Election 2016 Candidates - Mayor



Jim Wilson

I live in Tallebudgera with my wife of 37 years, whose family have lived at Coolangatta for 52 years.

I am the inaugural former General Manager of Connecting Southern Gold Coast Ltd, established to promote tourism, events and festivals and economic development in the region. I believe that I was extremely successful at this, having conceptualised Kirra Kite Festival and Bleach (now the City’s regional festival) and establishing Cooly Rocks On as the replacement to Wintersun. I was Chairman of Save our Southern Beaches Alliance which stopped the Kirra Cruise Ship Terminal.


Leadership - No personal conflicts of interest; listen to the community; no false mandates.

Senior Council Executive Leadership – urgent review and change

Council spending on distracting projects - (CST; Cultural Centre/ Bridge; Ferry Service) - Quantify cost, return and continuity via independent third party forums

Rates increases- Bring Tate’s rates rises under control

New City Plan -  ‘Unpack’ in  community meetings to develop  community understanding and feedback on required changes to heights, densities, building standards and green space.

Roads and Transport- community meetings to review plans for relevance and to prioritise fixes, costs and timings

Environmental: no use/sale of public land for private developments; more green space.

Jobs through focus on Small Business and Industry Diversification  - Develop City Small Business Plan and Economic Diversification Plan, for sustainable future jobs

Drugs and Crime–War on ICE! Fund City-wide third party programmes in prevention and education

I support:

  • the Tugun – Bilinga Walkway.
  • Refreshing of Palm Beach CBD
  • development of the airport, but massive community-impact to be managed.
  • a rapid transit system connection to the airport
  • urgent attention to the MI south of Bermuda Street
  • ditching the Ridong idea for international gardens in Connection Rd, due to traffic/road/lifestyle issues


John Abbott

My full name is John Murray Abbott, born in Italy in February 1946 and have resided in Australia since 1954.

Since the age of 12, I learned to read and write music on my piano accordion and with my parents help, I became a musician.

At the age of 14, I left school (Saint Ambrose) in Brunswick and joined the work force as a junior salesman.

I joined a Rock and Roll Band at the age of 20 and experienced live performances along with recording sessions.

The band folded and I started my own business with a single Marshall amplifier left to me when the band folded.

That single amplifier grew to a 15 studio complex in Brunswick called the Dane Centre of Entertainment with client artists and bands including Billy Thorpe and the Aztecs, INXS, Men at work, Dr. Hook, Jason Donovan, Rene Geyer, Little River Band and John Farnham.

I retired and moved to the Gold Coast in 2003.

I believe that the primary industry of the Gold Coast is tourism and tourism is the heart of all other industries that feed of it such as the theme parks, accommodation, restaurants, entertainers and even those extended industries such as taxi, bus drivers, builders, trades-people and so on.

The above experience in the entertainment industry is by all measure great value as only an entertainer or one who knows very well the entertainment industry can understand the needs of a tourist Mecca that is the Gold Coast.

In my view, part of the magic of the Gold Coast other is the natural environment and the bird life that fills our skies with grace and colour. I Pity about the environment being more and more taken away from our marsupials.

In the first instance as Mayor, I would recommend to Council that we should not sacrifice our natural beauty with overdevelopment but rather to develop wisely for the future. In particular, public transport.

Secondly, use our present resources to the maximum advantage such as promote and use wisely what we have.

Thirdly, to ensure that our visitors/tourists enjoy every moment of their stay and inspire, wherever possible, taking as many photos of our Gold Coast so that their stay becomes yet another promotional advantage to further our tourism industry.

The listed attributes and strengths can manifest into skills that can take the Gold Coast from a sleeping giant to a powerhouse of tourism that would leave all other tourist Mecca’s in its wake.

We should launch a promotional campaign that would dwarf other campaigns previously enacted such as the legendary Meter Maids, greatest job in the world and I’ll put a shrimp on the Barbie.

I would seek to change from a tourist Mecca to a Paradise.

John Abbott for mayor: 1 Piccolo Street Coomera, Queensland, 4209.

Ph: (07) 55804498  Mob: 0402697083  E: johnabbott9@bigpond.com


Tom Tate

My most important job as Mayor is to ensure the careful management of ratepayers money and continual monitoring of Council costs to deliver the best level of service at the least cost to ratepayers.

In 2012, I made a commitment to keep rates low and I’ve delivered that.

Over the past four years, average rate rises have been the lowest rate rises since amalgamation more than 20 years ago, and lower than CPI.

I’m giving the same commitment, if elected for the next term.

When I came in in 2012, less than half of council’s procurement was spent with local businesses.

I worked hard to ensure local businesses are prioritised and implemented my ‘local procurement’ policy. Now over 75% of our procurement comes from local businesses.

It’s just one way I can help create local jobs – because I want Gold Coasters to have the opportunity to live, work and raise their family right here.

In the next term, I’ll work with Council to focus on key initiatives to help deliver more cost-effective and efficient Council services, as part of my ‘Smart City’ commitment.

I also want to make it easier for you to get the services you need from Council online, from your mobile, home computer, tablet or device.

I’ve committed to Stage III of the Light Rail all the way to the Gold Coast Airport.

We had nearly 5,000 submissions from locals and overwhelmingly Gold Coasters have said they want light rail to go there.

It will complete a public transport spine for the Gold Coast taking cars off our roads and bring benefits residents and visitors, including running fibre optic cable the length of the route to improve internet speeds.

There is also no doubt a cruise ship terminal will be a crucial piece of tourism infrastructure for our City.

