Gold Coast council has defended its decision to offer Commonwealth Games tickets to members while thousands of people missed out through the public lottery.
The city council said that no one had received free tickets and more than a million were made available to the general public to purchase.
A spokesperson for the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games said: “As is customary in major international events, commercial partners and Games delivery partners have the opportunity to purchase tickets from a separate allocation in accordance with commercial agreements, but they pay for their tickets like everybody else.”
Dale Dickinson, the chief executive of City of Gold Coast, said that if tickets offered to the councillors still remain unclaimed by December 1, they will be recycled back into the ballot through the organising committee.
Meanwhile, opposition leader Tim Nicholls, who missed out on tickets through the ballot, thinks specially-reserved seats should be put back into the lottery system for random redistribution.
“I really think the tickets should be available for the people of Queensland, they shouldn’t be reserved for special interest groups in terms of councillors and politicians,” he said, according to the Brisbane Times newspaper.
In addition, Commonwealth Games Minister Kate Jones also applied and failed to win tickets through the public ballot, leaving GOLDOC chairman Peter Beattie to call the ticket allocation system “honest and fair”.
In total, more than 1.2 million people applied for the 274 events as part of the popular and over-subscribed Games.
Popular sessions included the Opening Ceremony, the rugby sevens final, cycling, diving, triathlon, swimming and the netball final, which was oversubscribed five times over.