MAYORAL candidate Tom Tate (pictured) has promised ‘confidence and certainty’ for the Gold Coast if he is successful in the council elections in April.
After months of unofficial campaigning, Tate lodged his nomination with the State Electoral Commission at Bundall yesterday.
Tate, who will run as an independent, joins former long-time Gold Coast City Councillor Eddy Sarroff as a frontrunner to be the city’s next mayor after the April 28 election.
“Certainty and confidence will bring investment to the city. Investment in the city creates jobs. More jobs means less crime and that’s what we need to get the Gold Coast working again,” says Tate.
Tate went on the attack after his nomination and criticised the existing council after it was revealed a Queensland Treasury Credit Review had downgraded the city’s credit rating.
The review dropped the GCCC two places on a seven-level scale - going from “strong” in 2009 to "moderate with a negative outlook".
“I have suspected for a while that Council’s financial position is worse than we have been led to believe,” says Tate.
“It’s no surprise given indicators including the GCCC Annual Report p. 112 that identifies a $1.499bn loss, the largest in Queensland municipal history, as a result of the Allconnex (water) debacle.”
Tate, a qualified civil engineer, has been active in the Gold Coast business community for several years and is CEO of the Islander Resort Hotel in Surfers Paradise.
He says he will bring fiscal discipline to the council.
“I am the only candidate with a detailed plan to cut $80m a year from council costs, get the finances and operation of GCCC back on track and deliver lower rates. It is why I can say with conviction that rates will always be lower under a Tom Tate-led Council,” he says.
Tate also took a shot at Sarroff, who resigned last week as a sitting councillor to contest the mayoral race.
“He should have resigned to save the ratepayer money. He’s resigned to try to save his political skin,” Tate says.
Other candidates for Gold Coast mayor include John Abbott, Keith Douglas, Susie Douglas, Dean Vegas and Peter Young.
Ron Clarke stepped down as Gold Coast mayor last month to contest Saturday’s State election. Councillor Daphne McDonald is acting mayor.
Tate ran for mayor in 2008, as a Liberal Party-backed candidate, and lost narrowly to Clarke.