Ipswich mayor’s alleged threat against planner
PAUL Pisasale allegedly told an Ipswich council city planner that his job was on the line over his handling of expansion plans by one of the state's biggest developers.
The Sunday Mail can reveal that Ipswich council city planner John Adams has detailed claims of "threatening behaviour" by the then Ipswich mayor in a witness statement to the Crime and Corruption Commission.
It is believed the statement will comprise part of the brief of evidence in the case against Pisasale.
The Ipswich council probe led to 16 people being charged, including Pisasale, who is defending allegations of corruption, perjury and fraud.
Mr Adams told the CCC in late 2017 that Pisasale allegedly told him his job was at risk over his handling of a planned expansion by Springfield Land Corporation to its Springfield Town Centre project.
The company chairman is Maha Sinnathamby, the state's fifth richest person with a $1.66 billion fortune, according to The Australian's list of the 250 richest people this year.
The Sunday Mail is not suggesting Mr Sinnathamby or Springfield Land Corporation was involved in wrongdoing and no charges have been laid in relation to the development.
Springfield Land Corporation did not comment on Mr Adams' allegations.
Mr Adams claims the Springfield Land Corporation expansion negotiations were among the most difficult of his career.
Springfield Land Corporation was being "somewhat cavalier" by suggesting a transport plan to service proposed growth would be "sorted out over time" without a detailed plan, he alleged.
"SLC had not provided adequate transport solutions and were attempting to obtain unfettered approval for as much development as possible to water down any review mechanisms and hold points," Mr Adams alleged.
He said he had wanted "hold points" triggering further transport analysis.
He claimed an "agitated" Pisasale told him in 2015 his "job was on the line" over "concerns that Maha Sinnathamby (from SLC) had raised about how I was handling negotiations … in particular the additional transport analysis hold points".
Mr Adams alleges Pisasale asked him to reconsider his approach.
He alleges Pisasale approached him at least once more about the plan and again told him his job was at risk.
He said Pisasale told him he did not want to adopt an alternative position at council as "it would put the 'spotlight on him and the council'."
Mr Adams said he did not recommend what Springfield Land Corporation wanted and council took a position "midpoint between myself and SLC".
Attempts to contact Pisasale were unsuccessful.
A council spokesman declined to comment.