GC ELECTION | Meet the maybe Mayors

Alright Gold Coast – here are the big guns: the people who are hoping to be your next Mayor.

Incumbent Mayor Tom Tate is running again, for what would be his third term if successful.

He’s up against seven other hopefuls, including Virginia Freebody, Mona Hecke, Kristopher Bourbon, Gary Pead, Brett Lambert, Derek Rosborough and Suphakan Somsriruen.

myGC has already posted a division by division look at the other candidates, which you can view here.


ARTICLE CONTINUES AFTER THIS ADVERTISEMENT

Our juicy ‘maybe Mayors’ coverage wasn’t due until next week, but with so many voters hitting the polls early, we wanted to get it out now.

We simply gave all the candidates a list of questions, which includes their opinions on vital issues facing the Gold Coast.

All the mayoral candidates are knee deep in their campaigning at the moment, but here’s what we could get out of them with just a short 24 hour turn around.

Virginia Freebody

NOTE: myGC is yet to hear from Virginia Freebody, but will add in her response when it’s received.

Mona Hecke

A few words about yourself.

What you see is what you get with me. No secrets. No hidden agendas – and that’s how I will run council business – open, fair and transparent. I will be the Mayor who cares about the community and environment as much as the economy. I want to make this city better – for all of us.

Are you affiliated with a political party? If so which one?

I am not affiliated or funded by any party, nor have I ever been. To serve communities best, local councillors, and particularly the mayor, should be independent of political party affiliations and expectations to vote in blocs. The emergence of party politics in local government is a regrettable trend. I hope to change that.

A brief list of three things you’d focus on as Mayor?

  • Traffic and transport – fix M1, heavy rail to Coolangatta, more buses, transition to electric cars, cycling and walking paths.
  • Beautiful city – better urban design, adhere to the City Plan, City Greening program.
  • Diverse economy – promote digital, creative, sustainable industries, small business and revitalisation of CBDs.

Your brief opinion (not just yes/no) on the following Gold Coast issues:

