Mayor waited for trip in­voice

The Gold Coast Bulletin - - NEWS - LEA EMERY lea.emery@news.com.au

MAYOR Tom Tate de­layed declar­ing a pri­vate com­pany had paid for a trip to China be­cause he did not re­ceive an in­voice.

It was re­vealed last week that Cr Tate re­cently up­dated his reg­is­ter of in­ter­est to show Hickey Man­age­ment had paid for his flights and ac­com­mo­da­tion on a trip to China be­lieved to have been taken in Au­gust.

“Ba­si­cally on my re­turn, I was wait­ing for an in­voice and that didn’t even­tu­ate,” Cr Tate said yes­ter­day, speak­ing pub­licly for the first time about the trip.

“So, I thought I’d bet­ter put it down in the reg­is­ter of in­ter­est.”

He said he would have been happy to pay for the trip him­self out of his own pocket.

“If they had sent me an in­voice I would have paid for it,” he said.

Cr Tate said he was not sure if it was Hickey Man­age­ment or developer Forise that paid for the trip.

“I think ini­tially whether it is from one or the other, I think from when I de­clared it, I un­der­stood it to be paid by Hickey Man­age­ment,” he said.

Forise last year re­ceived unan­i­mous sup­port from the Gold Coast City Coun­cil to build the Spirit de­vel­op­ment, an 89-level, $1.2 bil­lion tower on the old Iluka site, just south of Cav­ill Mall in Surfers Par­adise.

Cr Tate said he had been un­aware of who would be pay­ing when the trip was taken.

“The cor­re­spon­dence shows that they are ar­rang­ing it all, I didn’t drill down,” he said.

The mayor said he did not know how much the trip cost.

Under Queens­land law, coun­cil­lors are not re­quired to de­clare a gift un­less it is more than $500 in value.

Cr Tate said he took the trip for the ben­e­fit of the city.

“It was a won­der­ful op­por­tu­nity for me to be able to pro­mote the city with­out ratepay­ers’ costs,” he said.

“For an or­gan­i­sa­tion be­ing will­ing to in­vest in fu­ture time and money in jobs in the city, I am happy to go and do that.”

Cr Tate re­fused to com­ment on the trip last week, but spoke to re­porters about the is­sue at a press con­fer­ence yes­ter­day.

ANY­THING I DO, I DO IS AS MAYOR OF THE CITY, IF I GO INTO A PRI­VATE FUNC­TION AND THERE IS ME­DIA THERE, I AM STILL MAYOR OF THE CITY. MAYOR TOM TATE

“Any­thing I do, I do is as mayor of the city, if I go into a pri­vate func­tion and there is me­dia there, I am still mayor of the city,” he said.

Cr Tate, who has pre­vi­ously pri­vately funded his over­seas trips as mayor, said no other pri­vate com­pany had paid for his in­ter­na­tional travel. The coun­cil has paid for some.

“No, I have paid for most of them,” he said.

Cr Tate said he would con­tinue to travel to China to build the re­la­tion­ship be­tween the Gold Coast and that coun­try’s major cities.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.