Positive drug tests at Gold Coast Council “only a small handful”

Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate is playing down the number of positive drug tests among Council staff insisting that the figure is small.

According to figures obtained by Newscorp, 29 staff have tested positive to illicit substances out of 4177 tests this year.

Among the positive tests, 12 were for amphetamines, two were for methamphetamine and 12 were for opiates.


But Mayor Tate says considering the size of Council, the number of positive tests is low.

“When we have 3900 employees that work at Council and there’s 29 tested non-negative and when you look deep down into that, the majority of that is actually prescription drugs,” Mayor Tate said.

“We’ve done our due diligence to make sure the drug testing is done and it’s only a very small handful, only 0.8 of one per cent that is found to have tested positive.”

“It’s encouraging for an organisation of this size and we’ll continue to make sure that we’re continuing with the drug testing.”

Mayor Tate admits the positive tests for methamphetamine is a concern.

“It’s a poor example and when you work for the City of The Gold Coast we are the number one organisation and we’re the exemplar organisation for the whole of the city, and the two council officers that have been positive there, well learn your lesson.”

“Really the message will be out there that if you’re going to come to work make sure you’re that you’re clean because we expect a person that is drug free.”

Council has not revealed whether any staff have been sacked as a result of testing positive or whether any disciplinary action has been taken.

“That’s an operational matter, it will be in the hands of the CEO, I don’t know the full details of it,” Mayor Tate said.

“But if it’s a serious matter, I’ll leave it up to the CEO whether he calls it a dismissal or whatever punishment he thinks is appropriate.”