Tasmanian bureaucrat to become Gold Coast council’s new CEO

The Gold Coast’s search for a new CEO to fill the plum $700,000-a-year job, has ended with a former high-ranking staffer from the Tasmanian State Government being appointed to the role.

Nov 22, 2021, updated Nov 22, 2021
Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate. Photo: ABC

Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate. Photo: ABC

Senior Tasmanian bureaucrat and former chief of staff to Premier Will Hodgman, Tim Baker, has beaten out four other final candidates for the position.

“I look forward to working with Tim as we continue to deliver a low rates future while providing the frontline services ratepayers and residents expect,” Mayor Tom Tate said on Monday.

Baker was most recently secretary at the Tasmanian Government’s Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment.

It’s been a bumpy road to Baker’s appointment, with the city throwing every available lure, including the golden glow of being named an Olympic host city and Time magazine’s listing of the Gold Coast in the top 100 ‘greatest places in the world’, at attracting a suitable CEO.

Baker said he was a regular visitor to the Gold Coast and was ready to “get on with the job.”

“The 2032 Olympic Games will bring significant opportunities that must be leveraged so the Gold Coast gets the legacy benefits. At the same time, I know that residents expect the day to day services to be maintained to the highest possible standard and I look forward to leading a responsive organisation that provides first class service and value for ratepayers’ money,” he said.

The global executive search followed the shock exit of long-standing CEO Dale Dickson in February this year when he was turfed out of the role after 18 years when councillors voted 14-1 against him in favour of a replacement.

That replacement, David Edwards, the son of Bjelke-Petersen-era deputy premier and treasurer, the late Sir Llew Edwards, then quit just weeks into the gig.

Long-serving council staffer Joe McCabe has been serving as acting CEO since Edwards went on leave, not to return, in March.

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