Long process draws to a close as money goes to our leading community groups
FUNDS from an Ipswich community fund which has been locked up in the bank for the past five years have now started flowing to local charities.
The Ipswich Community Charity Fund was established more than a decade ago by former mayor Paul Pisasale and had remained in limbo after he was investigated, charged and sent to jail.
The charity fund was run under the guidance of a board of directors made up of prominent Ipswich citizens who ensured the money was only used for community support purposes.
Once Pisasale was released from jail he contacted the Bendigo Bank officials who were safeguarding the account.
The board was then contacted by Cr Paul Tully who was also a member of the fund. Cr Tully painstakingly sorted out the logistics of dispersing the funds which importantly included the fund directors’ approvals.
Last Friday money started arriving in the bank accounts of leading Ipswich charities.
The Local Ipswich News forecast this action in a front page story on February 22.
The money has so far gone to the Salvation Army, Ipswich Hospice, iNcommunity (a local youth and accommodation support service) and the Ipswich Domestic Violence Action Centre.
Each of the charities received $37,700 which amounted to one fifth of the total funds.
A fifth charity involved in Ipswich health services has been selected as the final recipient.
Once that money is paid the Ipswich Community Charity Fund will be wound up.
Intense media focus on the fund has been placed on Cr Tully and only last week a journalist from Channel Nine with two cameramen by his side accosted the long-time councillor demanding to know why the funds hadn’t already been distributed.
The same journalist had previously done a similar thing months ago in the early morning hours at Cr Tully’s home.
Unqualified audits of the fund for the past five years have been forwarded to the State Government.
They clearly revealed that the money had remained intact since they were last used and the only debits were to pay the accountants and audit firms that were doing the yearly audits.
A second fund, the City of Ipswich Community Fund, of which Cr Tully is not a signatory, currently has around $90,000.
The process is currently in place to distribute this money to local charities and wind up the fund.
“I expect that this will also be finalised within the next two weeks,” Cr Tully said.
“Paul Pisasale needs to be recognised for originally establishing these funds which have over the years supported many local causes and district citizens in times of crisis.
“Those who donated to the funds have always known that their money was only going to improve the lives of Ipswich residents and their support should also be recognised,” he said.