  1. Should a cruise ship terminal go ahead? – I will not support further investigation for a Cruise Ship Terminal at Philip Park or anywhere else. I would rather work on ways to attract cruise ship passengers from Brisbane to spend a day or extend their holidays at the Gold Coast. I want council to collaborate with the Gold Coast Waterways Authority and get on with implementation of The Spit Masterplan to enhance, protect and take better advantage of this significant part of the Gold Coast’s natural beauty. I want to boost the Friends of Federation Walk planting program and establish the Seaway Promenade, Broadwater Boardwalk, nature trails and wayfinding system. I will build a ferry terminal near the northern end of The Spit. I will call for extension of the #705 bus route to the seaway. I will get on with developing the promised things like a centre for Aboriginal Culture and a Super Yacht facility.
  2. Should a second casino go ahead? – I will not support a second casino – anywhere. Successive surveys have shown that Gold Coasters don’t want a second casino. Let’s make the one that we do have, the best it can be. I will support the State Government’s proposal to expand the convention centre to capitalise on the growing business tourism market and fill our tourist accommodation. I will negotiate for better pedestrian outcomes around the Star site, to connect safely and seamlessly with Pacific Fair, Cascade Gardens, and across Gold Coast Highway to Broadbeach mall and beach. I will also seek to ensure that the convention centre expansion is designed to enhance the venue’s capability to host mid-sized music concerts and other entertainment productions. This will circumvent a perceived need for another ‘boutique’ sports stadium which has recently been mooted.
  3. Should the light rail be extended through to the airport? – We know that public transport services for the Southern Gold Coast are lacking. Ten years ago, the prospect of light rail to Coolangatta was embraced by most people. However, when the detrimental impact to the streets of Southport and Surfers Paradise became apparent, many people took a different view. There is a valid fear that this impact will be replicated farther along the route. Furthermore, people don’t like the design and increased density of residential developments that have been approved by council in proximity to the future light rail route. With Stage 3a of light rail construction from Broadbeach to Burleigh about to commence, now is the time to take stock. I’m not convinced that the Gold Coast Highway (Burleigh Heads to Tugun) Multi-modal Corridor Study recently released for community consultation has adequately investigated the feasibility of alternatives like trackless trams and electric bus services which have emerged in recent years. Everything I have seen and read indicates that these would be much cheaper to install and operate, in which case, we could drive our dollars further and extend services to more parts of the city. We could even coordinate with the Tweed Coast for seamless cross-border services in the future. We have to ask ourselves if it’s worth imposing expensive infrastructure on the highway to Coolangatta when light rail is not on any transport planning agenda south of the border.
  4. How would you lead the Gold Coast through the effects of coronavirus? – Community health must be the highest priority in the face of the Coronavirus pandemic. While medical scientists race to make a vaccine and health authorities work hard to contain the contagion, I will rapidly respond with a recovery plan to maintain health of our economy and keep the Gold Coast working. I will provide immediate financial relief for every ratepayer in the city by extending the payment period for the half yearly rates bills by 90 days. I will remove fees applicable to outdoor dining licences to help our cafes and restaurants – and I think this should be a permanent change. I will discount rates for owners of empty shops who give leases for periods longer than 18 months. I will speed up digital infrastructure delivery so that more people can work from home and localised co-working hubs. I will cut red tape and regulations to accelerate creative, digital and sustainable enterprise in under-utilised industrial areas. I will accelerate infrastructure spending – to build tomorrow’s infrastructure today – including a massive investment to free up traffic congestion. I will work with the Federal and State Governments to accelerate the multiple road and transport projects to fix the daily chaos on our M1. I will fully fund our city’s own Transport Strategy over the next decade.  I will build the extensive, safe bikeway system that has been continually promised and never delivered – starting in our northern suburbs. I will focus on growing our tourism sector width incentives for new eco-friendly tourism. I will accelerate transformation of The Spit into an amazing coastal parkland. I will complete the Oceanway, one of the world’s great walks, and construct walking trails in our hinterland for everyone to get active and healthy in our great outdoors

Anything else you’d like to add?

When it comes to environmental policy and action, our council has a lot of catching up to do. I will start by reintroducing ‘State of the Environment’ reporting to keep up to date on trends, benchmark our progress and guide us to fine-tune our City Plan and council operations. We need to plant more shade trees in our urban areas to reduce the heat island effect that makes our streetscapes unbearable. We need to improve energy efficiency and speed up a just transition to renewable energies. We need to design our transport policy and infrastructure to ensure that we will always be able to move efficiently around the city. We need to diversify our economy, innovate and generate new employment opportunities in sustainable businesses. We should safeguard our city against severe climate impacts. We must improve our water and waste management services. We need to protect biodiversity through nature conservation. I am determined to protect and enhance the quality of life in and around this city. I am pro-development: pro well-planned, well-designed, sustainable development!

Kristopher Bourbon

A few words about yourself.

I’m a Husband, father, a coach, volunteer, I’m adaptable, think outside the box, have a passionate, kind heart and am ready to fight for you.

Are you affiliated with a political party? If so which one?

I have no obligations or affiliations to any party, group or business apart from the people of the Gold Coast communities as a whole.

A brief list of three things you’d focus on as Mayor?

  • I will be focusing on making council more accountable, transparent and communicative to Gold Coaster’s along with mandatory monthly meetings in all divisions.
  • Setting up a citywide database of volunteers from any and all trades and professions in an effort to bridge current gaps and deficiencies in communities with a citywide depot for all good reusable equipment and supplies to be donated and shared giving all a chance to combine and participate.
  • I’ll aim at setting a new baseline for energy and environmental performance of all future development making use of as many of the innovative new ideas that continually arise providing more sustainable buildings for future generations.

