he said.
"The incredible community support I have received and the Letter to the Editor from Cr Tully steels my resolve towards making Ipswich a better place for all."
QT readers also criticised Cr Tully yesterday for attacking Cr Antoniolli over his comments.
RSPCA Queensland CEO Mark Townend also backed Cr Antoniolli yesterday urging Cr Tully to "think with his heart instead of his wallet" before lobbying for the greyhound track.
"Whether Andrew Antoniolli is on the RSPCA board has nothing to do with it," Mr Townend said.
"The fact is there is a major enquiry into the industry going on at the moment and a joint Queensland Police Service-RSPCA investigation is under way and five people have already been charged with serious animal cruelty with more to come.
"This is not some ineffectual drawn-out ASADA enquiry. This is the real deal.
"There are numerous dog owners within the industry who want it cleaned up as well.
"It makes complete sense to delay any funding for greyhound racing until the enquiries have run their course.
Mr Townend said Cr Tully's attack on Cr Antoniolli was "just political point scoring" and had proved futile.
"Cr Antoniolli was just saying what the average man in the street was thinking and that was backed up by the comments under the story in the Queensland Times (online)."
It all started a week ago when Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale and Cr Tully put the city forward for a new track after Logan City Council asked the State Government to put the project on hold following the live baiting scandal.
The Mayor and Cr Tully said the actions of a few rogues should not be allowed to destroy the industry.
In Tuesday's QT Cr Antoniolli said the council should distance itself from "any form of support" for the sport until the public could be convinced it had cleaned up its act.