Ipswich mayor Teresa Harding and former disgraced mayor Paul Pisasale wearing the city's mayoral robes. Cr Harding no longer wears them to events.
Ipswich mayor Teresa Harding and former disgraced mayor Paul Pisasale wearing the city's mayoral robes. Cr Harding no longer wears them to events.

Mayor ditches official robes after predecessor's sex attack

IPSWICH mayor Teresa Harding has not worn the city's mayoral robes since learning they were involved in a sexual assault perpetrated by disgraced former mayor Paul Pisasale.

In September last year, Pisasale was sentenced to a seven-and-a-half year jail term for sexual assault, fraud and official corruption crimes.

The sexual assault charges related to an incident with a young woman, then aged 23, in Ipswich City Council offices in December 2016.

Ipswich Mayor Teresa Harding was sworn in as the city’s 51st mayor in April.
Ipswich Mayor Teresa Harding was sworn in as the city’s 51st mayor in April.

The woman, who Pisasale had only met the day before, was invited to his office, where he forcibly kissed her and "forced his tongue inside her mouth" despite her resisting.

The court heard Pisasale had the woman put on his mayoral robes and took photos of her before taking her to another room where he again kissed her and forced his tongue inside her mouth.

Disgraced former mayor Paul Pisasale
Disgraced former mayor Paul Pisasale

The mayor of 13 years then put his hand inside her shirt, lifted her shirt and fondled her breasts while trying to kiss her.

The QT understands Cr Harding has not worn the robes once since these details came to light.

Cr Harding, who is Ipswich's first female mayor, was sworn in as the city's 51st mayor in April.

She did not wear the robes at a citizenship ceremony in November last year, instead just wearing the mayoral chains.

Ipswich mayor Teresa Harding wearing the mayoral chains with 2021 Ipswich Citizen of the Year Glen Smith on January 20.
Ipswich mayor Teresa Harding wearing the mayoral chains with 2021 Ipswich Citizen of the Year Glen Smith on January 20.

It is understood she won't wear the robes at the event held on Australia Day next week.

Cr Harding declined to comment on her decision not to don the robes.

This decision could lead to the red robes with fur being ditched altogether and an entirely new unisex design being adopted.

R ead more stories by Lachlan McIvor here.



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