Gold Coast council snubs ABC after Four Corners exposé

Gold Coast mayor Tom Tate has snubbed an ABC crew from a press conference after last night’s Four Corners program, which questioned councillor relationships with developers.

“Channel Nine, Channel Seven and TEN, come upstairs please,” a staffer told crews this morning before telling an ABC crew not to film her (they did anyway).

“I’m just relaying the message,” she said.

Last night reporter ABC alleged how deals are being done on the Gold Coast and whether developer donations are influencing decision making. ABC revealed deputy mayor Donna Gates voted in favour of developer applications linked to her campaign donors nearly 30 times since 2016, acknowledging a conflict of interest.

Mark Willacy told viewers the mayor had refused to respond to ABC questions, and following their repeated requests, and had apparently had the local ABC bureau removed from the distribution list for the mayor’s daily media alerts.

Today he described the piece as “lazy journalism”.

“Meaning, well, here’s the end result of how we want to put out to tarnish the Gold Coast and its representative and let’s ask all the other whinging people how to get to that means to the ends,” he said.

“The reporting is flawed in that instance.”

The apparent ABC ban also follows the mayor calling ABC staff “stupid … idiots” in council.

“For the stupid Four Corners, who asked me the question about one of the items that ‘why did I declare my perceived conflict of interest and remain in the room?’ It’s because I have firmly the opinion that I could participate in the debate and vote on this matter in the public interest,” he said.

“Quote me on that, you idiots.”

Mayor Tate is also he same mayor who told ABC his city and the Logies went “hand in hand”.

“It’s befitting because it’s a tacky industry coming to a tacky city,” he said.

Source: News Corp, Brisbane Times


  1. Oh dear. I went from thinking that this is just another pollie on the take or nose in the tough to thinking the mayor is dodgy. Doesn’t he understand that Four Corners, while not perfect, are perhaps the most respected bit of the most trusted media mob in the country? His response makes a (sadly) typical example of politicians for sale into a much bigger story. Leaving Aunty out of a media conference? Like Pauline Hanson? Geez. I’m now expecting there is something bigger in this. Geez.

    • Let me put it this way: he’s got a long history of spats with & cutting off the media as soon as they ask questions like “how did your business partners get an 88 storey building approved without most of the council knowing?”.

      TV connection: Councillor Bob la Castra, once of Wombat, who on Four Corners said “my view is … that you shouldn’t be doing that”. Geez Bob, ever thought of bringing it up publicly in the 20 years since you were elected?

    • Who, my local council banned ABC because of 4 corners. The LNP and the Council of the City of Gold Coast should be ashamed of them self. You can’t banned a Government Media Corporation from a meeting unless you banned the media is well.

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