Ipswich City Council to remove disgraced former mayor Paul Pisasale’s name from bridge and road

The name of disgraced former Ipswich mayor Paul Pisasale will be removed from two local facilities, which current mayor Teresa Harding says will erase a “source of embarrassment” for the city.

The Paul Pisasale Bridge in Springfield Central and Pisasale Drive in Yamanto will be renamed after six councilors voted last week to “name” the two locations and prepare a report outlining community sentiment and options for new names.

Deputy Mayor Nicole Jonic, longtime Councilor Paul Tully and Councilor Sheila Ireland all abstained in the vote.

Ms Harding, who was elected in 2020 on a platform of transparency and reform, said removing Pisasale’s name was not about rewriting history but stepping out of the past.

Pisasale has been in prison since 2019 after being convicted of two counts of extortion and sentenced to two years.

Paul Pisasale’s name will be erased from this bridge in Springfield.(ABC News: Anna Hartley)

In September last year, he was sentenced to an additional seven and a half years in prison on more than 30 other counts, including fraud, official bribery, perjury and two counts of sexual assault.

The hugely popular mayor, who regularly won high first preference votes, was overthrown by a Queensland Crime and Corruption Commission investigation that sent shockwaves through the city and led to the dismissal of the whole board.

Suggested names

Last year the council proposed to rename several other places around Ipswich which bore the names of sacked councilors.

In July, a petition was launched to rename Pisasale Bridge in honor of Ipswich tennis star and world number one Ash Barty; Ms Harding said a “more suitable” site would be found to celebrate Barty’s accomplishments.

The council also auctions hundreds of sports memorabilia purchased with taxpayer funds during the councils’ previous tenure.

The Mayor of Ipswich, Teresa Harding.
Ipswich Mayor Teresa Harding said the name on the bridge and the road was an “embarrassment” for the city.(ABC News: Rachel McGhee)

Ms Harding said the council’s naming process allowed it to rename a road or facility when it was named after someone convicted of a felony.

“Feedback from residents and businesses suggests there is an interest in re-naming two assets that continue to be an embarrassment for our city,” she said.

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