Former tourism group CEO to stand trial for fraud

THE FORMER CEO of the Surfers Paradise Alliance will stand trial accused of rorting the council-funded tourism group to fraudulently obtain more than $200,000.

Rowena Howe and her ex-boyfriend, James McFarlane, were ordered to stand trial for fraud during a mention in the Southport Magistrates Court on Tuesday.

Ms Howe is alleged to have awarded a printing contract worth $241,945 to her then partner’s company, Destination Publications in 2009 and 2010, without board approval.


The court heard only a handful of promotional brochures for Surfers Paradise Alliance had been seen by staff, despite the contract clearly stating that more than 100,000 were required.

Police went on to allege Ms Howe then received regular payments from Mr McFarlane which she is accused of using to chip away at her personal loan and give to her parents.

Ms Howe remains on $50,000 bail and is expected to be formally charged in Southport Magistrates Court later this year.