Brisbane’s Lord Mayor sues own council


The LNP in Queensland has launched a multi-million-dollar lawsuit in the Supreme Court against Brisbane City Council, accusing it of “wilfully and illegally” stealing its intellectual property, namely its branding image, demanding it desist immediately, offer an unconditional apology and pay substantial costs.

The writ, joined by Team Quirk, the party entity that contests BCC elections on behalf of the LNP every four years.

“Many elections ago the LNP and the Can-Do Team of Campbell Newman created and began using an attractive pattern of alternate blue and yellow diagonal blocks running from top to bottom on the left hand-side of election material – pamphlets, election signs and billboards and the like,” Team Quirk leader and current Lord Mayor of Brisbane, Graham Quirk told The Bug.

“I simply loved Can Do’s brilliant marketing idea at the time and told him so many times. He was a wonderful leader. I also told him that over and over. Military background, you know. Superb leader of men and women. Amazing fellow. It was a privilege just to be in the same room as him. Anyway, we just knew that as a branding idea it would gain traction and help connect voters with our municipal campaign endeavours.

“It even used the colours of the state LNP logo so as a marketing concept, it was clearly ours from the get-go.

“Since then, Team Quirk in my time as leader has embraced the concept and that branding pattern is used pervasively in our campaigning. It’s taken a sustained effort over time and the expenditure of a lot of party’s limited finances to get to the stage where the people of Brisbane can see our election material and know it’s all about the city council. It’s why we don’t use the brand for any campaigning at state or federal level.”

Mr Quirk said that, sadly, the Brisbane City Council over recent years had started using the same pattern down the left-hand-side of the millions of promotional pamphlets that he as council leader mailed out to Brisbane residents regularly to alert them of the amazing job he and the rest of his LNP council team were doing on their behalf.

Mr Quirk said demands that the council cease immediately the use of the LNP/Team Quirk’s IP branding, offer an unconditional apology and pay costs, had fallen on “deaf ears” among senior council administration staff.

“I’ve written to Council CEO Colin Jensen on numerous occasions warning him to desist but he always responds with a curt “council does not use the LNP/Team Quirk’s branding image”.

“That’s offensive rubbish, to be frank. He’s never elaborated but I think Jensen’s argument is that the council’s design is different because the dimensions of the yellow and blue blocks might vary slightly. Maybe the two blocks of colours might differ slightly too but, really, those defences are laughable when no average person on the City Glider could possibly tell the difference from their seats.

“The bottom line is that council has stolen our brand in an ethically bereft, morally corrupt and, dare I say it, criminal way in terms of this country’s intellectual property laws.”

One of Mr Quirk’s LNP councillors was much more colourful in his criticism of what the council had done.

“They’re a bunch of pricks,” he said on the condition of anonymity. “They even call their identical branding design a ‘cleat’. I mean, really, what the fuck is a ‘cleat’? At least it rhymes with cheat, because that’s exactly what these arseholes are … cleat cheats!”

“We know imitation is the finest form of flattery, and I guess some people will be thinking: what harm can come from it if the people of Brisbane connected the good works of council with the LNP and visa versa because of these two near-identical branding themes.

“But there’s the rub: if council is allowed to get away with this, what’s to prevent the Labor Party doing the same thing? Those cunts have no moral or ethical compass whatsoever. No, we’ll got to put a stop to this blatant thieving once and for all. It’s the only decent and honest thing to do.”

A lecturer in politics at Griffith University, Dr Sean Bean, told The Bug the LNP’s legal challenge could have a downside for the Lord Mayor.

“Graham Quirk’s media advisers, with the help of cream-puff weekly pieces by Channel 9 news, have gone to great lengths to portray him as any family’s slightly dull but harmless uncle who can be trusted to do the right thing with simple tasks like keeping Aunty Jean’s footpath mowed, her footpath gutters cleaned and to know how to dispose quickly of aunty’s Scottish terrier Fluffy when her time comes. You know, a bland but basically honest fellow who can be trusted with basic chores such as those.

“Joining in on this law suit could expose the Lord Mayor as the aggressive, ruthless, single-minded, take-no-prisoners-styled political operator he really is but who so few of us ever really get to know.

“This could prove risky with the city council elections due early in 2020.”

councii bus timetable
The copycat image on a street council sign.
quirk bilboard
A Team Quirk billboard from the 2016 council poll, showing Team Quirk’s branding image.