Tom Tate

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Tom Tate
Mayor Tom Tate.jpg
13th Mayor of the Gold Coast
Assumed office
28 April 2012
Deputy Donna Gates
Preceded by Ron Clarke
Personal details
Born (1959-01-15) 15 January 1959 (age 59)
Nationality Australian
Political party Liberal National Party of Queensland
Other political
Liberal Party
Spouse(s) Ruth Tate
Alma mater University of NSW

Thomas Richard Tate is an Australian politician and 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 73% of the two-candidate-preferred vote.[1][2]

The Gold Coast mayor is directly elected by residents and is the only councillor who doesn't represent a specific Gold Coast Council division;[3] and is the principal representative of the City of Gold Coast and its policies. Gold Coast City has a budget of $1.2 billion annually,[4][5] the second-highest of any municipal government in Australia,[4] and is the second-largest local government area in Australia, employing a staff of over 3,500.

Personal life[edit]

Tate was born in 1959 in Vientiane, the capital Laos.[6][7] His father, Warwick Tate, was an engineer, who met his Thai wife, Prapai, when building an airport for the Americans in Thailand.[7] Another source says his father and mother were both working in Laos when they met.[8] Tate jnr speaks two languages proficiently: English and Thai with limited elementary proficiency in Laotian.[7][not in citation given]

Tate's parents separated when his father moved back to Sydney from Thailand in 1970, and Tate joined him a year later.[8] Tate attended school at Scots College in Sydney where he was a drummer in the school's pipe band.[7]

A civil engineer by profession, Tate graduated from the University of NSW in the early 1980s.[9] 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.[7][9]

Tate has been married to his wife, Ruth, for 36 years, and they have four children.[9] His father died on 19 January 2015 after a long illness, and his funeral service was held at the Scots College Chapel.[6]

Business career[edit]

Tate worked across the world before joining his father's development company at the age of 35.[6] In 1992, Tate Sr bought the Islander Resort Hotel in Surfers Paradise,[6] 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. Notably, during the Asian economic downturn in the late 1990s, he offered hotel rooms for $1.[10]

Political career[edit]

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 tilts at the mayoralty before his success, 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 64% in 2016.[14] He is noted for his claim that he does not accept political donations and self-funds his campaigns.[7]

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]


  1. ^ "Electoral Commission Queensland – 2012 Gold Coast City Mayoral Elections". Archived from the original on 14 March 2014. Retrieved 15 June 2012. 
  2. ^ "2016 Gold Coast City Council - Mayoral Election - Election Summary". Retrieved 21 July 2016. 
  3. ^ "Local Government Act 2009 (Qld)" (PDF). 
  4. ^ a b "The Gold Coast's most influential people". Gold Coast Bulletin. Retrieved 10 November 2015. 
  5. ^ "City Budget". Retrieved 10 November 2015. 
  6. ^ a b c d "Mayor Tom Tate loses his father Warwick who had long battled with illness". GoldCoastBulletin. Retrieved 10 November 2015. 
  7. ^ a b c d e f Houghton, Des (30 June 2012). "Fascinating man breathes life into Coast". The Courier Mail. Retrieved 10 November 2015. 
  8. ^ a b Robson, Frank (5 March 2016). "Only way's up for mayor of paradise Tom Tate". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 19 September 2017. 
  9. ^ a b c "Mayor Tom Tate". City of Gold Coast. Retrieved 9 November 2015. 
  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. 

External links[edit]