UPDATE 4PM: Speaking outside the Brisbane Supreme Court this afternoon, Patricia Petersen hoped the dispute could be resolved informally, through mediation and compromise.

"I have lodged because my life, livelihood and reputation have been severely damaged," Ms Petersen said.

She said she had gone "to great lengths to resolve all matters" but her repeated attempts had "sadly been unsuccessful.

Patricia Petersen fronted court on September 21, charged with making threats against Ipswich City Councillor Paul Tully.
Patricia Petersen fronted court on September 21, charged with making threats against Ipswich City Councillor Paul Tully. Helen Spelitis

 

Former Ipswich candidate sues MP, mayor for $2.7m

EARLIER: Political candidate Patricia Petersen is seeking $2.7 million in damages for acts 'causing political and financial harm' during her stand at the 2012 state election.

Ms Petersen is claiming $919,833.33 in damages each from Mayor Andrew Francis Antoniolli, former State Member for Ipswich Rachel Genevieve Nolan and the Ipswich City Council.

According to a document filed in the Brisbane Supreme Court on January 16, Ms Petersen claims the three defendants damaged her election signage and alleges Cr Antoniolli and Ms Nolan misused a public office to cause harm to her.

Ms Petersen is seeking $20,000 for the "loss of enjoyment of life", defamation damages, $75,000 for six years of lost income and a future loss of income of $75,000 each year for 13 years.

She is also claiming $500 each year for 19 years for past and future medical expenses or expenses relating to injuries.

The suit relates to Ms Petersen's independent candidacy for the state seat of Ipswich in 2012.

Ms Petersen alleges the then member, Ms Nolan and then Division 7 Councillor Andrew Antoniolli, caused injury to her through defamation.

In a 31-page claim, Ms Petersen alleges Ms Nolan and Cr Antoniolli were concerned about her rising profile and decided at a campaign meeting on October 3, 2011, her "profile should be undermined".

"It was decided at the meeting that the Plaintiff's election signs should be seized and the Plaintiff fined as a way of damaging her financially, legally and politically," Ms Petersen's court claim read.

Ms Petersen also alleges Division 3 Councillor Kerry Silver, who worked in the office of previous councillor Victor Attwood, contacted Mr Attwood and asked him whether the council should be contacted in relation to Ms Petersen's election signage.

She claims her A-frame election signs outside the Dinmore Service Station were then incorrectly removed by the Ipswich City Council.

Ms Petersen believes Ms Silver "deliberately aimed to harm" her for political purposes.

Ms Petersen claims people displaying her election signage were threatened with fines by Ipswich City Council staff.

According to the court documents, two men dressed in Ipswich City Council uniforms entered Ms Petersen's property and damaged her election signage.

She alleged the men smashed the poster on the ground before Ms Petersen's elderly mother told them to "get out of here right now".

"The men did not leave, continued to damage the poster, gave the Plaintiff's mother a menacing look then left," the suit claims.

Ms Petersen claims Ms Nolan's protégé, Kaitlyn Clancy - now known as Kai Clancy after sex reassignment surgery - operated a social media account called 'Patricia Pretendersen'.

According to the claim, after Ms Petersen arrived home on March 5, 2012, neighbours informed her that Ipswich City Council workers "had entered her property and cut down all her trees, bushes and flowers.   "The Plaintiff was and is a passionate gardener and suffered emotion stress due to losing her garden," the claim read.    It is claimed the account would "cause an ordinary person to shun the Plaintiff both politically and socially".

A spokesman for the Ipswich City Council confirmed it was served with a claim by Ms Petersen on Tuesday afternoon.

"The claim has been referred to council insurers," he said.

Comment has been sought from Cr Antoniolli and Ms Nolan.

The matter is separate to another before Ipswich Magistrates Court in which Ms Petersen is charged with making threats.

The 53-year-old was charged in September after she was accused of threatening Councillor Paul Tully.

Ms Petersen denies any wrongdoing.



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