Big drop in complaints against new councils
Complaints against local councils have dropped by nearly half as the NSW Government continues to crack down on rogue councils and strengthen the integrity of local government across the State.
Local Government Minister Gabrielle Upton today 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 – fuelled by the antics of Salim Mehajer,” Ms Upton said.
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 councillors to hand over any financial benefit derived from a pecuniary interest.