DIVISION 3: Here are your council candidates

Gold Coast’s local council elections are coming up on the 28th of March, with over 50 people gunning for seats at chambers.

Early voting is now underway, with eleven places to vote open to locals from today.

myGC is going through division by division, to give you a closer look at the candidates.


Division 3 includes the suburbs of Coomera, Maudsland, Upper Coomera, Willowvale and Wongawallan.

It’s currently held by Cameron Caldwell, though due to changes in division boundaries, he will now be running for division 4.

Donna Gates is one of the candidates, after moving from division 1 in the boundaries changes.

She’s one of just two candidates for the seat, with Wayne Purcell also running.

myGC put some simple questions to both of the candidates, here’s how they responded.

Donna Gates

A few words about yourself.

I’ve been married to Bill since 1984 and together we have a son Matt, who is married to Chelsea – and a brand new baby grandson, Harry.

It’s been my honour to serve the residents of the city’s north to deliver on my promise of better services and facilities for northern Gold Coast.

Are you a member of/ or affiliated with a political party – if so, which one?

I am a true independent, happy to work with State and Federal Government for the benefit of the City of Gold Coast.

Please list your top three policies for your division.

  • Better transport options.
  • Full park safety audit for better lighting and cameras and full Green Audit to establish more shade trees and shade sails
  • Expanded footpath networks, especially near schools.

Why should locals vote for you?

I love this city am proud of my achievements in the last 12 years, the last eight as Deputy Mayor. I know I can deliver similar outcomes in the future, especially in areas that will be new to my representation. I know my way around Council, I know the area well and I know its people.

In your opinion, what’s the biggest issue facing the whole of the Gold Coast? And what should Council as a whole be doing about it?

The biggest local issue across the city is undoubtedly transport. However, the Coronavirus and its resulting impacts are unprecedented and require our attention. As a Council we need to continue to stimulate jobs growth through diversification whilst supporting our tourism sector in the current troubled times. We need to assist small business development and deliver sustainable employment opportunities, encouraging people to holiday at home, use local tradies and shop locally. It would also be good if the State and Federal Governments coughed up and delivered on the long overdue M1 upgrades in northern Gold Coast that must be funded via taxes – and not via the poor old ratepayer.


Wayne Purcell

A few words about yourself.

I have been a Gold Coaster since 2005 and enjoy the outdoor lifestyle it offers. My background is in environmental management and tourism.

Are you a member of/ or affiliated with a political party – if so, which one?

I have never been a member of a political party.

Please list your top three policies for your division.

  • Get serious about delivering a civic hub in Coomera. This would include medical facilities, community services, entertainment, leisure and office space
  • Work with the State to reduce congestion at Exits 54 & 57 via overpasses of the M1 from Reserve Rd to Beattie Rd and Rifle Range Rd to Old Pacific Hwy
  • Activate the Coomera River and Southern Moreton Bay’s potential for recreation and tourism opportunities

Why should locals vote for you?
For me this is about my passion for nature, transport and a connected community. The northern Gold Coast has been growing rapidly, but essential infrastructure and local services have not been
keeping up. Residents deserve better. Instead of enjoying their time with their kids, their family and friends, we have people stuck in their cars on the M1 going up to Brisbane or down the Coast,
whether it’s for work, study or to seek fun. I want to see people being able to live, work and play locally.

To achieve this, we need local services, employment and civic places to foster community and local identity. We also must improve the transport situation so that people can get out and about safely and efficiently. We need to reduce congestion at M1 interchanges. The northern Gold Coast also needs higher-frequency bus services and more pedestrian and bicycle paths. These projects are long overdue and I will champion to make them happen.

Finally, I want to improve communication between Council and residents. Specifically, I want to engage the public on issues that matter to them and ensure Council is responding to the needs of
local residents. Not only will I provide more regular updates about events, activities and Council plans, I will actively work with local community groups to connect people to the council initiatives
that are relevant to them.

In your opinion, what’s the biggest issue facing the whole of the Gold Coast? And what should Council as a whole be doing about it?
Population growth, and how we manage it, has the potential to significantly impact the Gold Coast lifestyle. If we don’t get it right, we’ll face growing congestion, growing social isolation and
degradation of our natural resources. Alternatively, good planning can see the Gold Coast flourish. We can continue to enjoy a fantastic outdoor lifestyle while seeking the opportunities that come
with being a major city. We can have world-class universities and hospitals, and more big name touring music and cultural acts. We can also have a greater diversity of jobs and businesses based on the Coast and a comprehensive and efficient public transport system. However, growth should not come at a cost to the community and our natural world. Planning for our City’s growth, and where people will live, should be reviewed in conjunction our public transport system. A network of high-frequency bus services along main east-west and north-south links, together with well-designed interchanges, can increase public transport patronage. In particular, the GCUH / Griffith University complex needs to have more bus services given the number of trips it generates (students, university / hospital staff and visitors).

Anything else you’d like to add?
I’d love to hear from Gold Coasters and, in particular, residents of Division 3 on what issues they have identified and what they’d like to see for the Gold Coast and Division 3. They can contact me
via Messenger (m.me/wayne4div3), email (wayne4div3@gmail.com) or phone (0492 826 603) or head to my Facebook page (facebook.com/wayne4div3) to see more about who I am and would like to achieve as Councillor.


Note: the candidates have been listed in the order that they will appear on the ballot paper on March 28.

For more information about voting, click here.

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