Acting Opposition Leader and Shadow Commonwealth Games Minister John-Paul Langbroek has written to the auditor general in a bid to get the tender process re-opened ©John-Paul Langbroek/Twitter

The controversy surrounding the Opening and Closing Ceremonies at Gold Coast 2018 has intensified after acting opposition leader and Shadow Commonwealth Games Minister John-Paul Langbroek revealed he has written to Queensland’s Auditor General in an attempt to get the tender process re-opened.

Gold Coast 2018 awarded the rights to produce the Ceremonies to American firm Jack Morton Worldwide (JMW), which sparked outrage in the country and prompted a protest group to call for a review of the process.

The group, led by Olympics creative director Ric Birch, who coordinated the Opening and Closing Ceremonies at the 1982 Commonwealth Games in Brisbane, as well as at the 1992 and 2000 Olympics in Barcelona and Sydney, also includes unsuccessful bidders David Atkins and Julie Brooks.

A scathing letter has been written to Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk to contest the appointment as the group believes there are local Australian companies who would do a better job of the Ceremonies.

Gold Coast 2018 also came under fire after it emerged that a couple who used to work for JMW gave the Organising Committee technical advice in the tender process, which brought about accusations of a conflict of interest.

JMW’s London office conceived, planned, and delivered the Opening and Closing ceremonies for the last edition of the Commonwealth Games, in Glasgow in 2014.

The Queensland Government have been forced to call in probity auditors to examine the circumstances around the US company being successful with their 2018 bid.

Gold Coast 2018 decided to cancel a press conference, scheduled to be held at the Metricon Stadium on Wednesday (January 6), which was due to address the concerns.

Australian officials insisted this was “to allow for rescheduled debriefs to bidders in the tender process to take place”.

Langbroek, a member of the Liberal party in the Legislative Assembly of Queensland, however, has launched an attack on the Palaszczuk Labor Government, claiming it was further proof organisers were in crisis.

The decision by Gold Coast 2018 to award the Ceremonies tender to Jack Morton Worldwide has proved controversial, despite the company having produced successful events at Glasgow 2014 ©Getty Images
The decision by Gold Coast 2018 to award the Ceremonies tender to Jack Morton Worldwide has proved controversial, despite the company having produced successful events at Glasgow 2014 ©Getty Images

“Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and her Ministers have been more than happy to crow about the Games and pose for happy snaps, but we've hardly heard a peep from them about the tender scandal,” he said.

“Minister Stirling Hinchliffe initially refused to review the process and only announced a probity audit after coming under further pressure when more detail about the flawed tender process came to light.

“From day one, Labor hasn't treated the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games portfolio with the importance it deserves, tacking it on to a mega portfolio under Kate Jones who clearly palmed it off to bureaucrats to manage.

"Mr Hinchliffe is now in charge and instead of being accountable, he is blaming others and ducking the hard questions.

“The Commonwealth Games in 2018 will put the Gold Coast on the international stage and we cannot afford for Labor to bungle it.”

Mik Auckland and Celia Smith, the couple at the heart of the conflict of interest row, have moved to quash allegations of bias within the tender process, stressing they had no influence in who won the right to produce the Ceremonies and that they were proud of the "world-class" work they had done for the Organising Committee.

Auckland, who was recently appointed Gold Coast 2018 technical director and was head of Ceremonies at Glasgow 2014, worked for JMW for nine years and his partner Celia was with them up until 2014.

The couple then went on to form their own company called Red Thread Solutions (RTS).

"Neither Red Thread Solutions, the company, nor Celia or Mik as individuals, stood to benefit financially, professionally or personally from any one particular company being appointed as the successful bidder," a statement sent to the Australian Associated Press read.

"RTS strenuously denies any allegations of impropriety or wrongdoing.

"RTS provided experienced, unbiased technical advice to GOLDOC."