Former Ipswich councillor Paul Tully. Picture: Cordell Richardson
Former Ipswich councillor Paul Tully. Picture: Cordell Richardson

Sacked councillors make call on appealing dismissal case

THE group of seven former councillors suing Ipswich City Council over their sacking 18 months ago will not appeal the decision to dismiss the case.

An unfair dismissal case filed by Paul Tully, Wayne Wendt, Cheryl Bromage, David Pahlke, David Morrison, Charlie Pisasale and Sheila Ireland was dismissed by the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission in January.

The group had been considering their rights to appeal after the decision was handed down.

Mr Tully, speaking after nominating to run in the upcoming council election on Tuesday morning, said the matter would not be pursued any further.

The 68-year-old has nominated to run for a Division 2 seat, as part of a team alongside Goodna accountant Nicole Jonic.

"They ruled that we were elected members and not employees, which meant that our case couldn't proceed," he said.

"They heard no evidence as to whether or nor we were actually fairly or unfairly dismissed, so we've decided we're not going to appeal.

"That will be the end of the matter."

The councillors maintained the dismissal was motivated by "bad faith" and was "harsh, unjust and unreasonable" after they were sacked by special State Government legislation in August 2018.

The legal action centred on whether the councillors were considered employees.

"In terms of remedy, they are seeking reinstatement to their former position and remuneration lost between the date the dismissal took effect and the date of reinstatement; or re-employment to another position that the council has available; or an amount of compensation the commission considers appropriate," the proceedings document noted.

Commissioner Minna Knight was satisfied an employment relationship between the councillors and the council did not exist at the time the council was dissolved.

"There is no evidence before the commission that the applicants or the council entered into any form of contract establishing the terms and conditions of any exchange of skill, time or effort in return for payment," she said.

"I am satisfied the applicants are precluded from seeking reinstatement."