Local councillors spent nearly $1.2 million of ratepayers’ money on political infighting in 2013-2014... 58% per cent more than the previous year.
This is the amount spent by NSW councils dealing with so-called “code of conduct” complaints. These complaints are routinely used as a political tool against opposition councillors or silence criticism or gag embarrassing revelations of council dealings.
Complaints not resolved by the mayor or general manager are referred to a code of conduct committee or paid conduct reviewer.
Top spender for the 2014 year was Wingecarribee Shire Council in the Southern Highlands, which spent $173,000 dealing with 21 councillor-to-councillor complaints – 15 per cent of all councils’ spending.
“The numbers of code of conduct complaints received by a council about its councillors or the general manager is often an indicator of the internal health of the organisation. Code of conduct complaints are often symptomatic of political infighting or interpersonal conflict,” the Your Council report compiled by the Office of Local Government says. More than half of NSW’s 152 councils received at least one code of conduct complaint during the 12 months to August 2014 and two-thirds of all complaints were made to just 24 councils.
TOP SPENDERS ON CONDUCT COMPLAINTS - 2014
Wingecarribee Shire $173,000
Bega Valley $70,000
City of Orange $52,726
Tweed Shire $50,000
City of Campbelltown $41,952
Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/code-of-condu ... z3oL72dsF5
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Wingecarribee Shire Council was the top spender. Photo: Michele Mossop
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