Council candidate cap proposed
The Gold Coast Mayor says local government election campaigns should be self-funded or capped.
Golda Coast Mayor Tom Tate has front a Queensland Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC) inquiry into claims of candidate misconduct during the Gold Coast, Ipswich and Moreton Bay local government elections in 2016.
The probe was launched in part due to allegations from the public that candidates had received funds from political parties and property developers.
Tom Tate says he funded his own election campaign last year.
“It makes it easier in your political life because you're not beholden to any donors and I will make my best decision on what's best for the Gold Coast,” the Mayor said.
“For me to be able to be an independent mayor and putting the city first without being beholden to anyone, I think it's a great thing if you can afford it.”
He said those who could not afford to back themselves should be restricted in the amount of money they can receive from any one source.
“I would cap the donation from any group, meaning if you're a big developer or a big union the most you can give that candidate is $5,000 or whatever it is so you don't see a big union give $38,000 to a mayoral candidate because one would say; ‘Hang on that's kind of a bit beholden to them’,” he said.
“If we're going ahead with donations still, cap the donations that's allowable, there are a lot of smart people out there but I would group them so that, you know, you don't go start up another business, any commonality is a cap of $5,000 so to speak.”
Mr Tate did admit that he broke electoral rules by keeping his campaign funds in a separate account.
“It didn't serve any additional transparency in my opinion but I know that now and I'll take it as read that in a future campaign I would do it differently,” he said.