Fantastic..a fairytale.. perfect place for a princely visit
Written by ACM   
Saturday, 19 March 2011

In an interview with the ABC 730 programme's Jessica van Vonderen, Mayor Paul Pisasale says Ipswich is the perfect place for a Princely visit.  This was broadcast by the ABC, Australia's national public broadcaster,  on 18 March, 2011.

Mayor Pisasale welcome to Prince William, our future King, reflects the views of many Australians and New Zealanders. 

The text may be seen below.

Mayor Paul Pisasale says Ipswich is the perfect place for a Princely visit.

[ Text from the ABC ]

JESSICA van VONDEREN: From Tully and Cardwell in the north to Toowoomba and Brisbane in the south communities around the State are eagerly anticipating the arrival of Prince William this weekend. The Prince's hectic schedule includes a brief stop in Ipswich where a very excited and nervous Mayor Paul Pisasale will be waiting to greet him.

(JESSICA van VONDEREN SPEAKS WITH MAYOR PAUL PISASALE)

JESSICA van VONDEREN: Paul Pisasale you're an excitable bloke at the best of times, how do you feel about Prince William's visit on Sunday?

PAUL PISASALE, IPSWICH MAYOR: Oh it's fantastic; it's like a fairy tale for Ipswich. We've been through some really hard times over the last nine weeks. The insurance companies are giving us heaps and not saying yes or no, but to have a real Prince, our kids are excited, it's like a fairy tale come to Ipswich. Look young kids have read stories about the Prince and the Princess and they come up to me and say Mayor Paul are we getting a real Prince to our city and I say yeah we are. So I hope that the security arrangements don't stop our young kids having a real fairytale and an opportunity for our city to see a real Prince.

JESSICA van VONDEREN: So what have you got planned for His Royal Highness?

PAUL PISASALE: What we've got planned; he arrives at RAAF Base Amberley. He'll go a certain route. There are security arrangements. He's coming to Westmac, West Moreton Anglican. We hope that he meets with all the volunteers, some of the affected families from the floods. The most important thing is to say g'day and share one our famous Ipswich sausages to say enjoy Australian barbeques. Ipswich is known for the world's most liveable city, the best master planned community, but how many people know we've won the best award for the best sausage for Australia, how good is that! And the Prince will taste it.

JESSICA van VONDEREN: You're not worried he'll be over sausages by then. I think most communities are planning barbeques I think.

PAUL PISASALE: That's why we've got to get the best of the best of the sausages. You know I haven't slept for a couple of days worrying about is the sausage right. You know your Royal Highness would you like a sausage? How are you, pleased to meet you, would you like to meet Ipswich? What I've decided to do now is just to relax and I'm going to treat him like he's coming to my home and treat him like a real Ipswich bloke and say welcome to my home and enjoy the people.

JESSICA van VONDEREN: Have you been practicing your Royal etiquette though?

PAUL PISASALE: I think that Prince William doesn't want any ceremony and pompous celebrations. What he wants is to meet the people and that's exactly what I'm going to give him. I'm excited. I think that what we've got here is an opportunity for Ipswich to forget about the floods, forget about the depression and realise that we'll deal with those later on, but on Sunday we're going to meet a Prince and feel a little bit good about ourselves.

JESSICA van VONDEREN: People have experienced a lot of terrible things lately is this, in some way a chance to draw a line in the sand?

PAUL PISASALE: It is. You know the people of Ipswich have been through some really hard times but this is an opportunity. We've had Prime Ministers, Governors, Governor-Generals visit us, but to have somebody from the Royal family, somebody who's in line to be King of England, come to our city, a chance of a life time. We're going to embrace it.

JESSICA van VONDEREN: And how will the Prince find the Ipswich community fairing?

PAUL PISASALE: Ah look it's been tough. Look this is now getting on to ten weeks. The Insurance Companies God Bless them they haven't said the yes or no and I'd like to punch them in the mouth. What I really want is for the community now with the help of the Council and all of us to work together to get them back in their home. They really need to have that feeling to belong in your own home. Whoever said there's no place like home was so true when you say to that and it just breaks my heart when I see people in caravans, tents and displaced from their home.

JESSICA van VONDEREN: Is that the biggest hurdle to overcome still?

PAUL PISASALE: Yeah it is. We'll build the bridges we'll fix the parks, but until we get people back in their homes, they're hurting, I'm hurting and they're feeling despair anger and depression that comes with it.

JESSICA van VONDEREN: Is the Japanese disaster impacting on people locally do you think?

PAUL PISASALE: Oh look me personally when you see what we had in Ipswich and then I saw Christchurch it just brought you to tears and now to see Japan, I'd hate to be the Mayor that's involved in that. It's just totally tragic and it actually helps us sort of relive what they're experiencing. I feel very sorry, our prayers, our thoughts are with them. We just got a cheque from the Japanese community from Nerima our sister city, they've just sent us virtually $38,000 to help us and the next week they're in despair. So we'll be doing everything we can to help our Japanese friends and neighbours and our prayers and thoughts are with them.

JESSICA van VONDEREN: Well Paul Pisasale, I hope this weekend is a really enjoyable one. Thank you so much for speaking with me.

PAUL PISASALE: Fantastic! We've got the Prince coming and I'm sure he'll remember the city of Ipswich.