Mayor launches probe into fireworks display
GOLD Coast Mayor Tom Tate has launched a probe into a fireworks display that was supposedly a tribute to health care workers and hard-hit Glitter Strip traders.
The Surfers Paradise Alliance staged the impromptu pyrotechnics spectacular on Surfers Paradise beach on Monday night.
Alliance boss Mike Winlaw said the show was put on to mark the first weekend of eased COVID-19 restrictions and to thank healthcare workers for their hard work during the crisis.
But Mayor Tate said the unannounced display seemed 'odd' and has launched an investigation to see if ratepayer funds went up in smoke.
He said he would be concerned if the Alliance was using up ratepayer funds ahead of it and other city-funded precinct marketing groups being absorbed into the council's Major Events department from July 1.
"You're not meant to get out there and slash and burn your budget just because we're discontinuing Surfers Paradise Alliance," he said.
"Respect of ratepayers funds should be always front and foremost of anyone's minds when you're running a council-owned organisation."
Mr Winlaw, who unsuccessfully stood for Surfers Paradise-based Division 7 in the March council election, was being contacted for comment.
Meanwhile, Cr Tate also blasted large groups of mainly young people who packed Burleigh Hill on Sunday, forcing police intervention and the council to fence of parts of the iconic headland.
He said people needed to respect social distancing and gathering rules rather than trying to be 'king of the hill' or risk fresh restrictions being imposed.
Originally published as Mayor launches probe into fireworks display