10 March 2020
The Office of the Independent Assessor (OIA) has addressed statements made by the former Ipswich City Councillor Paul Tully, who is now seeking re-election.
The OIA heard a recording of a community forum last week at which Mr Tully stated, “I’m not aware of any investigations at all of the OIA into me.”
When reminded the question put to him related to complaints and not investigations Mr Tully responded, “That’s what I said.” “I’m not aware of anything involving me.”
The comments made at the forum were published in the Queensland Times newspaper on 7 March, 2020.
On 6 March, the same newspaper reported on an interview with Mr Tully in which he said he was “not aware” of any investigation (by the OIA).
The Independent Assessor Kathleen Florian said she considered Mr Tully’s comments about whether he was the subject of complaints to and/or investigations by the OIA could reasonably be seen to be misleading and to distort the facts.
“The OIA has been in contact with Mr Tully a number of times regarding outstanding matters against him, so he is aware these exist,” Ms Florian said.
“When complaints and investigations are finalised notices are sent to all parties to advise them the matter has been finalised and of the outcome, and no such notice has been sent to Mr Tully about the matters involving him.”
In line with its media policy the OIA has, to date, consistently declined to identify Mr Tully as the subject of any unresolved misconduct matters.
However, the media policy also states the OIA will consider whether it is appropriate and fair to release information where facts have been misrepresented or distorted.
Given the misleading nature of the public comments by Mr Tully in the lead-up to the March election, the OIA has acted to address the statements.
Before taking this step, the OIA provided Mr Tully with an opportunity to clarify his comments on the record, and he declined to do so.
Transcript: Ipswich community forum (PDF, 103KB).
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