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Top Gold Coast council official dumped from 600k role

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The Gold Coast’s top bureaucrat, Council CEO Dale Dickson, has been dumped from the role he has held for 18 years and is expected to be replaced by one of the state’s top tourism identities David Edwards.

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Dickson’s tenure will come to an end in September. His replacement as City of Gold Coast chief – on a $600,000-plus salary that is larger than the Prime Minister’s – is still to be announced. It is understood Edwards will start in the next few weeks while Dickson is unlikely to return from leave.

After final presentations by the shortlisted candidates to City of Gold Coast council on Monday, it is understood Dickson lost the vote 14 to 1 to extend his tenure  during a closed day-long session involving Mayor Tom Tate and his 14 councillors.

Edwards has most recently held the position of Projects chief Executive at Queensland’s Department of Innovation and Tourism Industry Development.

Dickson has been City of Gold Coast CEO since 2003.

During his time in the top job, he was instrumental in preparing the city for the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games as well as steering the Gold Coast through the economic ravages caused by coronavirus.

A former AFL player and long-term local government employee, Dickson joined the City of Gold Coast in 1999 and was appointed CEO in July 2003.

Dickson has experienced a tumultuous relationship with Tate and the mayor’s inner circle, most recently being cleared of any wrongdoing by the Crime and Corruption Commission on February 19 following a referral to the corruption watchdog by the mayor’s media advisor Warwick Sinclair last month.

A year earlier, Dickson dismissed Tate’s former chief of staff Wayne Moran following another investigation by the CCC.

The CCC in its report following the year-long “Operation Yabber” investigation found Moran failed to declare and properly manage conflicts of interest and that Tate allegedly tried to protect Moran from disciplinary action initiated by Dickson.

Dickson announced the termination of Moran’s tenure on 7 February 2020.

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