Media Releases

State’s councillors put on notice

Shelley Hancock – Minister for Local Government

Wednesday, 3 March 2021

The NSW Government has warned councillors that they face harsh penalties including suspension and disqualification from office if they fail to uphold the high standards of behaviour expected by the community.

Minister for Local Government Shelley Hancock said the Government has zero tolerance for councillors who put petty politics and personal interests ahead of serving their local communities.

“Ratepayers rightfully expect high standards of leadership and behaviour from their elected representatives,” Mrs Hancock said.

“That’s why ahead of the September elections, I am warning all councils to make sure they do the right thing or face disciplinary proceedings.

“With expanded powers and additional resources, the Office of Local Government is well placed to enforce the high standards of behaviour expected from councillors by investigating and penalising elected representatives found to have engaged in misconduct.

“While the overwhelming majority of the State’s 1,300 councillors do the right thing, there is a minority of councillors who seek to use public office for their own benefit.

“Poor behaviour not only brings disrepute to the office of councillor, it also erodes community confidence in our councils.

“With elections just six months away, I urge all councillors to take a good look at themselves and focus on doing the job they were elected to do – serving the best interests of their local community.”

Councillors must comply with the strict standards of behaviour under the Model Code of Conduct or risk disciplinary action. Breaches of the code of conduct can result in penalties including censure, public findings of misconduct, public apologies, suspension of payment of fee, as well as suspension and even disqualification from civic office.

MEDIA: Nicholas Story | 0438 255 020

PDF VersionMinisterial Media Release – 3 March 2021