Ipswich mayor Paul Pisasale with ANZ staffers Jaime Dwyer, Helen Hulse and Lisa Macklin.
Ipswich mayor Paul Pisasale with ANZ staffers Jaime Dwyer, Helen Hulse and Lisa Macklin. Karleila Thomsen

Pisasale tells how it's done

WORK with your local newspaper, the media is not your enemy and never tell newspaper staff how to do their job. They’re running a business too – just like your council.

That was yesterday’s full-bodied message from one of the state’s most successful mayors, Ipswich’s Paul Pisasale, who told the Maryborough Chamber of Commerce lunch guests at the Brolga exactly how to create a super jobs and lifestyle region.

“When the newspaper wants information you give it to them straight away because they have a deadline that if they miss it that’s equivalent to making them wait a week.

“And if ever I hear someone say again you can’t help that developer because he wants to make money, I’ll clock him.

“You’ve got to make sure the developers know what your town plan is. It’s about getting the right balance between liveability and growth. It’s not about managing growth.

“Fly-by-nighters are easily spotted. The ones that tell you you’ve got to put your town plan around their block of land. You tell them it took years to put the town plan in place and you’re not going to change.”

Mr Pisasale said his council had collected $82 million in rates twice in a row and had spent $196 million the first time around and $512 million the next time.

“The rest of the money came from developers.”

The maverick mayor hammered home the importance of “planning, planning planning”.

“Anyone who’s been coming to Ipswich and wants to invest knows exactly into what and where.”

Partnership with the media, with the community was paramount to progress.

“Don’t be process driven. Be outcome driven. People will vote for you not because of a press release and your photo in the newspaper but because they want leadership. They want change.”

Mr Pisasale said the council’s economic development plan spearheaded by councillor Gerard O’Connell should be embraced by everyone but sell it in terms of creating jobs, a future for your kids and their kids.

“Only the support of the community and the private sector will make it a reality.”

The mayor invited Mayor Mick Kruger and his councillors – including Belinda McNeven, Sue Brooks and Debbie Hawes, who sat at his table, to come and meet with him in Ipswich.

“Don’t reinvent the wheel. Come and sit down with me.”

He spoke too of the $20 million aerospace base Ipswich now had.

“God help me if anyone rings and complains about the noise. I say ‘shift’.”

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