Your brief opinion (not just yes/no) on the following Gold Coast issues:

  1. Should a cruise ship terminal go ahead? – At this stage with the projected cost of the cruise ship terminal and the overwhelming stance against it, I cannot endorse it. Contrary to most of the polls I have seen, if there was an absolute majority of Gold Coasters in support of it then I would rethink my current position.
  2. Should a second casino go ahead? – I do not believe that the Gold Coast needs a second casino and especially not to be built on heritage listed public land regularly used by many of the city’s citizens.
  3. Should the light rail be extended through to the airport? – While there may be benefits from having light rail to the airport, notwithstanding the highly and rightly disputed route. Overall I believe this to be outweighed by having a much faster heavy rail which spans the entire length of the city and can carry much more luggage and passengers completed first.
  4. How would you lead the Gold Coast through the effects of coronavirus? – I think that with an unprecedented event such as this it is imperative that we should first keep our behavioural foundations strong with how we treat, interact and assist one another and make sure to work closely with other levels of government and the health sector to keep within suitable safety guidelines. Outside the state and federal level’s stimulus packages we could be looking at a potential freeze or no charge period for rates but this all depends on the duration of this pandemic. In the wake of this situation collaborating with the tourism sector with campaigns to let the world know that our city has open arms and are ready for business again would be essential along with events within the arts and culture sector to recognise all the massive efforts, deeds and lessons learnt from this saga.

Anything else you’d like to add?

Whether I win or lose in the upcoming election I have to stress that my policies are not just my own, they are born of both pleasure and pain, constructed from many people, places, conversations, emotions and belong to the city and its foundations.

Gary Pead

A few words about yourself.

I am 66-year old I live in the Hinterland I have four daughter and three grandchildren.

Are you affiliated with a political party? If so which one?

 

A brief list of three things you’d focus on as Mayor?

  • Mr Pead is in favour of a campaign that will focus on council actions that will put “People Before Profit Gouging Developers and ignorant council planning decisions.
  • Mr Pead will concentrate his campaigning on “Joining the Dots” for voters on the Climate Change, City Sustainability, Emissions Reduction Reality and Saving our second biggest tourist resource from destruction.
  • He will develop, city-wide sustainability projects, to be owned by all the citizens of the Gold Coast through a “Gold Coast City Sustainable Commercial Development Authority”, will reduce to zero household electricity costs and create Start-Up HUBS for micro-businesses.

Your brief opinion (not just yes/no) on the following Gold Coast issues:

  1. Should a cruise ship terminal go ahead? – No to the Cruise ship Terminal all world feasibilities show NO economic return for the wider community
  2. Should a second casino go ahead? – A second Casino is a nonsense there is enough access to existing casinos and gambling plenty with Poker machines 24/7 in Taverns & Bars across the city. My Urgent alternative development is for Science & Technology & Learning Centre for Children’s education and Tourists like the Questacon in Canberra City and the Exploritorium on the Pier in San Francisco.
  3. Should the light rail be extended through to the airport? – NO to a light rail through Burleigh I want the heavy rail to proceed south through the airport (underground if necessary with West to East light rail link to Burleigh Centre and a Pedestrian Corso like Manly in Sydney to the beach. he best forward planning for Burleigh is to build a multi-level car park behind the Council offices. The M2 is nonsense creating a bottleneck. Council must stop the money grab from parking meters along the beach!! and only allow reverse parking where the parking lines are angled.
  4. How would you lead the Gold Coast through the effects of coronavirus? – I have already been working on leading the GC City out of lists Current crises by proposing project that permanently lowers the household cost of living COVID-19 has accentuated the crisis that was already with us.

Anything else you’d like to add?

