Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale.
Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale. Queensland Times

Ipswich’s ‘liveable’ tag ridiculed

IPSWICH Mayor Paul Pisasale has moved to secure the high moral ground in the latest campaign of his war of words with Gold Coast Mayor Ron Clarke.

Cr Clarke’s latest inflammatory comment about Ipswich came during debate about a council member attending a conference in the Czech Republic.

The LivCom (Liveable Communities) Awards will be announced at the conference and the Gold Coast City Council is a finalist in a category.

In 2007 Ipswich secured first place in the mid-sized cities category at the awards. Told that during the debate, Cr Clarke replied: “If Ipswich has won it, how prestigious can it be?”

Cr Pisasale yesterday played down the significance of his counterpart’s comment although he found it hard to fathom.

“In 2007 we won that award and it is a very prestigious award. If it wasn’t prestigious, why is the Gold Coast entering?” Cr Pisasale said.

“I’m sure Ron Clarke’s comments don’t reflect the views of the council or the people of the Gold Coast. I think his statements reflect Ron’s character.

“I’ve had phone calls from some of the councillors down there very disappointed that Ron would make such a statement.

“My advice to Ron is to focus on what’s going on at the Gold Coast rather than every time he’s in a pickle picking on Ipswich. There’s a lot of unhappy people down there.”

The Gold Coast’s easy-going image has been left reeling after three murders in the past seven months, the latest on Saturday.

Last year, Cr Pisasale called Ron Clarke the worst leader in the Gold Coast’s history after Cr Clarke said Ipswich was a town for the “lower-class leftovers” who couldn’t afford to live in Brisbane or on the coast.

Phil Cullen, the chairman of a club of former Ipswich residents called Ipswichians on the Gold Coast, said Cr Clarke’s comments lacked tact.

“His diplomacy is deplorable and if he knew about Ipswich he wouldn’t go putting his foot in it,” Mr Cullen said.

“People like us have lived in Ipswich and now we live at the Gold Coast and we can appreciate both places.”

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