Under the Model Code of Conduct for Local Councils in NSW (the Model Code of Conduct), certain Council officials are required to disclose their personal interests in publicly available returns of interests. These operate as a key transparency mechanism for promoting community confidence in Council decision making, whether by Councillors or by staff or others under delegation.
Council's own Code of Conduct states the following: -
||A Councillor or designated person must make and lodge with the General Manager a return in the form set out in Schedule 2, disclosing the Councillor's or designated person's interests as specified in Schedule 1 within 3 months after: -
- becoming a Councillor or designated person; and
- 30 June of each year; and
- the Councillor or designated person becoming aware of an interest they are required to disclose under Schedule 1 that has not been previously disclosed in a return lodged under paragraphs (a) or (b)."
A 'designated person' is defined as: -
- the General Manager;
- other senior staff of Council for the purposes of s332 of the Local Government Act 1993 (the Act);
- a person (other than a member of the senior staff of Council) who is a member of staff of Council or a delegate of Council and who holds a position identified by Council as the position of a designated person because it involves the exercise of functions (such as regulatory functions or contractual functions) that, in their exercise, could give rise to a conflict between the person’s duty as a member of staff or delegate and the person’s private interest;
- a person (other than a member of the senior staff of Council) who is a member of a committee of Council identified by Council as a committee whose members are designated persons because the functions of the committee involve the exercise of Council’s functions (such as regulatory functions or contractual functions) that, in their exercise, could give rise to a conflict between the member’s duty as a member of the committee and the member’s private interest.
Information contained in returns made and lodged under clause 4.21 of the Model Code of Conduct is to be made publicly available in accordance with the requirements of the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (the GIPA Act), the Government Information (Public Access) Regulation 2009 and any guidelines issued by the Information Commissioner. The Information and Privacy Commission's Information Access Guideline 1 prescribes that Councillors' and designated persons' returns of interest must be made publicly available free of charge on Council’s website.
Section 14 of the GIPA Act lists as a consideration against disclosure the fact that information may reveal someone’s personal information, or would contravene an information privacy principle under the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998.
An individual has a right to protect the privacy of their personal information. Given the amount of personal information that may be contained in returns of interest, special care will be taken to protect this right. The type of matter which might be redacted from a return in these circumstances will vary depending on the public interest considerations applied; examples might include the signature or residential address of the Councillor or designated person concerned.
Releasing the information contained in the returns of Councillors and designated persons in this manner facilitate the legitimate public interest in having access to the information, while respecting other considerations against disclosure including privacy.
Written Returns of Interests as at 30 JUNE 2021
Written Returns of Interests POST 2021 ELECTION
Written Returns of Interest 2022/23
Cr Craig Bembrick(PDF, 2MB)
Cr Paul Best(PDF, 965KB)
Cr Michelle Cook(PDF, 3MB)
Cr Michelle Cook(PDF, 3MB)
Cr Phillip Diprose(PDF, 1MB)
Cr Warwick Frame(PDF, 2MB)
Cr Glenda Howell(PDF, 3MB)
Cr Jason Kenah(PDF, 2MB)
Cr Stuart McKellar(PDF, 2MB)
Cr Janice Parlett(PDF, 1MB)