by Joel Gould
SPRINGFIELD Land Corporation deputy-chairman Bob Sharpless has been called to appear before the Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC) public hearing.
The CCC has updated its witness list and Mr Sharpless is slated to appear on Thursday, April 27 at the hearing which will investigate the conduct of candidates in the Ipswich, Moreton Bay and Gold Coast local government elections in 2016.
Mr Sharpless confirmed to the QT that he had been subpoenaed and said he was "happy to appear".
Springfield Land Corporation and Springfield Land Corporation Pty Ltd donated to four Ipswich councillors at the 2016 election - Cr Andrew Antoniolli, Cr David Pahlke, Cr Charlie Pisasale and Mayor Paul Pisasale.
The disclosure returns for all parties show that Cr Antoniolli received donations of $750, Cr Pahlke $1500, Cr Charlie Pisasale $1500 and Mayor Pisasale $2750.
Mayor Pisasale received his donation for a golf day fundraiser. He also received a donation of $8347.20 in-kind from Brookwater Golf Operations Pty Ltd, which is one of the Springfield Group of companies of which SLC is part.
Cr Antoniolli also received $1500 from MUR Land No.1 Pty Ltd, another company associated with SLC.
SLC chairman Maha Sinnathamby has MUR on the numberplate of his car.
SLC also donated to ALP (Qld), LNP Team Quirk and Strategm Pty LTd at the 2016 council elections.
The QT understands Mr Sharpless will be interviewed over the SLC links to the Ipswich councillors and Mayor Pisasale, why they donate and what they expect out of it from a developer's perspective.
Mayor Pisasale had a lengthy discussion at the CCC hearing with chairman Alan MacSporran about his links with developers and the SLC.
Part of that transcript is below:
AM: Just take the golf course one, Brookwater. Did they allow you to use the golf course for some of your fundraising activities?
PP: Yes. The $11,000 would have been the $10,000 plus $1,000 GST. So it was the use of the golf course. We had a golf day to raise money.
AM: Did Brookwater have any business with the council?
PP: Brookwater doesn't, but Springfield Land Corporation - but there's a full 50 master plan of the Springfield Land Corporation that has already been set in place.
AM: So is Brookwater a subset, if you like, of the larger Springfield Land Corporation?
AM: I see, okay. And then Springfield Corporation is a donor as well; is that so?
PP: I think they supported with the golf club, but - and also put a team in. That's about all.
AM: You have had, and continue to have, I assume, extensive dealings with the Springfield Corporation?
AM: The head of that is Mr Sinnathamby?
PP: Maha, yes.
AM: How frequently would you deal with him?
PP: Oh, probably once every six months we might have a cup of coffee or talk 20 about issues, but we don't talk about development. We talk about his vision for education for our city. He has an enormous amount of wealth, and we're always talking about issues that - how Ipswich and Springfield and the city can grow in regards to a master plan community, because it has all been set in place, Commissioner, and our vision is to make sure that the perception of our city that had suffered for a long time has got to change, and it's great to see the growth that's happening in our region now.
AM: But you don't discuss development?
PP: No. A lot of work went in, about 25 years ago, to set up the Springfield Master Plan, which sets in place everything that's going to happen in Springfield for the next 25 years.
AM: Do I take it that you don't discuss development because you think that would be inappropriate?
PP: No, there's nothing to discuss. I don't know much about development. I don't know much about planning. What I do know about is marketing 40 of a city and making sure the perceptions of the city change. I do know about making sure that the development industry feel that they're welcome in Ipswich, and I make sure that they understand that we won't tolerate the wrong thing, but we will support developers who do the right thing by our city.