Tom Tate’s current term has been under a cloud of Crime and Misconduct inquiry for the majority of its tenure. This is untenable for Gold Coast Citizens and Pead urges voters not to give him a third term Mr Tate has not improved our Gold Coast City in eight years and he will not achieve anything in twelve years. “I am angry, perplexed and frightened: angry because so many people are under stress suffering needlessly on account of the economic, social and ecological crisis. Perplexed because elected officials like Tom Tate show no signs of bringing about genuine change because they don’t seem to understand or care much about the public mood the resentment and the urgency of action; frightened because if we don’t act soon it may well be too late particularly where climate change and very bad long term planning is concerned (on council they are killing the golden goose!). We could enjoy a city that is clean, green and rich providing a decent dignified affordable life for all citizens without the ever-increasing inequalities. A platform of Mayor of Gold Coast City if elected is the best place for me to continue my past twenty years working for the best interests of our Gold Coast City. as a Patroling Life Saver, a Rural Firefighter, a small business owner, a property valuer with knowledge of every street in the city and hinterland, a political activist for the city the State and the National governments, and protagonist WITH SOLUTIONS for the continuing crisis of Costs of Living, Secure Housing and Rental Affordability for families and retirees, An expert about Climate Change and the transitions our city has to make NOW. For us and our children, I would like your vote.”

 

Brett Lambert

A few words about yourself.

Mr Lambert was born on the Gold Coast and has lived here every day of his life. He is not running for the office of Mayor but rather sees himself as taking a stand for the people, something he has done in private life by providing service based offerings in everything he’s ever done.

Are you affiliated with a political party? If so which one?

Brett Lambert is a true independent. No political party affiliation past, present or future and no donations accepted. 

A brief list of three things you’d focus on as Mayor?

  • Freezing all increases on rates immediately and for four years.
  • Lifting levies on local Al Frescos.
  • Getting a children’s hospital on the Gold Coast.

Your brief opinion (not just yes/no) on the following Gold Coast issues:

  1. Should a cruise ship terminal go ahead?  – The Cruise Ship Terminal he is often asked about is not his political policy.
  2. Should a second casino go ahead?  – A second casino, which is he also often asked about, is not his political policy.
  3. Should the light rail be extended through to the airport? – The light rail extension to the airport, is yet another example of the previous administration’s policy and not a policy that Mr Lambert is running on.
  4. How would you lead the Gold Coast through the effects of coronavirus?The coronavirus crisis has presented an uncertain future for everyone on earth with far-reaching consequences we cannot yet fully comprehend. To survive and thrive out of the other side of it, the City, every city, needs strong, caring, compassionate and visionary leadership. That starts with injecting confidence and vitality back into the community, being available to listen to peoples’ concerns and ideas, transparency in office and working with State, Federal and international leaders in an inclusive manner to deal with the wide-reaching implications. United we stand. The other option? There is no other option.

Anything else you’d like to add?

I am not running to be elected Mayor; I am standing to help the people. My entire life has been devoted to industries and business that serve the people. I did not decide to run for Mayor, I decided to step up and preserve the soul of the Gold Coast we all fell in love with. I am not interested in the title of Mayor; I am interested in putting energy, optimism, vitality and hope back into the hearts and minds of the community I have lived with since birth. I am not a “Johnny come lately” who entered the race to bolster a failed business and nor am I a person who has abused a position of power for self-serving motives. I seek the office not for myself but to preserve and enhance the community and the environment I, and most Gold Coasters, cherish. Now, more than ever, in this time of unprecedented crisis that will change the landscape of our reality in ways we cannot yet fully comprehend, we all need a leader of strong principles, healthy vision and above all the heart to care.

 

Derek Rosborough

A few words about yourself.

True Independent who has campaign for the last 28 years, self employed and under current election process totally believe voting should not be compulsory. Liberal and Labor win around 70% of the vote, get all the media coverage thus no way can a independent ever win.

Are you affiliated with a political party? If so which one?

I am NOT affiliated with a political party and never will.

A brief list of three things you’d focus on as Mayor?

  • Accountability, common sense plus stopping the red tape. Exactly where is our money been spend on and how much do we have in the Budget.
  • Fix up ALL potholes on council roads and simply signage.
  • No more schoolies or any drug related events. Drugs are 100% illegal in this country so therefore no council should be supporting any event where drugs is a problem.

