GOLD Coast Mayor Tom Tate has blasted Commonwealth Games chairman Peter Beattie in an extraordinary press conference, telling the “overcooked media tart” to shut his mouth and butt out of politics.
It comes as the row over free Games tickets continues after the Sunday Mail revealed that Council CEO Dale Dickson had snared 1800 ‘free’ tickets for councillors to attend next year’s event at ratepayers’ expense.
Speaking to reporters on Wednesday morning, Councillor Tate hit back at Mr Beattie after the former premier scolded council for dragging the 2018 Games into a scandal.
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“If you are chairman of GOLDOC you concentrate on delivering the best Games possible,” Mayor Tate said.
“To try to reprimand councillors, that is beyond his brief, and it is beyond his political use by date.
“I would say to him, mate you’ve got a great job to do, deliver it and shut your mouth about politics.”
A furious Councillor Tate went on to call Mr Beattie an “overcooked media tart” that should be thrown out.
“This is the third chairman of GOLDOC I have worked with, I have worked with three ministers. One stands out as a media tart. Well mate, the tart is overcooked, use by date is done,” he said.
“Chuck the tart out and just behave and deliver the best Games you can.
“If you don’t, I’ll be asking the Premier, let’s get a new tart.”
The Mayor yesterday ordered an urgent audit to determine exactly how Mr Dickson obtained the 1800 tickets, which have a combined value of around $180,000, and for what purposes.
He vowed the tickets would not be used as “freebies” and, if needed, would be refunded.
“I have issued a directive to the CEO to provide the Commonwealth Games ticket details ordered by him using ratepayers funds, what sports and sessions they were for, their cost and who they were intended to be provided to,” he said.
“I’ll then decide what are the genuine advocacy opportunities and what are not. If they are not for genuine advocacy uses, then there will be no free passengers on this ship.”
“If tickets are intended to be just freebies for Councillors to just to go and watch certain sports then I’ll be making sure we get a refund of ratepayers funds on them.
“Like many of you, I sat down with my close family and looked through the Commonwealth Games sports & sessions and we decided as a family what sports we wanted to watch live at the Games.
“I then hopped onto the Goldoc website and made my requests with my personal credit card and went into the ballot like everybody else. We got some of our orders and missed out on others.
“I don’t think ratepayers should be buying me tickets to various sports outside of my official duties. Other pollies shouldn’t get free tickets nor should senior Council management get any freebies either.
“It’s not right and dare I say it, it doesn’t pass the pub test. That’s why I went into the ticket ballot like everybody else (including Minister Kate Jones I’d like to note) and took my chances.”
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