Conflict of interest clarified by GM
Published: 22 Feb 2017 8:21am
City of Wagga Wagga General Manager Alan Eldridge would like to address concerns raised by local media about a potential conflict of interest in relation to a Planning Proposal currently lodged with the City.
"The land in question is owned by four land owners, and at least two of them are not known to me and I am not sure if I have even met them. The planning proposal was submitted to council well before I came to work in Council.
I have had no involvement in the proposal.
Neither I nor any of my family has financial holdings in any of the land in question.
My son through his business dealings has a relationship with one of the land owners. I was not aware of my son’s involvement with the proposal until recently.
As I have now been made aware, I have declared a pecuniary interest relating to the planning proposal by virtue of s443(1)(b) of the Local Government Act 1993. However, s443(3)(a) of the Local Government Act makes it clear that I had no pecuniary interest in the matter until I became aware of my son’s interest. Any claims otherwise are incorrect and I not have breached the pecuniary interest provisions of the Local Government Act.
As I have declared a pecuniary interest I will not be present during any internal discussions in respect of this Planning Proposal, and will not be present in the Council Chamber during any discussion, debate or voting in respect of this Planning Proposal or any other planning proposal that I may have a conflict with.
The city has policies in place at to deal with applications such as these and they are assessed in accordance with Council’s Policy POL 046 – Processing Development Applications Lodged by Councillors, Staff and Individuals of which a Conflict of Interest May Arise, or on Council Owned Land Policy."
A report on the Planning Proposal in question was considered at the 29 March 2016 Council meeting and again at the 30 May 2016 Council meeting with council resolving the following:
That Council in line with the recommendations of the Wagga Wagga Spatial Plan 2013-2043, defer consideration of land identified as potential urban land and potential intensification until the relevant strategic work is completed by the Planning Task Force.
RECORD OF VOTING ON DEVELOPMENT OR PLANNING MATTERS - SECTION 375A(3) LOCAL GOVERNMENT ACT 1993
|For the Motion||Against the Motion|
|R Kendall||P Funnell|
|Y Braid||J McLaren|
|G Conkey OAM|