Pisasale says funds help the needy
IS helping the community a conflict of interest or my job?
That is a question Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale has often asked himself over the last 10 months during the Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC) investigation into his various mayoral funds, including the Mayor's Community Fund.
The CCC found that Cr Pisasale has not misused any of his community funds for campaigning.
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It is a ruling that has confirmed to him how vital the Mayor's Community Fund has been in protecting individuals and businesses that fall through the cracks and suffer hardships such as fire or flood.
The QT has sighted a list of businesses and amounts they received from the community fund after the 2011 floods and it runs to over $300,000.
Ultimately, there was over $2million distributed to the people of Ipswich.
"And every cent has been audited by the auditor general - outgoings and incomings," Cr Pisasale said.
"The audit was something that I requested."
The fact is that without the fund, hundreds of people and businesses in Ipswich would have suffered further.
"Every time there is a house fire or a flood, we are there," Cr Pisasale said.
"We are a city that is ready for disaster and ready to give support.
"I have set up an insurance policy for this city that is not ratepayer's funds.
"It is money I have raised through blood, sweat and tears.
"Helping the community is not a conflict of interest.
"Is a mayor supposed to sit back and do nothing when his community is threatened?
"The fund is not a political vehicle. People have said I use it for my profile, but every other mayor is coming to me to set up the same. They realise people who fall through the gaps need help."