Wednesday, May 29, 2024

GC set to ‘transform’ as Mayor battles misconduct findings

Gold Coast Council has unanimously backed the creation of a new Transformation Directorate to lead “unprecedented change” within City of Gold Coast’s administration, as the city’s Mayor defies an order to publicly apologise for misconduct.

Chief Executive Officer, Tim Baker today announced the new Directorate will be tasked with delivering the “largest transformation program ever undertaken by the City’s administration”.

This 12 to 18-month program is intended to increase efficiencies and improve coordination and culture across the organisation, he said.

“The results of the recently undertaken culture survey confirm the need for this accelerated change,” Mr Baker said.

“I was pleased we had such high engagement across the organisation with 73% of staff participating, but what the workforce has told us is that there is significant work to be done to address cultural issues.”

“Broadly, the staff told us that change was needed across the whole organisation both in terms of culture and the way we do business. The One City Program will deliver the changes required.”

Mr Baker said he had briefed Council and senior staff on the findings from the Culture Survey and would be inviting all staff to receive a full briefing later this week.

Mr Baker said the new Transformation Directorate would be headed up by current Organisational Services Director, Paul Callander.

The call for change comes as Mayor, Tom Tate, faces financial penalties of close to $3,500 for failing to meet a deadline set by the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal to make a public admission to misconduct on his Facebook page.

In a report recently published by the Tribunal, Mr Tate was found to have engaged in misconduct in 2015 when he directed then Council chief executive, Dale Dickson, to cease disciplinary proceedings against another staffer.

The report found that “the misconduct was viewed so seriously that the tribunal considered whether it ought to recommend to the minister that [Mr Tate] be suspended as Mayor”.

It ordered Mr Tate to make a public admission to the misconduct on his official Facebook page by 25 July and pay more than $3,000 in penalties.

Mr Tate has instead appealed the findings and applied for a stay through the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal. Mr Tate has not posted on his Facebook account since 21 July.

A second allegation of misconduct from 2017 was also sustained by the Tribunal.

It stated that Mr Tate failed to declare a conflict of interest during a council meeting where council was “considering directions issued by [the. Mayor] and whether council ought to refer those directions to the Department of Local Government”.

The tribunal ordered Mr Tate to pay $689.25 in relation to the conflict of interest.

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