Economic modelling shows that by building a cruise ship terminal we could add up to $30 million to the City’s economy annually and deliver 140,000 new tourists every year.

Because it’s the right thing to do for our city – I’ll fight for it.

We also need to keep our city moving - our infrastructure must keep pace with the growth we are experiencing.

That’s why I committed $72 million for congestion-busting intersection upgrades and road upgrades, will finally synchronise our traffic lights, will expand ‘turn left on red’ across our city and have outlined my plans for a ferry service on our waterways.

I have also committed to secure the future of my free off-peak bus travel for seniors, and want to expand active transport options – including making it safer and easier for kids to ride or walk to school. Since 2012 we have been able to increase the number of children doing this by 16% - but there is more to do.

All of the promises I have made in 2012, as well as my commitments this campaign are available on my website at: www.mayortomtate.com.au.

On Saturday March 19, Just Vote 1 – Mayor Tom Tate.


Penny Toland

The most important attribute I would bring to the role of Mayor is vision and the passion required to ensure it is delivered.  I have presented a clear vision for our city and I believe this is a vision that will inspire and unite our community.

The City of the Gold Coast will evolve into global leader in economic development opportunities, provide high quality lifestyle and maintain its affordability. We will embrace and preserve the diversity of landscape character across our urban and natural areas. We will protect and promote our rich biodiversity. We will support the pursuit of innovation, creativity and foster productive partnerships between our academic research resources and business communities. We will be a connected city both physically and digitally. All this will be achieved through a framework of transparent and collaborative leadership. The Gold Coast will be a global leader in prosperity, livability and sustainability.

I have strong leadership skills and understand the positive outcomes that can be achieved through a collaborative approach to achieving this vision.    

The collaborative approach will be both within council (with fellow councillors and council officers) and externally through the community, private sector and other levels of government.

I will restore confidence in our local government decision-making processes by ensuring transparency and accountability. With my professional background as a Medical Scientist and Solicitor I will ensure that any proposal undergoes due diligence to ensure ratepayer money is not wasted on random “thought bubbles”.

At the completion of the Commonwealth Games, the Athletes village can become home to the Health and Knowledge precinct. It is part of my vision to see the Gold Coast become the Innovation capital of Australia.  I believe we need to shift from a manufacturing economy (where the cost of wages compared to the Asian markets mean we can no longer compete) to a knowledge economy (where the playing field is even).

We are blessed with three universities on the Gold Coast and I believe this precinct will be the incubator that will foster the relationships between academia and the business sector.  I support this promotion of an Innovation Corridor where medical services and associated local businesses can benefit while engaging the three major universities to collaborate and become world-leading enterprises.

I believe we can leverage the intellectual capital of these facilities to provide new thinking and problem solving to support the knowledge based economy on the Gold Coast.

I believe the policies I have presented will ensure the Gold Coast is a very attractive city to do business. The key initiatives of the Gold Coast Urban Lab, Wi-Fi zones, Gold Coast Space Search and investment in the Pipe Pacific Cable 1 to deliver high speed internet will clearly demonstrate that we are a city that supports business development and growth.

I know supporting local businesses means supporting our local economy. I will continue increasing the ‘Buy Local’ Procurement percentage weightings to ensure where possible our services are delivered by locals to locals.


Andrew Middleton

My name is Andrew Middleton and I am a candidate for Mayor of the City of Gold Coast.

I was born, raised and educated in Brisbane, though the Gold Coast has been my back yard and holiday escape since my childhood, and my home for the past four years. Soccer was my passion through my growing years until the age of 20, however I also played Rugby League and Aussie Rules (I am a die-hard Richmond supporter). I was also a qualified and registered Dog Trainer and Handler professionally for many years.

My careers and expertise have been gained in both the transport industry and in hospitality, thus acquiring great insight to infrastructure and public health and personal hygiene.

In my function as Mayor, I will be concentrating on the needs of the residents of the Gold Coast, not as a property developer or Tourism Minister.

For me the key issues for the Gold Coast are:

  • The City Plan – 2009 to 2031
  • Road use, transport system and transport options
  • Infrastructure in place to support future development
  • Clean Up The City campaign (including illegal dumping)
  • Commonwealth Games readiness
  • Animal Management

I am not in favour of development on The Spit, rather it deserves beautification and regeneration into recreational space.  I am also not in favour of the shipping terminal project.

This City and its population are growing so rapidly and roads, infrastructure, business and jobs for local residents are not keeping up.

Bernard Salt, Demographer, spoke recently about “containerisation” of regional centres so that residents may live and work locally, without the need for travelling great distances.

We need to get cars OFF the roads, and get commuters onto reliable bus and rail transport.

I would like to work on having the heavy rail extended from Varsity Lakes to Coolangatta. I would like to introduce a greater number of bus services, routes and timetables to allow workers to get to work quickly, conveniently and safely.

Future discussions need to be held on whether the Light Rail is a viable proposition for the entire length of the Gold Coast. I have genuine concerns on the impact this will have along the Gold Coast Highway, on the local residents and businesses and the possible ensuing traffic chaos, using Surfers Paradise as an example.

We residents are blessed with choices – beaches, rivers, bush, hinterland, dining, shopping and that wonderful sunshine. The Gold Coast is a desirable place to live – let’s concentrate on keeping it that way.

Please make preferences count, another 4 years of Tate and you'll all end up with nothing.

I'm here for the residents and residents only!

Andy Middleton (people first)

  1. Andrew Middleton
  2. Jim Wilson
  3. Penny Toland
  4. Brett Lambett
  5. John Abbott
  6. Tom Tate


Brett Lambert

Did not respond.

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