Thomas Richard Tate is an Australian businessman, property investor and politician who is the current mayor of the City of Gold Coast. He was first elected on 28 April 2012, and re-elected on 19 March 2016 with more than 63% of the primary vote.[1]

Tom Tate
Mayor Tom Tate.jpg
13th Mayor of the Gold Coast
Assumed office
28 April 2012
DeputyDonna Gates
Preceded byRon Clarke
Personal details
Born (1959-01-15) 15 January 1959 (age 61)
Vientiane, Laos
Political partyLiberal National Party of Queensland
Other political
Liberal Party
Spouse(s)Ruth Tate
Alma materUniversity of NSW

The Gold Coast mayor is directly elected by residents and is the only councillor who doesn't represent a specific Gold Coast Council division;[2] and is the principal representative of the City of Gold Coast and its policies. Gold Coast City has a budget of $1.5 billion annually,[3][4] the second-highest of any municipal government in Australia,[3] and is the second-largest local government area in Australia, employing a staff of over 3,500.

Personal lifeEdit

Tom Tate was born in 1959 in Vientiane, the capital of Laos.[5] His father, Warwick Tate, was an engineer, who met his Thai wife, Prapai, when building an airport for the Americans in Thailand.[6]

Tom Tate is bilingual and speaks two languages fluently – English and Thai – with limited elementary proficiency in Laotian.[6]

Tate's parents separated when his father moved back to Sydney from Thailand in 1970, and Tate joined him a year later.[7] Tate attended school at Scots College in Sydney where he was a drummer in the school's pipe band.[6]

A qualified civil engineer, Tate graduated from the University of NSW in the early 1980s.[8] He started his career in the construction industry, but moved into tourism and hospitality when he went to the Gold Coast from Sydney to manage his family's Queensland properties, including the Park Regis at Southport.[6][8]

Tate has been married to his wife, Ruth, for 39 years, and they have four children.[8] His father died on 19 January 2015 after a long illness,[9] and his funeral service was held at the Scots College Chapel.[5]

Business careerEdit

Tate worked across the world before joining his father's development company at the age of 35.[5] In 1992, Tate Sr bought the Islander Resort Hotel in Surfers Paradise,[5] where Tate managed the refitting of the building. In 1993, he took over management of the Islander and turned it into one of the city’s most successful resorts[citation needed]. Notably, during the Asian economic downturn in the late 1990s, he offered hotel rooms for $1.[10]

Political careerEdit

Tate was elected mayor in 2012 as an independent,[11] after the previous incumbent, Ron Clarke, resigned in February 2012, having announced his nomination as an independent candidate for the seat of Broadwater in the 2012 Queensland state election.[12] Tate had two previous attempts at the mayoralty before his successful attempt, including as an endorsed Liberal candidate in 2008.[13]

His re-election saw a significant increase in his primary vote, from 37% in 2012 to 63.86% in 2016.[14] He is noted for his claim that he does not accept political donations and self-funds his campaigns.[6]

In June 2015, Tate sold the Islander Hotel Resort in Surfers Paradise to Brisbane nightclub identity Louis Bickle, to avoid suggestions he had a conflict of interest.[10]

Tate has said that he will be seeking a third term as Mayor of the Gold Coast when the City of Gold Coast Council elections are undertaken again early in 2020.[15]

CCC investigationEdit

In September 2017, Tate was the main focus an ABC Four Corners investigation and resultant program titled All That Glitters.[16] The report was compiled and presented by Walkley Award Winning ABC journalist Mark Willacy and looked into claims that Mayor Tom Tate had possibly acted inappropriately in his role as mayor.[16]

After the program aired Tate filed legal action against the ABC as well as a separate claim against a fellow City of Gold Coast Councillor, Peter Young from Division 5. In the lawsuit, Mayor Tate claims that he had been defamed by the reporter and by his fellow councillor.[17]

On March 2, 2018, Queensland's Crime and Corruption Commission, the state's government authority for investigating official corruption in all tiers of government and public services,[18] announced it would be investigating Mayor Tom Tate as part of a broader investigation into City of Gold Coast Councillors on matters relating to decision-making by some sitting councillors.[19][20]

In May 2018, The Crime and Corruption Commission announced it would be widening its investigation into Tate after further unsubstantiated allegations of official misconduct were received.[21]

In April 2019, almost two years on, Tate was cleared over corruption concerns.[22]


  1. ^ "2016 Gold Coast City Council - Mayoral Election - Election Summary". 22 March 2016. Archived from the original on 21 March 2018. Retrieved 26 November 2018.
  2. ^ "Local Government Act 2009 (Qld)" (PDF).
  3. ^ a b "The Gold Coast's most influential people". Gold Coast Bulletin. Retrieved 10 November 2015.
  4. ^ "City Budget". Retrieved 10 November 2015.
  5. ^ a b c d "Mayor Tom Tate loses his father Warwick who had long battled with illness". GoldCoastBulletin. Retrieved 10 November 2015.
  6. ^ a b c d e Houghton, Des (30 June 2012). "Fascinating man breathes life into Coast". The Courier Mail. Retrieved 10 November 2015.
  7. ^ Robson, Frank (5 March 2016). "Only way's up for mayor of paradise Tom Tate". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 19 September 2017.
  8. ^ a b c "Mayor Tom Tate". City of Gold Coast. Retrieved 9 November 2015.
  9. ^ "Mayor's father dies after long illness".
  10. ^ a b "Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate sells Surfers Paradise Islander Hotel Resort for $26.5 million". Gold Coast Bulletin. Retrieved 10 November 2015.
  11. ^ "Gold Coast mayoral race gets nasty". Retrieved 10 November 2015.
  12. ^ Kelly, james (27 February 2012). "Clarke says Gold Coast needs independent MP". ABC News. Retrieved 6 March 2012.
  13. ^ "Stateline Queensland". Retrieved 11 November 2015.
  14. ^ "2016 Gold Coast City Council - Mayoral Election - Election Summary". Retrieved 6 June 2016.
  15. ^ "Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate indicates he hopes to serve third term in city's top job –". 22 June 2018. Retrieved 26 November 2018.
  16. ^ a b Willacy, Mark (13 September 2017), All That Glitters, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, retrieved 26 November 2018
  17. ^ "Subscribe to the Gold Coast Bulletin". Retrieved 26 November 2018.
  18. ^ "Role of the CCC — Crime and Corruption Commission Queensland". Retrieved 26 November 2018.
  19. ^ "CCC to investigate allegations of corruption relating to Gold Coast City Council decision-making - 2 March 2018 — Crime and Corruption Commission Queensland". Archived from the original on 30 March 2018. Retrieved 26 November 2018.
  20. ^ "Gold Coast Mayor at centre of corruption watchdog investigation". ABC News. 9 March 2018. Retrieved 26 November 2018.
  21. ^ "CCC widens its investigation into Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate". ABC News. 25 May 2018. Retrieved 26 November 2018.
  22. ^ Elise Kinsella (18 April 2019). "Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate and council cleared over corruption concerns". Retrieved 2 May 2019.

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