SOUTH EAST QLD surf, music, style, enviro & Politik


LiQUiFY Team

LiQUiFY Team has 314 articles published.

Bliss Bestowed | A Burleigh Story From 1878


Foreword by Luke Sorensen

Just imagine for a moment what it was like on the Gold Coast 140 years ago – the ‘South’ port of Brisbane. You’re headed for Brisbane town yet something lingers, something draws you in, resulting in a last-minute decision to abandon the comfort of your homeward path.

Instead you opt to follow an opportunity on the breeze, to set out on horseback southward from The Spit, from Southport towards the mighty Burleigh Headland. You’re stepping and riding into the absolute unknown and all the while that day’s safe passage home to Brisbane becomes further and further away, soon a remnant afterthought as you trundle down the vast white sandy strip. What a monumental adventure that would have been at the time!

It’s an an era where there’s no glossy magazine article to invite you in, no website nor television documentary to corrupt your imagination or bend your preconception of what may lay ahead – no traffic-filled road, no signs and no well-worn path.

The southern corner of the newly formed Queensland State was for many just an unknown void, especially for a visiting Brisbane colony fellow traversing along a strip surrounded by river, swamp and sand – a place defined by its vast Eastern border of ocean which, from the earliest of days to every day since, has sparked the imagination and inspired.

There’s few spots in the region that have captured the spirit or set the mind in a sea-soaked trance of blissful dream than that of the ancient volcanic headland named Burleigh. Jutting outward and upward like a fallen giant frozen in time, the headland is a beacon, a lookout and a natural amphitheater for watching the sea. In more recent times it is one of the world’s greatest amphitheatres for gazing upon the men and women who slide down the walls of water which wrap the curves and iconic contours of the head.

Burleigh Heads as photographed around the turn of the 19th to 20th century. The headland strikes an ominous figure as it stands up from the shore – proud, bold and unsettled // Source Unknown

In the 1800s most of the Gold Coast was a mystery to the newcomers, save for major townships such as Nerang and Southport. Timber getters and arrowroot farmers fanned into pockets amongst the valleys and foothills in search of prosperity and wealth while the sandy low lying surf coast stretching from Stradbroke to the border remained largely untouched.

I’ve been doing some serious rummaging into our city’s past lately, unearthing this incredible lost story of a single-day journey to the Burleigh Head which was made during the late 1800s – a trip which so perfectly articulates many of the bridging characteristics and qualities that remain in place at Burleigh today.

William Senior was the author’s name, an imaginative word smith and keen fishing fanatic who spent several years on loan from the United Kingdom as a special correspondent for London’s Daily News. His time here was in Brisbane, writing for The Courier, as well as being the first person ever appointed as the Principal Short Hand writer for the Parliament of Queensland’s ‘Hansard’.

Senior’s expert descriptives and reflective tones are matched only by his apparent zest and yearning for the marine environment and all things natural.

For what is likely to be the first time since its original publishing date in January 1878, the story of his ‘singularly pleasant’ day on the Gold Coast has been restored and brought back to life right here – illustrated as best we could with a splashing of photographs and art.

This is an incredible fragment of the Gold Coast’s real contemporary history retold, and at its finest!


–– Southport To Burleigh ––

A telling by Red Spinner // January 1878

Tempted by the kind offer of a Nerang gentle man, instead of returning (to Brisbane) from Southport by water, and a lovely trip it is in fine weather – by Broadwater, Coucheemudlow, Redland, Cleveland, and Boat Passage – we found ourselves one fine morning, piloted by Gardiner, who knows every inch of shoal and channel, crossing the river opposite his inn, and towing our horses after us.

By adopting a zigzag course, the animals are able to walk three-fourths of the distance, though it was half-flood. Had it been low water, we could have ridden from bank to bank without wetting our feet. As it was, some swimming had to be done before we landed on the Southern Spit, upon which a lighthouse has recently been erected. Mr. L had not only mapped out our trip, and mounted us, but himself kindly came to lead the way, and to him I am indebted for a singularly pleasant day.

There certainly ought to be a supply of ponies or donkeys, kept to give the visitor an opportunity of riding along that glorious ocean beach to Burleigh Heads. Close to low-water mark the sand is smooth as a billiard table, and gives hard unbroken galloping ground for six or seven miles. All the while, the breakers burst and foam with never-ceasing murmur, and the sparkling sea tempts you to lunge into its clear cool depths.

