Secret Meeting
Secret Meeting

‘Terminated’: Mayor’s right hand man gone

TOM Tate's right-hand man Wayne Moran will no longer be working at the Gold Coast City Council.

"I can confirm the tenure of Mr Wayne Moran was terminated on Friday, 7 February," council CEO Dale Dickson told the Bulletin today.

He made no further comment.

Wayne Moran and Tom Tate attending a meeting at the Mayor's Office in Southport. Picture: Jerad Williams
Wayne Moran and Tom Tate attending a meeting at the Mayor's Office in Southport. Picture: Jerad Williams

Mr Moran late today told the Bulletin: "I have been unfairly denied access to a range of documents and emails in council's possession that I need to mount a property defence to these "allegations".

"I have written to council on no less than seven occasions since November asking for these documents. This goes against every principle of natural justice and procedural fairness."

Mr Moran said he was not able to provide a defence to the allegations unless he obtained the documents.

"The allegations therefore remain untested," he said. "With the council administration being the judge, jury and executioner, the outcome of the investigation on me was seemingly predetermined with or without me being able to properly defend myself.

"It's been no secret that my internal criticism of council administration elements has made me quite 'unliked' by certain senior staff at the council, making my eight-year tenure extremely difficult and stressful. Essentially it's been in a long term turf war that eventually, I've sadly lost."

Mr Moran said he would not be missing the long working hours, but he would miss many of his council colleagues and "my fantastic office of the mayor teammates".

"The relentless online bullying by the various green groups and personalities as well as the many personal threats, torment and some media attacks that I've had to endure silently over the year have taken their toll on me and my little family," he said.

"I am proud of my public service work in support of the Mayor's reform agenda and particularly very proud of helping Mayor Tom achieve the goal of keeping rates at or below CPI for eight budgets in a row while paying down City debt and lowering unemployment all while delivering a whole range of other major City building projects.

"I think Tom Tate is the best Mayor for this city and I'm confident he will win in March. I certainly will be voting for him."

Mr Moran was stood down on full pay in late November pending an internal investigation.

He was the Mayor's chief of staff from 2012 and a strong advocate for the cruise ship terminal, appearing for the Mayor on the Gold Coast Waterways Authority Board.

In late January, the Crime and Corruption Commission released its 84-page report on Operation Yabber.

The report focused on Mr Moran's alleged dealings with companies and his relationship with Mr Dickson who had allegedly attempted to get him on numerous occasions to declare conflict of interests.

Councillor Tate is facing an investigation by the Office of the Independent Assessor after the state's corruption watchdog accused Mr Moran of "inappropriately interfering in council business".

Exposing an explosive email trail, the CCC claimed a company director used his relationship with Mr Moran to obtain benefits for clients as the pair prepared for a jet-­skiing trip in the Whitsundays.

Wayne Moran and Tom Tate attending a meeting at the Mayor's Office in Southport. Picture: Jerad Williams
Wayne Moran and Tom Tate attending a meeting at the Mayor's Office in Southport. Picture: Jerad Williams

In one exchange, Mr Moran is accused of replying to the request of the company director: "Write the guts of what you want in the Ltr (sic) and I'll get the Mayor to sign this week before he goes."

The CCC found "numerous examples" of directors at another company between 2012-2019 seeking favours from Mr Moran on planning matters.

No charges have been laid and the CCC ruled out any thought of corruption.

Mr Moran at the time told the Bulletin: "I'm pleased and not surprised that the CCC have confirmed no corruption nor anything criminal on my part. I was never in any doubt of that outcome.

"I will not be commenting on the remaining ­employment-related allegations as I do not wish to constrain any future legal action I will be taking."

Cr Tate denied any breach of council policy, inappropriate conduct and misconduct.

The CCC report found the CEO considered Mr Moran was a "high risk individual" after involving himself in development issues.