Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale denies any wrongdoing by setting up a meeting between a developer-turned-donor and Premier Campbell Newman.
The mayor of Ipswich says he’s done nothing wrong by setting up meetings between a developer-turned-donor and Premier Campbell Newman.
Japanese development giant Sekisui House donated money to Paul Pisasale’s Ipswich Forward political campaign and community events.
The company also had a business relationship with Australian Water Holdings (AWH), which is being investigated by NSW’s Independent Commission Against Corruption.
Mr Pisasale, who has been a major supporter of Sekisui’s Ripley Valley development in Ipswich, says he only passed on telephone numbers between Sekisui House and Liberal National Party officials for a 2011 meeting.
He did, however, set up a second meeting with Mr Newman in June 2012, which he too attended.
Mr Pisasale rejected any conflict of interest in receiving donations from Sekisui.
“I did set up a meeting with Premier Campbell Newman and Sekisui House, one of the largest house builders in the world, who wanted to spend a significant amount of money and wanted to meet the premier,” he told AAP on Wednesday.
“All we talked about was sustainable development for Queensland, exactly what a mayor and premier are supposed to do.
“There was no discussion about campaign funds.”
Mr Pisasale has ordered a review of Forward Ipswich and any links between Ipswich City Council and Australian Water Holdings.
“I’ve done nothing wrong,” he said.
“I’m getting it fully audited, and I want this dark cloud removed.”
The mayor says Sekisui House gave a $3000 donation to sponsor his 20-year anniversary in local government and was one of 30 donors at the event that raised funds for his political campaign Forward Ipswich.
Mr Newman says he recorded in his parliamentary diary that he met Sekisui House.
It was proposing a multimillion-dollar resort at Coolum on the Sunshine Coast, and political donations were not discussed.
“I’m about building up the state’s economy,” Mr Newman said.
“When you have the largest property developer for residential real estate in Japan who wants to invest in Queensland, I’m going to sit down and talk to them every single day of the week to get that investment.”
When asked, Mr Newman did not push for tighter controls on council donation laws.
“The independent (corruption watchdog) will have noted the recent stories and I’m sure they’ll do their job,” he said.
“If something arises, I’m sure they’ll let the government know.”