Your brief opinion (not just yes/no) on the following Gold Coast issues:

  1. Should a cruise ship terminal go ahead? – Definitely do not support and far too many other things to fix on the Gold coast before building a cruise ship terminal. Plus we have a brand new one in Brisbane.
  2. Should a second casino go ahead?  – Definitely do not support and if elected will have to meet strict requirements showing the benefits for the community plus 100% not involve any council money.
  3. Should the light rail be extended through to the airport? – Definitely do not support the light rail and you only have to look at the current light rail what this has done to intersections around 5 locations. May cost more but should be a mono rail system but previous elected people have tried but they do not go anywhere, just a tourist thing or not completed for a bigger picture.
  4. How would you lead the Gold Coast through the effects of coronavirus? – This is a problem but the media has not been truthfully in reporting the facts. More people die from cancer, road accidents etc. I still can’t see or understand why the media and public is panic buying of all things toilet paper. Really come on if we have no toilet paper is that going to be the end of the world and we won’t survive. Tell the truth, come up with answers and not guessing games.

Anything else you’d like to add?

I was the second person to actually nominate and paid up, could of been first if I had been 5 to 10 minutes early. First person was Tom Tate who now is laughing at all the candidates because at the last hour we get another 6 people nominate. Definitely under corrupt election process only needed ONE person to stand against Tom Tate who last election polled 63% of the vote. He will loss some ground but as a Liberal will that percentage drop below 50%. If it does and is still around 40%, the remaining 60% of the votes will be split between the other 7 candidates, doubt if any of the other candidates will achieve more than 40%. A fairer election process and every candidate given exactly the same media coverage. If you don’t do this or achieve this, then you do NOT hold fair elections and voting should not be compulsory. Stop the corruption from politicians, mainly the Liberal and Labor parties.

 

Suphakan Somsriruen

A few words about yourself.

Currently a 3rd Year student at Griffith University that works closely with youth and marginalised communities. Have a clear goal on how to better our community, not just the people but environment as well.

Are you affiliated with a political party? If so which one?

I am with the Motorists Party.

A brief list of three things you’d focus on as Mayor?

  • Healthy people and a healthy environment
  • Freedom of speech and other civil liberties
  • Public ownership of essential services

Your brief opinion (not just yes/no) on the following Gold Coast issues:

  1. Should a cruise ship terminal go ahead? – Gold Coast are known for our wonderful community and beaches. For us to have a cruise is applicable but need to take extra precaution with our marine life.
  2. Should a second casino go ahead?  – We have to cherish Gold Coast identity, we are not another Las Vegas. However, this is an option later down the line.
  3. Should the light rail be extended through to the airport? – I do not agree with the current light rail structure as this would impact the traffic further. However, we can implement new sky rail like other effective countries do i.e. Japan.
  4. How would you lead the Gold Coast through the effects of coronavirus? – We need to provide reassurance to our community – by panicking will cause more unnecessary trouble. We can take immediate precaution, even at local level, by integrating hand sanitizer at major public transport station. Take our cleanliness to another level with buses, tram, train and so on. Donate percentages of my weekly salary, when elected as Mayor, to research institution and support the needs.

Anything else you’d like to add?

Our people come first. Essentially, I do not worry about being elected this year. But wanted to show the people of Gold Coast and beyond that there’s solutions; things can be done by FIRST taking that one small step. I will pave the way for the prosperity of our future.

 

Tom Tate

A few words about yourself.

I’m lucky to be married to the most patient woman on the planet. I’ve got a fantastic family, am blessed with good health and I get to lead Australia’s greatest city.

Are you affiliated with a political party? If so which one?

LNP/life member.

