More local governments pursuing Seven Mountains Mandate, says Gold Coast council’s spiritual advisor

Si Gladman / 10 July 2024

The ratepayer-funded ‘spiritual advisor’ at the Gold Coast City Council has revealed other Australian mayors and local governments are also pursuing the Christian fundamentalist Seven Mountains Mandate.

In a live-streamed interview on Facebook in April, Pastor Sue Baynes, the council advisor to Mayor Tom Tate, said mayors at other councils were replicating the “model” she had implemented on the Gold Coast.

However, Baynes did not reveal the names of the other councils.

Baynes discussed the Seven Mountains Mandate and her role at Gold Coast City Council in an interview with Pastor David Vaka, who preaches the dominionist political ideology at his Brisbane church and hosts annual “apostolic leadership summits” attended by Christian leaders and Christian Right politicians.

In 2022, the Rationalist Society of Australia (RSA) revealed that Baynes was a passionate supporter of the Seven Mountains Mandate. The ideology, imported from America, provides a roadmap for Christians to conquer – or to “take dominion” of – the key spheres of influence in society.

Baynes became a formal member of Tate’s staff in early 2022, having served as a long-time spiritual advisor in an informal capacity.

In several public appearances, Baynes has told how, at their initial meeting prior to his election as mayor in 2012, Tate embraced the idea of implementing the Seven Mountains Mandate on the Gold Coast and wanted her help to do so. 

In the midst of the public outcry about the appointment in 2022, Tate brushed off media reporting as “fake news” and claimed that he did not recall offering support for the Seven Mountains Mandate.


In the April interview this year – which Baynes did mostly while sitting in the dark after her lights went out a few minutes into the recording – Pastor Vaka asked Baynes whether her success could be replicated elsewhere. He asked:

“Based on the experience that you have there and the success that you’re having on the Gold Coast, how can we take this model that you’re talking about and spread it across Australia so that we can become a nation that king Jesus is ruling over his purpose, political people are more inclined towards God and his purpose working together with other ‘seven spheres mountain’ leaders all across the nation of Australia?”

Baynes responded:

“So just to let you know, David, there are some other cities now that are developing the kind of model that is happening on the Gold Coast where mayors are getting people around them – maybe not a position like I have, but a team of people around them – who are bringing advice and counsel and who are supporting them in their roles.”

“It’s very important that we do this at all levels – at state, federal, right the way through. There is so much attack that comes on kingdom people when they sit in those seats of authority. And unless they’re surrounded by people who get that and are committed to speaking the truth, to bringing correction, to lifting up their hands, to supporting and surrounding them, those people can very easily and quickly give into those temptations of power and ego, and influence that come with the political mantle.”

Earlier this year, the RSA told a Senate committee inquiry into right-wing extremism that Christian dominionist movements that support the Seven Mountains Mandate posed a threat to Australian democracy, and separation of church and state.

In the interview with Vaka, Baynes also revealed that she enters the council chamber prior to every council meeting, when it is dark inside and quiet, to “speak wisdom over” councillors’ seats.

“I pray that what is spoken in that chamber on that day will be influenced and orchestrated by the Holy Spirit, even though they may not know that that is what’s happening. But that’s my prayer and that’s my declaration,” she said.

Baynes also told Vaka that Tate used her to “filter” people that could meet him and that she sat in on discussions with community members and asked for God’s assistance on whether further action was required. 

In a previous recording from 2020 and revealed in the Rationale magazine earlier this year, Baynes said that she had to “shoulder-charge people out of the way that try to get in on where God has positioned me”.

She has also pointed to the work of a Christian man who, when playing Santa Claus in Gold Coast shopping malls at Christmas time, “lays hand on” children as a “beautiful example” of a covert “kingdom assignment”.

“Where else would you get an opportunity to go and pray for little children, be able to lay your hands on them? If you tried that in school these days, you’d be out – in no time flat,” she told a 2020 church gathering.

In the interview with Vaka, which followed Tate’s successful re-election campaign in late March, Baynes said that she now had another four years of working in a “strategic way”.

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Si Gladman is Executive Director of the Rationalist Society of Australia. He also hosts ‘The Secular Agenda’ podcast.

Image: Screengrab from Movement Australia (Vimeo)

All the more reason.