A strong south-east wind on the day of our ride roused the ocean out of slumber, so that the bursting of the waves betrayed anger and threat rather than that soothing expression which the sea assumes in fair weather. A storm or two occurred, driving us over the sand hills into the scrub for shelter from the rain; but the weird aspect of the heavens as the black clouds came and went across the sun, was ample compensation for the temporary interruption to progress.

Thai scrub, which along almost the entire distance fringes the beach, has a very different appearance to that it puts on upon the banks of the Nerang, which river is, by the way, here and there separated from the beach by so narrow a neck of land that it would seem only a question of time when the Pacific will unceremoniously burst through. The scrub on the sea side has no piccabeen (Seaforthia thia elegans) but it has thrown out an advance guard of native bread fruit, which, in their own humble and not altogether unpicturesque way, maintain sturdy outlook.

Burleigh Heads we can see, brown, and round, ahead ; and, at the farthest extremity of the shore, perhaps five-and-twenty miles distant, the long low jutting promontory of Point Danger, showing where the Tweed River pours its waters into the mighty reservoir. About a mile and a-half on the Nerang side of Burleigh Heads is a smaller bluff, which we ascended, riding to the summit. It has one advantage over Burleigh Heads in that you can gain the top and obtain a birdseye view of the country when you are there ; whereas its big neighbor just beyond is so thickly wooded that the crown is unattainable.

Pandanus leaves // Photo Eric Gaba

We lunched there-fore on the summit of this minor bluff, and over our cigars dreamily gazed upon the wide-spreading panorama below. On the one hand is the ocean, with never a soil to be seen north, south, or east, but with a million reflections of sunshine – now that the storm has gone – and innumerable gradations of color.

A rare picture which the eye roams over with delight, and returns to roam again and again with undiminished satisfaction.

White as lace is the long line of surf, spreading playfully over the sand, on which a few gulls and oyster catchers are delving for the unconsidered trifles left by the receding tide. The scrub dividing the beach from the river is now directly beneath our eyes, revealing a heavy, sandy track, by which the settlers send their produce, a long tiresome journey, to Nerang for shipment. Away inland tracks in the forest show us where the sugar plantations “stand dressed in living green ;” while, enclosing all in their lofty shadow, stands a semicircle of mountains, conspicuous amongst which are the Hanging Rock and the remarkable saddle adjoining.

In the arena of this natural amphitheatre are far reaching woods and plains, the latter bright with the now rich green garb just put on to hide the poverty of the previous twelve months, and the whole forming a rare picture which the eye roams over with delight, and returns to roam again and again with undiminished satisfaction.

Then into the saddle again ; we pick our way down the closely wooded slope, amongst brackens and ferns, and cross a corner of the Emerald plain, which was one of the most agreeable features of the prospect from the summit of the bluff. It is what I shall call a sheathland, and there is a certain botanist friend of mine, I am sure, who would, from his scientific point of view, regard it as a slice of Paradise.

To this day Burleigh Heads remains littered with flora and fauna of great curiosity and beauty, despite a few invasive species which have left their mark and the threat of overuse and development looming // Photo Luke Sorensen

It has been my custom until I crossed this tract of land to think that there was too much truth in the assertion always made at home, that there are few wild flowers in Australia. No more shall I nourish so foul a heresy. I count fifteen distinct varieties of wild flower as we go at walking pace through the heath, and the foliage of the Shrubs is in many instances exquisitely pretty. Above them, where the heath merges into swamp, there is, four feet perhaps above the ground, a plant bearing bells of flaming orange and yellow, a showy head of flowers, that, like Tennyson’s wild marsh marigold, “shines like fire in swamps and hollows gray.”

Ancient volcanic boulders netted together with soil and root make for some spectacular and sometimes very unique natural sights to be found at Burleigh // Photo Luke Sorensen

On the ground I notice a lovely primrose-colored, primula-shaped bloom, and several delicate flowers, violet and-blue ; while everywhere gleam the white stars of a dark-leaved little shrub, that bears a waxy five-petalled flower. The only drawback to one’s enjoyment of a surprise like this – for such it is – is the reflection that one knows so little of the objects around. Ignorance, it cannot be denied, is an inveterate robber, therefore wish I, but wish in vain, that my botanical friend were by my side to lend me the light of his experience and knowledge.

