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Statement by the Independent Assessor Kathleen Florian – (former) Cassowary Coast deputy mayor decision

16 July 2021

The former deputy mayor of Cassowary Coast Regional Council (CCRC), Wayne Kimberly, has been found to have engaged in misconduct during his time in office.

The Councillor Conduct Tribunal (CCT) found Mr Kimberly failed to declare a conflict of interest at a council meeting when voting on a matter relating to criminal proceedings involving two members of the public.

At the meeting in December 2017, Mr Kimberly voted to extend council’s brief to its lawyers to appear on behalf of the CCRC chief executive officer (CEO), council officers, councillors and their immediate families, as determined by the CEO at a criminal trial.

In handing down a finding of misconduct, the CCT found Mr Kimberley had a personal interest  in the outcome as it afforded him a potential benefit of legal assistance, and that he failed to abide by his mandatory obligation to effectively manage a conflict of interest.

It ruled that such conduct undermines the integrity principles in the Local Government Act and ordered Mr Kimberley to publicly admit to misconduct within 90 days.

After being notified of the finding in late June 2021, Mr Kimberley made applications to the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) to review and stay the CCT decision and sought a non-publication order.

On 8 July 2021, QCAT granted interim orders including one which prohibited the publication of any information that would identify Mr Kimberley, the council, and any relevant third parties.

A week later, QCAT heard the matter, granting the stay of the application but refusing the non-publication order.

The review of the CCT decision is yet to be heard.

ENDS

Media contact: 0477 385 727 or OIAmedia@oia.qld.gov.au.

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Last updated: Friday, Jul 16, 2021