Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

Ratepayers Footing Legal Bill; Council 'Reconsiders' Funding Ex-CEO's Defamation Case

Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

Ratepayers Footing Legal Bill; Council 'Reconsiders' Funding Ex-CEO's Defamation Case

Article excerpt



THE decision to fund a former senior executive's defamation case against an Ipswich resident is being reconsidered by the council.

It comes as the Queensland Minister for Local Government publicly revealed his disapproval of the use of ratepayer funds for personal defamation suits.

Ipswich City Council funded the embattled council CEO Jim Lindsay's defamation suit against twice failed mayoral candidate Gary Duffy.

The suit against Mr Duffy was launched in 2016, following the Local Government elections.

According to the original documents filed in Ipswich District Court, Mr Lindsay claimed Mr Duffy had defamed him on 23 separate occasions via social media posts between July, 2015 and May, 2016. Former Mayor Paul Pisasale also launched a defamation suit against Mr Duffy. Both matters are yet to be finalised.

Since Mr Pisasale's various arrests resulting in a host of charges being laid against him, and his subsequent resignation from the office of mayor, the council has ceased funding Mr Pisasale's suit.

Now, the council has confirmed it is reconsidering its position in continuing to stump up the cash for Mr Lindsay's suit, a council spokesperson said.

"Ipswich City Council is no longer funding Mr Pisasale's defamation proceedings against Mr Duffy," the spokesperson said.

"(The) council is also reviewing its position in Mr Lindsay's ongoing case."

This week, Queensland's Minister for Local Government Mark Furner publicly stated his position on councils funding private defamation suits.

"The Queensland Government does not support councils using ratepayer funds to fund private legal action," the spokesman said.

"Given the diversity of Queensland's local government sector, we do support each council to develop a suitable legal assistance policy to meet the needs of its local community."

The State Government's position aligns with the majority of Australian states, which assert councils paying for private legal action is not appropriate.

Mr Lindsay's suit does relate to his role as the council CEO and it is unclear whether the council considers this a public or private matter, however, it was Mr Lindsay as an individual who launched the suit - not the council. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.