Onward, however, we have to go, one of my companions remarking that the country through which we were passing would be splendid ground for rabbits, as no doubt it would. Leaving a reed-grown level to the right, by-and-by we are confronted with the landward face of Burleigh Heads. Its lower half, like its approach, is of crisp verdant turf, reminding one forcibly of Sussex Downs, save that bits of dark brown rock crop up here and there. The upper half of the headland is thickly covered with trees, I festooned with an abundance of creeping foliage.

We are now in the township of Burleigh, or at any rate, amongst the pegs which mark it out. The scenery is beautiful beyond question, with – its fresh-colored herbage and sweeping contour of land. Separated from the Heads proper by a green valley rises a gentle acclivity, or rather terrace, affording a fine outlook upon the ocean and surrounding country. This much we take in at a sweep, as we breast the hill, dismount, and tie up the horses. But the thunder of the rollers is below, and the ocean peremptorily demands the attention bestowed upon the land.

We are now in the township of Burleigh, or at any rate, amongst the pegs which mark it out. The scenery is beautiful beyond question, with – its fresh colored herbage and sweeping contour of land.

Why is it one is always sensible of a certain mastership on the part of that hollow sounding sea? How can ‘one analyse the feelings which crowd, jostle, and vanish undefined, as one looks down upon-that watery plain, stretching thousands of leagues afar? What is the meaning of the involuntary yearning that arises in the heart when, as now, one sits upon the massive rocks, and gazes down upon the motion, glitter, and-change of the billows! Does it not come from the conviction that the ocean is loaded with secrets and mystery?

Such treacherous beauty and allure, Burleigh Heads and the waves that roll down the point have long left lasting impressions on any who visit // Photo Luke Sorensen

If you have never seen Burleigh Heads, do so at the first opportunity, good reader. You may travel by coach or horse to Nerang, and thence to the Heads there is, as roads go, a good highway ; or you may follow our plan and cross from Southport. Take the footpath by the pandanus trees on the first shoulder of the bluff, and walk or creep round the heads. Halt midway between the wooded summit and the boulder-bound base. It requires a little climbing to get to an advantageous point, but you will find plenty of hoary rocks for sitting-room, and will meet your reward. The white sands stretch away and away, in a southerly curve to the border of the next colony, and in a northerly curve to Nerang and Strad broke.

The southern limit gives the finest views, as that itinerant photographer, of whom I spoke in a former article, if he ever find himself in this quarter, will discover to his advantage. Ozone? Aye ; there is no stint of that here. It comes to your face in essence, and you gulp it like draughts of exhilarating wine. It steals into the veins and stirs the pulses ; verily, it is good to be here. Look out over the limitless expanse ; the keenest eye shall not find other margin than the meeting line of sea and sky. Yet it is a treacherous beauty, this restless ocean.

Sunset at Burleigh is a magical time, no matter what century you imagine it // Photo Luke Sorensen

Now they have become green water walls twelve feet high, curling over and cresting, to descend with a new roar, stir up the sand, and leap aground with a rush that nothing can withstand.

At our feet lie massive boulders, rounded and fretted and piled in grand confusion by its power, with waifs and strays of sea and creek whereof none shall tell the history. In what forests grew, or whose hands felled and hewed, the ponderous logs cast up like straws upon the coast? Tender, tiny plants meekly fill the fissures; but by what action were those rocks squared as if by human art? There is a black mathematical cube 10 feet long and 3 feet across ; yonder is another to match it, and another, and another.

Even as we ponder, the rollers put on strength with the rising wind. Just now they burst lightly, and flowed up the sand soft as new milk. Now they have become green water walls twelve feet high, curling over and cresting, to descend with a new roar, stir up the sand, and leap aground with a rush that nothing can withstand. Certainly, good reader, if you have never visited Burleigh Heads, do so at the earliest opportunity.

We leave the place with regret, and get down mentally and literally “into the common day,” exchanging rhapsody for practical reflections as we go. Will Burleigh Heads ever be a watering place? Scarcely. A delightful marine residence it may be, when the grassy terrace opposite is adorned with houses, but the exposed beach must make boating and bathing difficult, unless indeed Tallebudgera Creek, round the southernmost face of the Heads be brought into organisation.

