Paul Tully should pay back cost of luxury world trip: Deputy Premier

Deputy Premier Steven Miles says veteran Ipswich Councillor Paul Tully should consider paying back public funds spent on a lavish world trip he took with disgraced former mayor Paul Pisasale and others in 2012.

Jul 20, 2022, updated Jul 20, 2022
Ipswich councillor Paul Tully. Photo: ABC

Ipswich councillor Paul Tully. Photo: ABC

Miles said Tully could or should consider paying ratepayers back after details of the two-week trip he, Pisasale and former council executives Carl Wulff and Jim Lindsay took to the United Arab Emirates and Europe were revealed by the Nine network.

Pisasale is now serving seven-and-a-half years’ imprisonment for dozens of offences stemming from his time in office, while Wulff is also in jail for corruption.

The tour was to explore council business opportunities, but a Crime and Corruption Commission investigation found the four engaged in non-official activity in their trip that cost more than $170,000.

Miles said the government took “one of the harshest actions” when in 2018 it dismissed democratically elected officials in Ipswich over corruption allegations, but added the long time Labor-leaning Tully should consider paying the funds back.

“That action was not taken lightly. It was taken in consideration of the gravity of the allegations made against those councillors including of these lavish trips,” Miles said on Wednesday.

“Those who received those benefits could consider whether they should contribute those funds back. But it’s not as if you can reverse the charges.

“Councillors like Councillor Tully could or should consider whether they should pay back some of those funds. I’d certainly urge them to consider that.

“At the end of the day, these are funds that were expended 10 years ago. I’m not sure there’s a practical way the state government could recoup them.”

The state opposition has called on the premier and government to intervene regarding Tully’s tenure at Ipswich City Council.

“Clearly his position is untenable,” Opposition Leader David Crisafulli told reporters on Wednesday.

“When you have members of the of the Labor cabinet saying so, clearly that is the case.”

AAP has contacted Tully for comment.

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