Peter Beattie has stated nearly $37 million will be returned to the Queensland Government ©Getty Images

Gold Coast 2018 chairman Peter Beattie has announced the organisation's board will return around AUD$37 million (£21 million/$27 million) to the Queensland Government following the Commonwealth Games in April.

Beattie announced the sum after the final Gold Coast 2018 board meeting today.

He also defended a payment which will be made to chief executive Mark Peters.

It was revealed in April that five senior Gold Coast 2018 directors, headed by Peters, would share more than AUD$650,000 (£356,000/$498,000/€406,000) in "retention payments" now that the Games are over.

They will receive 10 per cent of their annual salary for every year of service.

Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate called the bonuses "staggering".

The payments were defended by Beattie at the time, who stated they were a "pair of handcuffs" started under the Liberal National Party, which ensured part of directors' existing salary was retained to keep them until after the Games.

Beattie again defended the pay with Peters set to receive his share on Friday (August 31) when his role comes to an end.

He stands to be paid retention bonuses of more than AUD$300,000 (£164,000/$230,000/€187,000) once this year’s salary is taken into account.

Peter Beattie also defended the payment set to be made to Mark Peters ©Getty Images
Peter Beattie also defended the payment set to be made to Mark Peters ©Getty Images

"Mark Peters who worked incredibly hard, he is entitled to it, the board has approved it and he will be paid it," said Beattie, according to the Gold Coast Bulletin.

"As I understand it there is no legal impediment to him being paid, when he finishes on Friday he will be paid that amount of money.

"It is over.

"I'm very happy to take full responsibility for this. 

"I took the recommendations for this.

"It was unanimously approved by the board.

"Forget about the Government in this, the buck stops with my board and with me.

"I think Queenslanders, seeing the millions being returned to the Government today will understand the man has earned it, he has earned the fact he should be respected for the job he did, he did a good job."

There have been reports Commonwealth Games Minister Kate Jones would seek to lodge a legal challenge to prevent the payments being made.