The tide at the mouth races out furiously in concentrated current, though higher up, the channel spreads out, and it is shallow enough to ford. Boating, however, must always be carried on with extreme caution, and the bathing must be in the creek, and not in the open sea. So let us leave Burleigh Heads, as we have left Southport, and ride away, the surf music growing more and more distant, until it is but the suspicion of a moan //

This excerpt first published 16th of January 1878 in The Brisbane Courier, credited to journalist and correspondent Red Spinner.

Time To Dust Off The Mosh Boots | 6 Bands You Need To See Next Week


BRISBANE/GOLD COAST: There’s something to be said about taking a break from going to shows – at first you revel in your weekends opening up with sober nights and early surf sessions, turning off the phone, slipping into the good life, couch surfing and even sniping deals on Ebay come Saturday night. But then … it wears off.

Next weekend in Brisbane it’s beyond worth booking it and sending it, with the Jubilee Hotel hosting a swathe of exceptional bands at a quarter the price of your average international metal and punk festival.

Halloween Hysteria at the Jubilee is plugging in and turning up for a wicked night of debauchery drenched in rock, metal and punk from some of the country’s finest acts.

Digging in behind is a Sunday session guaranteed to dose you up with the hair of the dog that bit you, when the Miami Tavern tilts itself sideways for a messy early evening with one of the funniest bands in the country.

Here’s our top 6 pick from the two shows, and yes, we’re biased, but do yourself a favour, give yourself a knuckle sandwich if you miss this epic weekend of brutality and beers.

TICKETS available through the legends at OZTIX, both shows are selling fast so get on it – find them here
Halloween Hysteria Mini Fest – Oct 27 – Jubilee Hotel Fortitude Valley
Totally Unicorn/Hammers/Plastick – Oct 28 – Miami Tavern Shark Bar

6 // The Wrath – Halloween Hysteria, Jubilee Hotel, Saturday Oct 27

For sure this motley monster mash from the Gold Coast know how to slap you down and pick you back up. A melting pot of punk, rockabilly, goth and a little thrash. Frontman Tommy Kreeper commands the stage as he leads a cast of pure talent on the sticks and axes beside him. Includes the human metronome Jason Hand on drums, one of the snappiest guys on the snare you’ll just about ever hear, he’s got that lead foot, do not miss these guys!

5 // Hardons – Halloween Hysteria, Jubilee Hotel, Saturday Oct 27

One of Australia’s most enduring punk bands and still as strong as ever the lads from Sydney are up here again to drop the hammer and the tongs at the Halloween Hysteria show. Chaotic yet composed, with scintillating old school riffage and classic punk. The soundtrack of Australia itself reserved a spot for this icon band from the 1980s and 1990s. If you haven’t seen them before don’t bother coming because you’re just not worthy.

4 // Hammers – Miami Tavern Shark Bar, Sunday Oct 28

This baby is like one of those cars you build out of the wrecked bodies of five. Featuring former and current members from some of the nation’s best touring acts they’ve been turning heads and on a ball-tearing blinder of late with a no bullshit hard rock show that’s really something to behold. Singer Leigh Dowling needs room to go ballistic, so stand back please. A meshing of stoner rock, blues and blinding good guitars, all set with the tempo up a notch, sure to impress the ladies these guys. Drink lots of water beforehand, it’ll save you the next day.

3 // Kill The Apprentice – Halloween Hysteria, Jubilee Hotel, Saturday Oct 27

Fresh from Brown Town and endorsed by the Prince of the Tweed, this all star punk outfit is renowned for breaking the mould, and a lot of other things too. Fronted by the enigmatic Kristy Killriot up from Melbourne and featuring members of Tweed Heads music royalty, these guys party harder than just about any band this side of the sun. Too dangerous to live but too rare to die, their frantic and tight set is absolutely guaranteed to get you up and bouncing. No fucks given punk rock that’s raw and blasting. Be there to see the frets burn!

2 // King Parrot – Halloween Hysteria, Jubilee Hotel, Saturday Oct 27

Brutally good, mechanically meteoric and world class, the Parrot is a force to blow your lids and ears. Thrash and metal and just heavy this Melbourne spawn have been leaving a trail of broken bricks wherever they travel during some stellar national and international tours over the last few years. Co-headlining the Halloween Hysteria event, you’ll want to save some energy for this, we think it’s going to explode.

