CMC clears Gold Coast Council of misconduct

By Angela Dorizas

Queensland’s corruption watchdog, the Crime and Misconduct Commission (CMC), has cleared Gold Coast City Council of alleged misconduct over the purchase of Tipplers Resort.

Gold Coast Mayor Ron Clarke said the finding of the CMC was that there were no abnormalities in council’s purchase of two leases associated with Tipplers Resort on South Stradbroke Island.

Tipplers Resort was closed in March last year after Gold Coast City Council purchased it for $7 million in borrowed funds, with the total cost estimated to reach $13.3 million. A formal complaint from former Surfers Paradise Alliance chief executive officer, Richard Holliday, prompted the CMC to investigate.

The CMC cleared Cr Clarke and Cr Grant Pforr of having any conflict of interest and dismissed claims that they deceived Council to undertake the purchase of the resort.

“Importantly, the CMC confirmed that there was no suspicion of official misconduct on the part of any councillor or council employee,” Cr Clarke said.

“As Mayor, I am extremely disappointed that the complainant tried to slur the reputation of Council administration staff, or councillors, through this exercise.”

The council is now seeking expressions of interest from business and the community to continue planned development of the site.

“I look forward to seeing Tipplers continue to expand and become a unique parklands area in council’s 3590-plus hectares of parkland,” Cr Clarke said.

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