HE may have lost this mayoral election but Cr Paul Tully’s record as a “retail politician” of the highest order will stand the test of time.
Political analyst Dr Paul Williams said Cr Tully’s record of 12 election wins in a row prior to Saturday’s result was phenomenal.
“Paul Tully has always been a very good retail politician,” Dr Williams said.
“He was always very good at the top level of doing the sound-bites in the media. He ticked all the boxes with the chattering classes. At the other end he was very good with the Ipswich man and woman in the street.
“My observation is that he was very well liked in the same way Paul Pisasale was very well liked. You could almost call him ‘Mr Ipswich’ as well.
“He’s had such a strong identity and has been so good with the grass roots, like Pisasale was, which you’ve got to be as a local government politician.”
Cr Tully recently went and relocated thousands of bees from a Goodna water meter on behalf of a resident. He often reports, like a journalist, live from a fire ant nest to alert the public to the dangers lurking.
The QT has reported on numerous wars waged by Cr Tully on behalf of constituents, whether it be against tolling companies ripping off motorists or to assist punters with their ongoing battles with Telstra.
We have covered his trip to the Mururoa Atoll by boat to take it up to the French when they were testing nuclear weapons in the South Pacific. The QT’s all-time favourite Cr Tully story relates to when an Ipswich fortune teller was arrested and charged in the early 1990s. Cr Tully swung into action.
There were laws relating to witchcraft dating back to the 12th century, but until recently in Queensland it was illegal under the Vagrants, Gaming and Other Offences Act of 1931 to profess to tell fortunes.
“That was the legislation that police used to take action against tea leaf readers, palm readers and aura readers,” Cr Tully recalled in the QT story.
“One woman got arrested in Ipswich, so I thought that it was time to challenge this antiquated law which went back to the 12th century. Mums and dads could have got arrested in coffee shops for having their palms read. So I challenged the police to arrest me and to arrest her.
“I had TV cameras in Bell St in Ipswich and within two hours the State Government announced they would be withdrawing the charges and amending the legislation.”
The QT did an exit poll with electors in Goodna on Saturday where we asked them to tell us, anonymously, how they would vote. One response was instructive.
“Paul Tully has been our local representative for almost 40 years and if you have a problem you can always contact him,” one gentleman said.
“I remember one day I had an issue and rang Paul.
“Within 10 minutes he was down at the house and dealt with the issue straight away.”
The great St George side of the 1950s and 1960s won 11 premierships in a row, before not reaching the grand final at their 12th attempt. Cr Tully has surpassed that record with 12 wins on the trot. He didn’t win a 13th, but like the Dragons he will no doubt be back to breathe fire once again.