What was Costagate?
‘Costagate’ refers to an episode in which a number of candidates in the November 2004 Geelong council elections received funding from six Geelong businessmen and developer Lascorp. Under Section 81 of the Victorian Local Government Act 1989 a Councillor ‘…must disclose … particulars of any gift of or above the amount or value of $500 received by him or her from a person other than a person related to him or her by blood or marriage…’ A number of candidates were thought to have breached the Local Government Act.
The name ‘Costagate’ refers to the involvement of Frank Costa (pictured right), head of the Costa Group and then President of the Geelong Football Club. The term is a piece of journalistic hyperbole whereby Costa’s surname was appended with the suffix ‘-gate’. The allusion to the Watergate affair conveys the idea that the parties involved engaged in gross misconduct.