A brief list of three things you’d focus on as Mayor?
  • Broadening our economy so our kids have jobs to enjoy and don’t need to leave the coast.
  • Keeping rates at, or around CPI, as long as I’m at the helm of council.
  • Protecting our lifestyle and green space, while planning for a population of 1 million.
Your brief opinion (not just yes/no) on the following Gold Coast issues:
  1. Should a cruise ship terminal go ahead?100 percent. This virus threat shows why we need to broaden our economy. A terminal would bring in billions for the coast.
  2. Should a second casino go ahead?  – That’s a State Government decision but I don’t believe in monopolies … competition is good for everyone.
  3. Should the light rail be extended through to the airport? – Yes. And now is the time for the State and Feds to invest Covid-19 stimulus money into that project.
  4. How would you lead the Gold Coast through the effects of coronavirus?– I am right now, by chairing our Covid-19 Resilience and Recovery Taskforce. My No 1 concern is community health, closely followed by business recovery.
Anything else you’d like to add?

Now is not the time to elect a new mayor, someone on “training wheels” with no experience in managing a $1.7 billion city budget and running our Disaster Response to Covid-19.

 

**NOTE: The candidates are listed in the order that they appear on the ballot paper. 

For a closer look at our division by division coverage, and a list of where and when to vote, click here.

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Daphne BlackmanVanessa GilD. McCombeJohn D LordPhoebe King Recent comment authors
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Gav
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Gav

Not one of them mentioned the out of control crime on the Gold coast. The only thing that was said was about schoolies and drugs.

Derek Rosborough
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Derek Rosborough

I did want to mention other security issues but alias not allowed or required space.

Wayne Stringer
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Wayne Stringer

The election should have been postponed. It’s total irresponsibility and typical of the current government.

James Versa
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James Versa

Regarding Tate’s final comment: the Mayor doesn’t and never has managed the city budget; nor does he run the disaster recovery response. It’s the CEO who with the council senior management team that does both of these things. The Mayor is purely a symbolic role and one that is supposed to represent the city; prior experience is not a factor.

Derek Rosborough
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Derek Rosborough

Well said U prey Tom Tate does not win again only wish the other 6 candidates who nominated after me truly believed the same. Never give up hope and you never know but you have to be honest. Do not at all for a LNP life member

Derek Rosborough
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Derek Rosborough

We 100% need more clarifications like this at every election. For a candidate to not response or answer then that should show what type of person they are. Was not that hard plenty of time given. By far the best survey with absolutely nothing from channel seven or ten, less than 4 seconds channel nine.

colleen willis
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colleen willis

Is Mona Hecke against vaccinations or not. The truth.

D. McCombe
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D. McCombe

Anti vaccinator!
Would the council, under her stewardship, support/ promote/ subsidise a Corona virus vaccine once it is here?

Vanessa Gil
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Vanessa Gil

The mayor doesn’t legislate over vaccinations, that’s a state and federal issue, so does that even matter?? She has clearly stated she supports vaccinations and that her children are vaccinated. She was the only candidate worried about social distancing during this election and Tom Tate took a cheap shot at her because he was clearly outed as not caring about the health of gold coasters. I don’t follow her page but from what I heard she was concerned about an old flu shot, I’m a parent and I clearly remember when the flu shot was banned in Australia for children… Read more »

Phoebe King
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Phoebe King

With the official call for people to avoid groups, especially indoors, I wonder why someone has not pulled the plug on local elections at this time.The vote by phone option for self-isolated and vulnerable people is a good thought, but process is long and arduous.

John D Lord
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John D Lord

A postal vote should be the only option, especially at this time when a serious virus is endangering the lives of every human being.
A cruise ship terminal is necessary as the Gold Coast is a prime tourist destination, more so than other East Coast Queensland ports.
Eden, the small town on the NSW coast has their businesses and economy boosted enormously by many ships which dock there continuously.
It is not a port for loading and unloading goods, passengers only, as would be the Gold Coast cruise ship terminal.

Daphne Blackman
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Daphne Blackman

Gold Coast time for a change in Mayor lets have some female power Tate you have had your time in Public Office – come on Mona Hecke I am going to give you a run for your money and your focus points for making this amazing Gold Coast a better place……