Councillors left furious over corruption report

 

A GOLD Coast City Council whistleblower to the State corruption watchdog is furious that ongoing investigations will not be completed until after next month's election.

The Office of Independent Assessor is investigating alleged misconduct by Mayor Tom Tate after the Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC) last Friday released its 84-page report on Operation Yabber.

Councillor Peter Young told residents on Facebook that he was among the chief complainants, having concerns similar to those by neighbouring Hinterland councillor and fellow whistleblower Glenn Tozer about mayoral directives sent by Councillor Tate.

Councillor Peter Young was one of the whistleblowers. Pic: Adam Head.
Councillor Peter Young was one of the whistleblowers. Pic: Adam Head.

"I first reported matters of significant concern to the Crime and Corruption Commission in September 2017, and have done so since - relating to interference with due process, failure to declare conflicts of interest and failure to update compulsory registers," Cr Young wrote.

He acknowledged the laws required him to uphold "transparent and effective processes … decision-making in the public interest … democratic representation … good governance … and ethical and legal behaviour of councillors and local government employees".

"Now, just two months before the 28 March council elections, the CCC has issued a report and has determined to refer a bunch of matters to the Office of Independent Assessor or council to be dealt with," he said.

"Will we know the results of these further investigations before the election? I think not, and I am not happy."

Cr Young told the Bulletin he believed voters should be aware of all of the facts surrounding investigations before they vote.

"People are being denied an opportunity to know all of the facts," he said. "It might be found there is no misconduct or multiple cases of misconduct.

Cr Glenn Tozer raised concerns. Pic Adam Head.
Cr Glenn Tozer raised concerns. Pic Adam Head.

"Knowing those things is in the interests of the city and the community."

Coast marketing executive Richard Holliday, who worked at the Townsville City Council, contacted the Bulletin to say councillors at tomorrow's full council meeting had an opportunity to remove their support for Mayor Tate with a no-confidence motion.

"This would render Cr Tate unelectable - and clouding his capacity to effectively deliver any agenda let alone his election commitments," Mr Holliday said.

"There are many very hard-working and decent councillors absolutely fed up with the inner circle at Evandale, the secret meetings and the selected distribution of information."

Former councillor Eddy Sarroff, who also approached the Bulletin, believes residents need to be better informed of the running of council.

"The big question is how is this council run," he said. "Is the culture one of councillors afraid to speak out?

"Why is there only a few brave councillors that are prepared to speak out in a very constrained environment where the Mayor has been given super powers.

"Is it a case that many sitting councillors just toe the Tate party line because they were unofficially his running mates? Is it time that we look now for truly independent candidates who are prepared to stand up and be counted and restore integrity in City Hall."


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