Statement from the Independent Assessor Kathleen Florian – Southern Downs councillor decision
29 May 2019
The Councillor Conduct Tribunal has not sustained a complaint against a Southern Downs councillor where it was alleged he failed to declare a conflict of interest when voting on matters related to the same development application over four council meetings.
The development application under consideration related to a proposal to undertake a commercial business activity on rural acreage property that was in the vicinity of a property owned by the councillor.
The Tribunal noted that although it might be deemed the councillor had a personal interest in the outcome of the development application in considering all of the facts of this matter, such an interest was minor.
Although the properties, at their closest points, are approximately 200 metres apart, the Tribunal found they were significantly separated in a number of ways; including that they were accessed by separate roads, there was limited visibility of the subject property from the councillor’s property and the councillor’s property was considered to be outside the affected area according to the Planning Scheme.
In this case, the Tribunal said the complainant disclosed to the Mayor and other councillors the content of the complaint made to the Crime and Corruption Commission before any integrity agency had a chance to completely deal with it.
The Tribunal recommended the CCC consider what action can be taken to prevent complainants publicising their complaints before they can be properly investigated and dealt with.
The Tribunal decision did not name the councillor, as the complaint was not sustained.
The Councillor Conduct Tribunal decision can be found here.
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Last updated: Wednesday, May 29, 2019