1 // Totally Unicorn – Miami Tavern Shark Bar, Sunday Oct 28

Hilarious, messy and hard, the aptly named Totally Unicorn takes the cake here. Shows are a limitless display of social-norm abandonment, depravity and disconnect. Think day drinking, swinging on the Hills Hoist and a little bit of pre-spew yet somehow in all of this mix they’ve got blazingly good music that melts punk and metal together like a medieval alchemist hitting the pipe too hard. If you’ve not seen some of their fine videos on Youtube, you NEED to go see them, absolute crackers. If you could ever pick a band to end a bender weekend with – to make it so you’re coming in hot, sliding in sideways and crashing into the wall to hit the end in an explosive and destructive cataclysm … then this is the band you need. Hilarious all the way too.

TICKETS available through the legends at OZTIX, both shows are selling fast so get on it – find them here
Halloween Hysteria Mini Fest – Oct 27 – Jubilee Hotel Fortitude Valley
Totally Unicorn/Hammers/Plastick – Oct 28 – Miami Tavern Shark Bar

Retrospective: Soundwave 2007 | Brisbane


GALLERY: The first Soundwave to hit Brisbane, it was for sure a case of if you weren’t there you blew it.

2007 and it was the first international-acts metal and punk festival on such a scale to ever come to Queensland, and what a classic line-up to start what would be almost a decade of music debauchery and mental mosh pits.

Good times, can’t believe it’s 11 years ago now.

Were you there? Leave a comment at the bottom of this post.

Headlining was the mighty Deftones, and amongst the acts were a string of incredible pioneer, classic, powerhouse and stand-out acts including Suicidal Tendencies, Hatebreed, MxPx, Thrice, Unwritten Law, Terror and The Bronx.

It wasn’t just the bands, it was the fact that it was the first of three big instalments meaning artists were fresh off the plane and as always, frothing on the fact that they were in Australia which always translates into the music and performance.

It’s always good to get the first or last show of a tour or festival run and it was evident this day.

Juliette Lewis, probably still far more famous as an actor than a singer with The Licks. Pretty mellow and non-striking start but in a way it set the tone; that if the day takes a path anything like some of her dark, disturbed and weird film characters it should be a worthy adventure.

MxPx always put on a classy show.

It was great to see this place getting rowdy for the first time in a long time. Riverstage is always a good venue even if you end up upside down.

This is Mike Herrera, bass and vocals. At one point I saw him change guitar mid song, he managed to unplug from his wireless, rip it off his shoulders and throw the thing to side of stage all the while the replacement guitar was already airborne and heading the other way towards him from side of stage. He let his go and caught the new one almost in the same action, plugging it in and strumming to the point where he probably only missed a couple of bars of the song. Was pretty rad.


Hill starting to get packed. Solid crowd for arvo punk bands for sure.

This was the first time I saw The Bronx, and yep they were pretty awesome. Thoroughly a stand out band to go see. Despite the namesake, they’re actually from L.A. They play a real gritty kind of crossover of punk and hardcore which gets the blood pumping.

The Bronx crowd was getting pretty frothy on the back hill.

The Bronx singer Matt Caughthran, loves to get amongst the crowd. I ended up seeing these guys from side of stage in Austin Texas three years later, loved it. Recommend to anyone, check these guys out if you haven’t yet.

So Cal band Unwritten Law set the arvo tone.

Scott Russo belts out ‘She Says’.

Flying through the air at Unwritten Law

I think he spotted his dropped wallet.

Hate Breed were …… whhooooaarrraaahhhh! Yep, as always, the Connecticut lads turned it up for the increasingly rowdy crowd at the back stage after the sun fell away fro the day. Just epic, if you missed it you blew it.

It was about at this point that the event became a little chaotic and proper loose. Fists flying and boots in the air at times, some good proper mosh at Hatebreed.

In their prime, Hatebreed in full effect!

“I will be heard!”

Hatebreed, fucking amazing. By this point of the day, everything was slipping sideways and energy levels were surging for most people. Soundwave had landed in Brisbane, and landed with a huge blasting impact. I remember frothing on how rad it was to have something like this and already my thoughts started touching on whether on not this thing could be coming back each year. And it did, much to a lot of people’s joy. Have to give it to AJ, this was the moment it all exploded from regular rock show into something special, right in the last few songs from Hatebreed and just as Suicidal was about to take to the stage, in Brisbane for the first time in many years.

