Inequity of Declaration of Pecuniary Interests Cause Concerns

I’ve received a number of inquiries regarding  property developers and real estate speculators nominating for positions on the Council. As far as I’m aware, there is nothing in any current legislation that prevents them from doing so provided they meet all other electoral criteria.

My only comment on the subject is that if the current legislation requiring the declaration of pecuniary interests prior to an election was placed on a level playing field and sitting Councillors as well as new candidates had to reveal their respective property dealings and other interests before an election, it would remove a lot of doubt regarding potential conflicts of interests and better assist electors in how to cast their vote. 

As the legislation stands, a sitting Councillor must publicly reveal all of his/her interests to electors prior to an election whilst new candidates are not required to do so and can potentially conceal interests which may otherwise influence the way electors cast their votes.

The legislators really need to look into this aspect when they conduct a review of the Local Government Electoral Act.

For the record, not only is my Register of Interests available online through Council’s website (as required by legislation for all sitting Councillors) but I have also included it in the Navigation Bar of this site.

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