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29 June 2018 Posted by 

COMPLAINTS AGAINST COUNCILS SLIDE

 

 

COMPLAINTS against local councils have dropped by nearly half as the NSW Government continues to crack down on rogue councils.
 
Local Government Minister Gabrielle Upton has released the annual council complaint statistics for 2016-17 with 811 complaints received by the Office of Local Government (OLG) against 120 councils – a 44 per cent reduction from the previous year.
 
“This decrease can be attributed to the NSW Government’s action to deal with dysfunctional councils, introduction of measures to improve council performance, sustainability and integrity, and the creation of new councils in 2016,” Ms Upton said.
 
“The NSW Government has taken action against incompetent councils including the most complained about council in 2015-16 – Auburn Council – fueled by the antics of Salim Mehajer.”
 
Auburn Council recorded a massive 225 complaints in 2015-16 which contributed to the NSW Government decision to hold a public inquiry into its performance.
 
The council was suspended and finally dissolved when Cumberland Council was created in 2016. Cumberland Council recorded just 10 complaints in 2016-17.
 
“The Government has introduced tough new integrity measures to make sure people can have confidence in the people they elect to represent them,” Ms Upton said.
 
The integrity measures include requiring council election candidates to disclose if they are a property developer, banning people from public office if they have been convicted of certain offences, and forcing councilors to hand over any financial benefit derived from a pecuniary interest.
 
Some of the information from the complaints statistics include:
 
·       Central Coast Council was the most complained about council in 2016-17 with 32 complaints, followed by Georges River (30 complaints), Port Stephens (26), Northern Beaches (25), and Byron Shire (23).
 
·       Alleged misconduct by councils was the subject of 19.7 per cent of the total number of complaints, followed by governance matters (12.1 per cent), financial management (10.9 per cent), land use planning and development (10.9 per cent), and enforcement and regulatory powers (7.5 per cent).
 
·       In 2016-17 OLG received 36 complaints alleging misconduct by councilors – a 55 per cent reduction from the previous year. The NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) disqualified two councilors for misconduct in 2016-17.
 
·       Three public inquiry reports were presented to Parliament in 2016-17 into the performance of the former Auburn Council, North Sydney Council and former Murray Shire Council.
 
 

 



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