BOOM! “What the fuck’s going on around here?” – and with that the back stage caught ablaze with the scorching riffs and lyrical onslaught of the legendary Venice Beach outfit, Suicidal Tendencies.

Cyco Miko, Mike Muir, was ripping apart the stage this night, unleashed after a long time on the bench and the energy was way up, even on the typical SxTx show.

Suicidal! STephen Bruner… now one of the most sought-after bassists in the world as his alter-ego ‘Thundercat’ persona. Years later I recall a debate over bassists that had played in the band. Without any doubt, Stephen is way, way at the top of that list. Really smart guy too, really a top bloke.

Brother Clark, Mike Clark, showing frenetic speed on the stage, and on the fret. One of a kind in more ways than one.

Deftones erupted on the main stage, with the metronomic and powerful hits of Abe Cunningham on the skins shaking the earth we stood on. So good.

For a lot of people, this must have been a blur at times. Messy part of the day but a perfect way to cap off the froth and end it. Classic Deftones in every sense.

This was the last time we’d see Chi on bass with Deftones, as a year later he would be involved in that tragic car accident. He was thrashing, sweaty, involved and just outstanding as a bassist and performer.

Chino Moreno and the mass of people raging up front, sans cell phones. One of the last times you could get a shot like this without 173 phones all held up making it look like a weird dystopian parallax universe or something.

The site remained trashed well into the next day, as we drove past on the way home to see the morning sun cutting the trees to a sea of plastic bottles and cups covering the hill on the site.


Soundwave, 2007, what cracking and important notch on the timeline of shows and festivals to hit South East Queensland over the years. In later years the event moved to the RNA Showgrounds, capturing a little bit if the former Livid Festival’s feel and vibe, but none of the subsequent events ever captured what went down in 07. It’s always the way, first is best and it levels off at some point after that. The event first Soundwave was solid, riotous yet intimate, in your face and not widely publicised to the point of being saturated with too many fuckwit fringe hanger-oners. You had access to the stages, access to be right up there in front of the bands you loved. Music fans, core fans, that’s what this first event represented.


Gold Coast Mayor’s Turf Club ‘Expansion’ Plan Uncovered As Conflict Of Interest Questions Grow


BLACK SWAN LAKE CONTROVERSY: Explosive quotes revealing Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate’s intentions to be involved in the “expansion” of the Gold Coast Turf Club have been uncovered, casting even more controversy over the possible-conflict-of-interest shroud that has engulfed council’s contentious decision to approve the infill of a public space known as Black Swan Lake, and hand over control to the Gold Coast Turf Club.

by Jake Dunn

In an article published on the Australian horse-racing website Thoroughbred News in 2010, shortly before Tom Tate was successfully elected as mayor of the Gold Coast, he revealed his firm intent to help the club meet its growth expectations.

The news article was derived from a Gold Coast Turf Club official press release and announced the arrival of Tate as a board member and director at the Turf Club, with Tate letting it be known that he was keen to be very hands-on with getting the club to expand.

“These are very exciting times for the Gold Coast Turf Club and I’m very much looking forward to doing all I can to help the Club meet its growth expectations of the next few years … certainly the expansion of the Club is something I am very keen to be actively involved in,” Tate was reported as saying.


Black Swan Lake and its namesake birdlife in the peaceful afternoon glow //Source: Wildlife QLD


According to the report the then Chairman of the Gold Coast Turf Club, Andrew Eggleston, was delighted at Tom’s appointment and what it may bolster for the Club’s future.

Eggleston said at the time of the new director at the club, “His (Tom Tate’s) intimate knowledge of the Gold Coast and its machinations, his extensive business and community contributions over many years and his genuine passion for thoroughbred racing all auger well for some very strong contributions to our decision-making … with Tom’s contributions to the Gold Coast Turf Club, our current forward direction can only be enhanced.”

The Crime and Corruption Commission of Queensland (CCC) announced late in January that it would be conducting an investigation into council and a specific group of sitting councillors on the issue of possible conflicts of interest over the processes and decisions regarding the public man-made lake. The CCC did not specify which councillors it intended to investigate and stressed that their investigation will take a course of presumption of innocence.

It is understood that several Gold Coast councillors including the mayor and deputy mayor have held, or do hold memberships, associations and high-ranking board positions within the club, which could potentially be part of the focus of the CCC’s enquiries.

