Disturbing moment sacked councillor makes a ‘shooting gesture’ towards the mayor during heated meeting
- Video shows former councillor making gesture
- Ipswich Mayor has asked council CEO to investigate
A sacked Queensland local government councillor has made a shooting gesture at the mayor during a public council meeting.
Footage emerged this week showing Ipswich City Council Mayor Teresa Harding speaking at the meeting in council chambers when former councillor David Palke, seated in the gallery, makes a pistol gesture in her direction.
‘For that person to cock their finger, aim and shoot towards me in a public gallery is disgusting,’ Mayor Harding told 9News.
The meeting was held in April to discuss removing the names of politicians from public information signs around the south-east Queensland city with CCTV of the incident only surfacing in recent days.
Mayor Harding voted against reinstating the names on signs as they are replaced, a debate that was sparked after Mr Palke’s name was recently removed from a plaque at the Cobb & Co Heritage Park in the suburb of Rosewood.
Ipswich Mayor Teresa Harding has written to council CEO asking them to review the incident
David Palke can be seen on the video making a pistol gesture towards Mayor Harding from the public gallery
Mr Palke told 9News he was not making a shooting gesture but then quickly appeared to backtrack on his own statement.
‘I absolutely reject that idea,’ he said.
He then asked the reporter: ‘Haven’t you ever pulled up your hand and pointed like ‘bang’… shot?’
Mayor Harding has written a letter of concern to the Ipswich City Council CEO to review the gesture and investigate tightening regulations around visitors in the public gallery.
Mr Palke was one of the councillors sacked when the Queensland state government dumped the entire council following repeated corruption scandals.
Mr Palke himself was not accused of corruption.
The last straw was when mayor Andrew Antoniolli was charged with fraud by the state’s Crime and Corruption Commission in 2018.
‘Enough is enough, this will stop, I am stopping it. The people of Ipswich deserve better,’ Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk told state parliament that year.
Mayor Harding was voted into office in 2020 running on a platform of a ‘fresh start’ for the city.
Ipswich Mayor Teresa Harding and Hutchinsons MD Greg Quinn ‘top out’ the new council administration building and children’s library when it reached full height in 2020