Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

Gary Duffy Slams Mayor, but Accepted $2000 in Vouchers

Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

Gary Duffy Slams Mayor, but Accepted $2000 in Vouchers

Article excerpt

Byline: Joel Gould joel.gould@qt.com.au

IPSWICH businessman Gary Norman Duffy has been one of the biggest critics of Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale, making defamatory comments about the mayor's community funds on social media over many months

But the QT can reveal that Mr Duffy accepted $2000 in Bunnings vouchers from the Ipswich Mayor's Community fund when his former business, Keogh St Mechanical, was flooded in 2013.

The funds were a central plank of a 10-month investigation into Cr Pisasale by the Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC), which saw him cleared of wrongdoing. In relation to Cr Pisasale the CCC said it "did not identify any criminal conduct, and, in particular found no evidence that Mayor Pisasale misused any community funds for campaigning".

Mr Duffy has been highly critical of Cr Pisasale and how his various funds are run. Many of his comments are defamatory and cannot be repeated here.

In one of his posts Mr Duffy drew parallels to the way Ipswich is run to the way the Mafia runs Sicily.

He criticised how Cr Pisasale was "handing out money from his collections to pay fines etc for the poor", and said "in Sicily the mafia hand out money to the towns people to keep them happy and in this way they control the poor. What is happening in Ipswich draws parallels to this."

But on June 13, 2013 Mr Duffy signed for the fact that he had received $2000 in Bunnings vouchers after he was flooded. The QT has seen his signature acknowledging this.

When asked by Pita Aupaau why he had such a grudge against the Mayor on the QT Facebook site, Mr Duffy replied , "I just hate people who I believe are corrupt". He also suggested Cr Pisasale had paid for his votes with money.

Contrary to Mr Duffy's assertions, the CCC found the mayor to not be corrupt.

The QT asked Mr Duffy yesterday why he accepted help from the Mayor's Community Fund, and then turned on the very person who set the fund up.

"We didn't know the vouchers were from the mayor," Mr Duffy said.

"We thought they were donated by Bunnings or from the Ipswich City Council, and not from any of his private funds

"The only reason he did it was for his own self interest, not for us. …

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