“Certainly the expansion of the Club is something I am very keen to be actively involved in” – Tom Tate as former director at the Gold Coast Turf Club and now Mayor of the Gold Coast

In a media release, the CCC stated that allegations against the council raised, “a reasonable suspicion of corrupt conduct” and that the matter would, “now be investigated by the CCC.”

Until the CCC’s investigation is concluded it will not be known if any councillors have acted inappropriately or if any will face charges, discipline or otherwise however what is clear, is the mayor’s long-running association with the Turf Club and his own penchant for being part of the horse racing scene.

“His (Tom Tate’s) intimate knowledge of the Gold Coast and its machinations … and his genuine passion for thoroughbred racing all auger well for some very strong contributions … with Tom’s contributions to the Gold Coast Turf Club, our current forward direction can only be enhanced” – Andrew Eggleston, then Chairman of the Gold Coast Turf Club


Blazing Hooves Of Glory

In 2008, Tate, along with several associates including prominent local horse trainer Mel Eggleston, partnered on a venture which purchased a yearling horse at the Magic Millions sales. The horse was aptly named Go The Blaze, presumably in association with Tom Tate’s stint as founder and part-owner of the now-defunct Gold Coast Blaze National Basketball League team.

Go The Blaze raced locally and regionally, racking up 3 wins from 37 starts and retiring after its second-poorest result late in 2014.

“The CEO of the Islander Resort Hotel Group, racehorse owner and long-time Turf Club Member said he’s looking forward to his new role … his horse Go the Blaze races on the Gold Coast – effectively bringing together two of his great professional and personal interests” – Gold Coast Turf Club, 2010 press release


Mayor Tate Partners With Gold Coast Turf Club Director In New Race Horse Venture

Early in 2017 Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate purchased a new race horse as part of a syndicate partnership with several key Gold Coast business and horse racing identities. The partnership includes Luke Henderson, who is a current director and on the board at the Gold Coast Turf Club.

Tate and local entertainment producer Billy Cross head up the ownership of the colt – purchased in January 2017 at the Magic Millions sales for a reported $170,000 – and other venture partners include radio station Hot Tomato boss Hans Torv, restauranteur Simon Gloftis and the brothers of Luke and Andrew Henderson.

In April 2017 it was reported by the Gold Coast Bulletin that Tom Tate entered into the venture on the condition that he be the one to name the horse, and as such it is named Go Gold Coast, which has a notable resemblance to his earlier horse Go The Blaze.

According to the Bulletin’s report, Billy Cross said the name was Tom’s idea and they bought the horse after discussing the idea during the Magic Millions carnival’s opening day polo event.

“The two of us were talking about it and saying let’s get a syndicate of Gold Coasters together and his condition was we had to call it Go Gold Coast,” Mr Cross said.

Gold Coast Deputy Mayor and current Gold Coast Turf Club Director, Donna Gates, is also understood to have potentially been a partner in purchasing a seperate race horse at the same January 2017 Magic Millions auctions and sales.


In a series of recent Facebook posts and comments, Mayor Tom Tate has lashed out at protestors and journalists who have raised their concerns and questions with him by labelling the reports and comments as “myths” and “fake”. In his various retorts the mayor has chosen not to mention on that he is a part owner in a racehorse syndicate that includes a director at the Gold Coast Turf Club and that he himself is a former director and former board member of the Turf Club. Whilst extensive searches show the mayor has not disclosed these facts in any of his public interactions on social media posts and comments, it is also not known if the mayor disclosed this information in its entirety during council meetings or on registers of interest.


Lake In Limbo As Filling Operation Stalls

Works to fill in the lake which backs on to the equine precinct and stables at the Gold Coast Turf Club started momentarily a couple of weeks ago, however several weather events have brought heavy rains, causing work to stall and giving the bird and marine life that live there a reprieve – for now.

It is not known if the works will recommence when favourable conditions return or if the CCC investigation will impede works and halt the filling of the lake. In the meantime, the community and environmentalists keep a daily vigil at the lake.

The public lake is home to over 50 avian species including migratory birds subject to international treaties, nesting swans and various water birds. It also holds native turtles, eels and fish.


LiQUiFY would like to make clear that no councillor or mayor have been proven as being involved in any inappropriate or illegal conduct and the CCC investigation mentioned above is ongoing.


1 2 3 79
Go to Top